God is not a fact. God is a metaphor for the Mystery at the Heart of Life and Being. God is more than can be known, or said, or thought, or imagined. To say more than that about God is heresy, suggesting that God can be explained, described, told of, said. Heinrich Zimmer said, "The most important things cannot be said. The second most important things are the metaphors we use to talk about the most important things, and they are misunderstood. The third most important things are the things we talk about." We can only experience the most important things, and then sing songs or write poems, or paint pictures, or dance or devote our lives to living in the wonder of the knowledge that cannot be said. Ways of opening ourselves to the experience of the most important things include meditation/contemplation of the mystery of our own being and the wonder of the cosmos. Placing ourselves in regular, reverent, company with art, music and nature. Conversations with other people about their experience of the holy/ineffable/Numen in their lives. Considering the abundance of religious symbols worldwide, we might select a few to contemplate each week, exploring the difference between what the symbols connote and what they denote-- what they imply/mean/suggest/indicate beyond themselves and what their literal/primary/actual meaning is. Exploring the connotations of symbols is the path to realization and awakening. The connotations of God go far past the catechisms and doctrines, and open us to new possibilities of wonder and engagement beyond the reach of reason and logic.
"They cast their nets in Galilee Just off the hills of brown Such happy simple fisherfolk Before the Lord came down. Contented peaceful fishermen Before they ever knew The peace of God That filled their hearts Brimful and broke them too. Young John who trimmed the flapping sail, Homeless, in Patmos died. Peter, who hauled the teeming net, Head-down was crucified. The peace of God, it is no peace, But strife closed in the sod, Yet, children, pray for but one thing– The marvelous peace of God." --William Alexander Percy "The peace of God" is another term for "The Secret Cause." They are interchangeable and equivalent. There is no "peace of God" apart from our alignment with, and liege loyalty to, the Secret Cause. Just as there is no life without death. Just as every birth is death in the making, and every death is a threshold to new life, Just so, our embrace of the Secret Cause is a union with "the peace of God" that is "strife closed in the sod," and a crucifixion waiting to happen. "Yet, children, pray for but one thing!" It is "for this we have come." Both in terms of "What shall I say, 'Father, save me from this hour'? No! For this I have come!" And: "What I do is me, for this I came!" (Gerad Manley Hopkins) We find what we seek in our identification with the Secret Cause, though it be like the moth's identification with the flame. The Secret Cause of our life is death and life and death and life... The two are one. It is oneness all the way down. And up. All of our dichotomies are false dichotomies. Good/Bad, Right/Wrong, Left/Right, Up/Down, Black/White, Simple/Complex... Duality comes to an end in the realization of oneness. Both/And, Either/Or-- which is it? It is both/and it is either/or. Death is life, life is death. We die at every transition point throughout our life, and are born again on the other side of every successful transition. Only to die again at the next transition point. And our life never runs out of transition points! And the Secret Cause is the cause of most of them! In the service of the Secret Cause-- the Secret Cause of our life, of the life that is our life to live, of the purposes and meanings that are life itself for us-- we confront the contradictions, dichotomies, and polarities that bring us forth by demanding our death again and again. The Hero's Journey is one long series of deaths and resurrections. "Yet, children, pray for but one thing: the marvelous peace of God!" It is Yin/Yang all the way down-- with Yin/Yang understood to be a metaphor for the integration of opposites, which remain oppositional throughout their oneness, as we bear the pain of that tension our entire life, by bringing them together in our life.
When we live aligned with the Secret Cause-- the Secret Cause of us, of our life, of the life that is to be our life-- we are at one with our destiny, and centered in and grounded upon the why, what, when and how of our existence. In that place, we are "immortal, invincible, God-only wise," and "though we die, yet shall we live." And nothing can knock us off "the still point," "the axis mundi" "the center of the universe" and "of the turning world." We are anchored to the adamantine foundation of our life-- of all of life-- of the entire cosmos and whatever might lie beyond it. We are one with everything, and live with a confidence that borders on recklessness, and have to call upon the guardians of humility and self-transparency to rein ourselves in and live within the situations and circumstances of our life as they unfold about us-- as those who have work to do that is vital to the whole and to the Cause. Serving the Secret Cause in the time and place of our living, in the here and now of our existence, opens us to the agony of Jesus with his, "I have come to set the world on fire, and how I wish it were already kindled!" But, like him, we have to submit to the times, and trust ourselves to the secret workings of the Secret Cause-- to the unfolding of the Tao in its own time and in its own way, and remaining true to our role of exhibiting in the moment our gifts/daemon/virtues/character in doing what is called for situation-by-situation, day-by-day for as long as life shall last-- at one with the Mystery at the Heart of Life and Being.