Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Contemplation is Judged by its Fruits

True contemplation, as the mystics are constantly assuring us, must always be judged by its fruits. If it be genuine, work has been done during the period of apparent passivity. The deeper self has escaped, has risen to freedom, and returns other than it was before. Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism P. 241
When one looks on God in contemplation, it is not just for the satisfaction of the one who contemplates. The contemplative looks with loving and adoring eyes upon the God of love, he desires to be totally at one with God, and seeks to be more like God.
Seeking to be more like God, the roots of the spiritual plant are in the soil of the essence of God. Thus the plant gets its divine spiritual nourishment, causing the spiritual fruit to grow and mature, and the contemplative to return from his time in the presence of God other than what he was before.
I have tried to express this in the following poem Cocoon.

I wind silk around my being,
Silk spun from my own inner self,
I bind myself in darkness,
To be transformed into a new being
Of light and freedom.
I am becoming a winged creature,
A being capable of spiritual flight
Into the rarer atmosphere,
Nearer to the Creator of life.
I learn to temper the once
Destructive powers of my will,
Binding them with silken bonds
In the dark, silent cocoon.
In the quiet darkness
My being is transformed;
In the silken, gold-glittered,
Chrysalis, hidden and
Protected ’neath my Creator’s hand.
Slow is the secret process within;
So much to be done; change
Cannot be rushed, if beauty
Is to be the new being’s end result—
If my transformed being,
My freed, winged being,
Is to be revealed, soaring
In rarefied air
To the glory of God.
© Judith Lawrence  September 2011


Peter Black said...

Thank you Judith for this insightful meditation and beautiful poem.
I am reminded of 1 John 3:2-3 -- "Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. 3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure." Whereas this is often (and correctly) applied to a future time, suggestive of the parousia /Second Coming of Christ / the culmination of our faith, I see that the present spiritual application of our seeing (correctly perceiving and regarding) and spiritually beholding Him is transformative, and is part of the process in fulfilling Romans 8:29 -- conformation to the image / likeness of Christ, God's Son.

Judith Lawrence said...

Thank you Peter for sharing your thoughts with me on my blog and poem. I love these verses of St. John's first letter that you have quoted above, particularly: "But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is."