A rather trippy and deep post flowed out of me today. Before I started writing, I had a strong intuition to find a particular book for this post, and when I found it, randomly opened the book to exactly the idea that was seeking to be expressed through me.
For your own heart’s sake, I hope you will take a moment this weekend to contemplate the words in this post, because they could open your mind to some new yet old ideas that just might awaken a spark of remembrance in your soul as they did for me.
Do you believe that you have a destiny that can be repelled by the way in which you live? Do you believe like many that there is a law of attraction that you can use to create whatever type of life you would want to live? Or must you submit to forces outside of yourself to be on your best path in life?
These are questions that have been on the minds of men and women since the dawn of human history. For the next few days I’d like to share some different perspectives about how we repel and attract our “destiny” from great souls who have come before us.
Today, let’s begin an exploration with some radical ideas from a German Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart (1260-1328). When I first read Meister Eckhart in the early 1990’s, I was blown away that a medieval Christian priest would have ideas that were so profound and in some ways seemingly Eastern in their philosophy and scope.
In the passage that follows, Eckhart does not use the word destiny once, but talks about one of the common themes in many religions that the animal or creature part of us keeps us from fully living as God would desire, which is through us. Many of the most holy people who I’ve met in my life talk about this same idea of getting out of the way of God, so that which is individual in them disappears to let God shine through. There are problems with this approach, which we’ll discuss at another time. For today, let’s look at the strengths of this idea.
I love this particular passage from one of Meister Eckhart’s sermons and hope it will cause you to think about your own ideas of destiny, free will, and the possibility that the divine spark of God within you actually needs you to allow it to live through you:
For if Life were questioned a thousand years and asked: “Why live?” and if there were an answer, it could be no more than this: “I live only to live!” And that is because Life is its own reason for being, springs from its own Source, and goes on and on, without ever asking why — just because it is life. Thus, if you ask a genuine person, that is, one who acts from his heart: “Why are you doing that?” — he will reply in the only possible way: “I do it because I do it!”
Where the creature ends, there God begins to be. God only asks that you get out of his way, in so far as you are creature, and let him be God in you. The least creaturely idea that ever entered your mind is as big as God. Why? Because it will keep God out of you entirely. The moment you get one of your own ideas, God fades out and the Godhead too. It is when the idea is gone that God gets in.
God desires that you, the creature, get out of his way — as if his own blessedness depended on it. Ah, beloved people, why don’t you let God be God in you? What are you afraid of? You get completely out of his way and he will get out of yours — you give up to him and he will give up to you. When both have forsaken self, what remains is an indivisible union. It is in this unity that the Father begets his Son in the secret spring of your nature. Then the Holy Spirit blooms and out of God there comes a will which belongs to the soul. As long as this will remains uncorrupted by creatures, it is free. Christ says, No man riseth to heaven but he that came from heaven.” All things were created out of nothingness and thus their true nature is the “Not”. That is why the aristocratic will, to the extent that it condescends to created things, lapses at last with them to their nothingness.
It is sometimes asked whether this noble will may lapse so completely that it cannot recover. The authorities usually teach that, if it has lapsed for some time, there is no recovery. But I say, if will is directed back again, to its secret source, it will once again be as it was, formally free and really free, and at once all the time that was lost will be made up.
People often say to me: “Pray for me!” At that I have to wonder: Why did you ever leave him? And why not be your true self and reach into your own treasure? For the whole truth is just as much in you as in me!
That we all may similarly remain close to this treasure, that we may all may know the truth blessedly, without anything separating us from it, or standing in between, may God help! Amen.
Is this the type of sermon you would expect to read from a medieval Christian priest, talking about everything coming out of nothingness? If we circle back to some of my earlier blogs this year about the Zen concept of everything coming out of nothingness, and compare those ideas to those of Meister Eckhart’s, it is quite reassuring to see how mystics across the planet have been discovering the same truths from the context of different spiritual traditions.
So, with Eckhart’s wisdom as a tool for growth, we might say that part of attracting or repelling our destiny depends on how much we allow our own connection to divinity to live through us. That’s what the energetic elixirs that I spoke of us earlier this week allow us to do — clear the space for more of our true self/heart to be expressed through us in our everyday life, so that we can say with all confidence and authenticity:
“I do it because I do it!”
When we reach that point of living from our heart, any concerns of repelling or attracting our destiny disappear because we are on the path towards living the most holy destiny or life that is ours to live.
More about this tomorrow . . .
Can you feel the truth and the freedom in Meister Eckhart’s understanding of Life?