Serving or longing for union?

August 1, 2013

I was reading an email announcement from Father Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation about rediscovering our yearning for reunion with God.

That’s certainly part of the journey, recognizing the idea of union with God, becoming open to it, maybe even yearning for it, but I also believe that the sort of union we get through such yearning is not the same sort of union we get when we yearn only to serve the greatest good and our greatest good.

The the kind of union that occurs when all we yearn for is to serve is important, and I think the kind of union resulting from yearning for reunion can be problematic and result in serious “falls.”

These ideas are not original to me, and I even have written about them before on this blog, I think.  I just figured I’d repeat myself.

A friend of mine once said sometimes the thing that one is called upon to do in a particular situation is just to keep repeating oneself.


3 Responses to “Serving or longing for union?”

  1. Matthew Brooks Says:

    The whole thing is confusing to me.

    What is reunion with God? God is an abstraction. Does it signify the relinquishment of one’s attachment to one’s ego? A rediscovery of faith and one’s connection to life itself? If that’s the case I think it’s a good thing.

    On the other hand, faith and surrender aren’t equivalent. Faith in life is active, essentially positive; surrender in that case is incidental to the attainment of a greater good. Surrender alone tho is abdication, which is essentially negative.

    If I give away my car, I am left with no car, everything else being equal. That would be bad. However, if I give up my car for an even better car, then it is positive.

    • Diana Moses Says:

      I think what I mean by surrender may be like sliding into a base in baseball (which I actually don’t know how to do, so I may be entirely wrong — please let me know): you agree to do what it takes, whatever that turns out to be depending on what the base player is doing and how the throw comes in.

      Union I think is like sex in a way, at least some kinds of roles a woman may experience with a man. I don’t know how it is for men. I think we probably interact with God (the divine) as God appears in some more concrete guise than God’s highest or purest form — kind of like God finds a way to manifest that we can relate to. Then we zero in on the essence of that manifestation and we end up in the divine part of it — we are open to receiving that essence and respond to it with our own, and there’s intense joy (kind of like combustion), and/but we experience it as someone else’s joy and we are aware of it through another aspect of ourselves. That’s the kind of union one gets with willingness to serve, I think. I understand that there are other patterns of union which involve a different kind of merger and in which the witnessing aspect of the participant isn’t there — I think that’s the “yearning for union” kind.

      I think the relinquishment of attachment to the ego is part of the preparation that makes union possible. It clears out enough stuff so the divine can come in and sit down. I think action is what we do when we participate in this world, including with our spirits as transformed through union; otherwise we would just keep our heads up in the clouds, which is nice, but may not always be what serves — kind of need to get out of bed and get up for work. Some people I think really do just end up contemplative, but my sense is that in this world right now we are called on to undertake what action we can — just as everybody has a spiritual aspect, most everybody has an active aspect, too.

      Take what you like and leave the rest — it’s just what I happen to see, put into words as best I can.

      • Matthew Brooks Says:

        I think I see what you’re saying.

        In any case of mutual transcendence, that ‘divinity’ I think is making the connections with others that must be made in order to sustain life; whether in sex, providing a meal, or protecting one’s family from harm. It is the affirmation of life; and more importantly, the affirmation one of another’s life. In that sense what’s divine is the connection itself. Even being together qualifies, then [this reminds me why solitary confinement is so cruel (thinking of the CA hunger strike)].


        Thought and action go hand in hand, like potential and kinetic energy. Everything all in good time.

        “For it is a question not of man’s doing but of time conditions, which, according to the laws of heaven, show an alternation of increase and decrease,
        fullness and emptiness. It is impossible to counteract these conditions of the time. Hence it is not cowardice but wisdom to submit and avoid action.”

        I Ching, 23

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: