Known by God

“I am” is the very name of God, that essence of me that I truly bear, the inner most quality of being alive. When I die it is all that is left of me. It is my reality that exists forever; the energy that can not be destroyed. It is LOVE, God’s Love in and by which we all exist; Love makes us one with each other and God. We are not alone. “…for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21). Pat and I and God exist as one. God made us One within Himself. The real me exists in the One that God made us when we loved and were married. We live in the light of God “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.”(― Rabindranath Tagore) When Pat first heard these word, at the end of a church service, the truth of them hit her like a punch in the stomach and she gasped and tears came welling up in her. She had seen the Light, the Kingdom of God exists within us our heart, our soul and our mind. We are persons of love – love is forever. What is this world – for that matter what is the Big Bang – if it is not perceived it is nothing. The universe exists because it is perceived by us and God – it is God knowing himself. God is the great “I am”- He thinks so it exists. He is YHWH.
“Our knowledge of God is paradoxically not of him as the object of our scrutiny, but of ourselves as utterly dependent on his saving and merciful knowledge of us. It is in proportion, as we are known to him that we find our real being and identity in Christ. We know him in and through ourselves in so far as his truth is the source of our being and his merciful love is the very heart of our life and existence.” – Thomas Merton.

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Awakening the heart!

Jesus taught that “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21) That Kingdom of Heaven within us is our inner most essence, the very image of God He created us to be.

God also made us One in marriage. Pat and I were attuned and responded directly to one another, our innermost aliveness and quality. In her own words, “You love me royally, as I love you, / seated together in our garden Kingdom, / keeping up our silent conversation, / clothed in robes of joy of every hue.”

God is love and we touch the essence of God when we love. God is the white light of Love. He is both the lover and the Loved, God through Christ and in Marriage has made us One. God is that love!

I sometimes feel I know that One. Then it all falls away and I become the lost one, lonely and missing my beloved Patricia. Where is my beloved, was she ever here? In Pat’s words, “I live in the soft prison of my desires, / Home of all my comforts. / There is no other tenant, / And nothing breaks the silence.”

That emptiness around my heart is at the very Centre of my Oneness with my departed spouse. It is the true me, the centre of our soul. It determines my relationship with Pat and God. I need to awaken to the dawn where Pat is – in our Garden Kingdom.

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Grief and Emptiness

Consider the grief that lovers feel. It is emptiness, sorrel for your departed loved one, that hollow around your heart once filled to overflowing with her essential being. An absence where everything becomes essential, each sound distinct and bare, and clear. Heartbroken, lonely, wordless, lost, fearful and yes ecstatic. It is the long dark night of the soul. “Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come” but, for the surviving lover it is like living in a ruin, in the blank state of knowing her no more. You live in your heart searching for the dawn of your beloved there. Christ said, “And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” (Luke 11:9) Be quiet and listen, don’t try to answer now. “Love’s secret is always lifting its head out from under the covers, “Here I am.” אני “ The inspiration you seek is already within you. Be silent and listen.” ― Rumi.  Love is stronger than death; Love is forever. I shall love my beloved Patricia Bow forever. When she and God are ready that empty space will fill once again with her essential being. She already dwells within and I rejoice in her Love and in the blessed company of the communion of saints.

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When lovers kiss

“You love me royally, as I love you.
Seated together in our garden Kingdom,
Keeping up our silent conversation,
Clothed in robes of joy of every hue.
For us, our royal love has had no parallel:
It rooted, grew, and like a miracle
Spread to the garden where in now we sit.
Clothed in the fragrance of God in it.”
–Patricia Bow 21 June 1970.

Around the heart is an open chamber – that empty place in grief – which modifies our love to complement each other. Two hearts resonate as one and the love grows stronger. When one spouse dies that chamber is empty until
that loved one has ascended to the Father and returns in Peace and Love to visit. Yes, there is life after death.

What we feel when we kiss our soulmate is that chamber resonating in harmony like a guitar sound box. Soulmates feel the energy, scent and smell of each other in a kiss. In ecstatic love making soulmates learn not to fear their bodies, sex is a dissolving into oneness. The “This is my body which is given for you” of the Eucharist.

As Pat continued:

“And this long miracle is to discover
The inmost me and you.
To nurse no longing for another,
To forge the soul and its desire together
Gently, openly and forever.
Nothing grows but common flowers
Outside our Kingdom’s wall.
Here alone the magic lies.
We ask nothing; we have all.”

You just know when you have met your soulmate, your other half.

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The Lord our God is one Lord.

Descartes really got it right with his famous “I think therefore I am” – it is the only thing that remains in the human mind when we doubt our own existence.  It is also related to the concept that God created us in his Own image. God is the Great I am.  He tells Moses “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.” It is related to the Bible name of God YHWH

“I am” is the first person singular form of the Hebrew verb “to be”. ‘YHWH’ is the third person singular, thus meaning “He is” or “He exists.” The first or third person of the same verb was used by the writers of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, depending upon whether they wanted to emphasize His own or man’s own perspective.

Stephen Hawking wrote: “Events before the Big Bang are simply not defined, because there’s no way one could measure what happened at them. Since events before the Big Bang have no observational consequences, one may as well cut them out of the theory and say that time began at the Big Bang.” Essentially, there was never a Big Bang that produced something from nothing. No Big Bang but, there certainly was God and He is all that counts.

In the beginning there was neither time nor space just the great Void and God. God was and is outside of time and space. He was the mind behind the universe – a mind that dwarfs Stephen Hawking’s mind. What Hawking believes – that something cannot be produced from nothing – does not count and is inconsequential. God existed before time and space.

John 1 1-5 King James Version (KJV)

  1. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
  2. The same was in the beginning with God.
  3. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
  4.  In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
  5. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

Man is created by God “in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” – a conversation being held between the Holy Trinity-God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. – God thinking. Being made in the Image of God does not mean that God possesses human-like features – no God is NOT an old man sitting on a throne in Heaven. Man is Godlike when he thinks and loves – Love and the faculty of reason enables man to become most God-like in that he develops the spirituality to partially grasp the nature of God’s ultimate reality. God is LOVE!

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Death and Grief – putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.

Pat in her journal beginning August 1st, 2015 describes feeling something that sounds a lot like the grief journey I have been on since her death:

  • All the same, (and for several days now) I felt odd, at a loss, purposeless, rather empty, as if nothing I was doing was worth anything or had any meaning. There seems to be some anxiety or frustration driving me, but I’m not sure what it is. … And more and more I dislike growing old. Don’t know if all that creates this emptiness and anxiety.
  • I’m so bad at dealing with people that I can’t think of anything useful I could do. Perhaps that is at the bottom of my long-time, intermittent depression: the knowledge of my own inadequacy. I am really no good to anybody, and so I spend my life in the most mundane chores and trivial diversions.
  • Today I felt, on the whole, Cheerful and upbeat. Yet, just as yesterday there was no obvious cause. Could it all come down to brain chemicals? Dehydration?
  • Forgot to mention an odd moment last Sunday, at the end of Morning Song. Fr. Neil Carver (a good sermon as usual) who gives full weight to the verbal elements of the service, had recessed after the choir to the back of the church at the end, and had just pronounced the usual farewell benediction. Then he said “Death does not mean that a light has gone out. It means that a lantern has been extinguished because the dawn has come.” I still don’t know why that little epigram hit me so hard, but it did. It was almost like a fist to the stomach. I gasped outward, then began to shed tears. Controlled it and got underway…. Maybe I’ve been brooding on death too much lately (usually somewhere in the back of my mind). Maybe the Morning Song, which was as lovely musically and liturgically as usual and had a better homily than usual, had left me in a receptive state. No idea, really.
  • It does worry me a bit that we have another 19 ½ months before our trip. So much can happen in nearly two years. I’ll be 71, Eric will be 74! Please God, keep us both in good health until after our trip.
  • Have evidently grown even more solitary over the years.
  • Taking stock of myself Jan 1, 2016: left knee very sore and stiff, right ear still blocked, overall rather tired (up late last night), plagued by cravings for carbs and wine, riddled with self-doubt. Heart gives the occasional twinge but maybe not a major factor. Despite all that, I feel cheerful.
  • So this is the last day of my sixties. Tomorrow I’ll be 70 and then I’ll be really old. My 20s seem just a blink away and now suddenly, this. I wonder if I have another decade left, and if so, what sort of shape I’ll be by the end of it?
  • Wed Nov 16, 2016: To my great surprise, I am dying. … Huge thud of astonishment – my family usually all die of heart disease! I haven’t really recovered – perhaps never will. To Eric it was a terrible blow. Maybe he’ll never recover, either…. I hate the fact that I am making several loved people unhappy…. So much I will lose. The beauty of the Earth, of the skies, of colours. I see it all turning and turning to darkness. So much loss, such pain. Please God, please please, please.
  • Last night was not very good. I felt okay, physically but very lonely and bleak. I know there are going to be more nights like this. Night was never my best time -it was drenched with a sense of being cold and alone and belonging no where.
  • But Friday was a great day because I got to go home…. Thing is moving faster than expected. Which is good in one way, but I have a lot of things I want to do before it races to a finish.


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Pat’s Epiphany

In the gospels Christ teaches us to believe “all things are possible.”  Many Christians assume this means that if only we have enough faith we can fix anything, “ask and you will receive.” So, when a loved one is dying and actual does die despite our prayers, they feel abandoned and disillusioned. Their faith dies with their loved one.  They fail to see that Christ was talking about something much deeper, infinitely deeper and truer. Christ is telling us to keep our eyes open after our loved one has died. She is gone from her earthly body to the One within us all.  As long as you live she still exists united with your soul.

Pat’s epiphany occurred when Fr Carver finished a service with:

“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is only putting out the lamp because the dawn has come” – Rabindranath Tagore

She wrote that it hit her like a blow to the stomach and tears came to her eyes.  Our departed loved one will never leave our life; they are there in the small things we do every day. She will often come back to mind in the tear shed at some small memory – proof she is dwelling within. You enter a familiar place and she comes back.  Death is the dawn of your eternal life together in the arms of Christ. Those things which we ought to have done; and those things which we ought not to have done, come back to us with the dawn. They are in the white light of God at the end of the tunnel, part of us and God and of all time. God is the Alpha and Omega – our beginning and our end forever.

“all your deeds and words,

Each truth, each lie,

Die in unjudging love “

Dylan Thomas

God is that unjudging Love. Christ is the Bread of the eternal life and the Cup of everlasting salvation. Our sinful bodies are made clean by his Body , and our souls washed through his most precious Blood.

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