I stood on a lofty mountain and saw a gigantic man and another, a dwarf; and I heard as it were a voice of thunder, and drew nigh for to hear; and it spake unto me and said, I am thou and thou art I; and wheresoever thou mayst be I am there. In all am I scattered, and from wheresoever thou willest, thou gatherest me; and gathering me thou gatherest thyself. (Mead, p. 598)
Sermon Forty Nine
ECCE MITTO ANGELUM MEUM
This written in the gospel, and in German it means: “Behold, I send my angel”.
Where the text says ‘I’, that means in the first place God’s is-ness, the fact that God alone is, for all things are in God and from Him, since outside of Him and without Him nothing truly is. All creatures are worthless and a mere nothing compared with God; therefore, what they truly are, they are in God, and thus only God truly is. And therefore the word, ‘I’, means the is-ness of divine truth, for it is the proof of one ‘is’. It thus testifies that He alone is.
Again, it means that God is not separate from all things, for God is in all things and is more inwardly in them than they are in themselves. That is how God is not separate from all things. And man too should be not separate from all things, which means that a man should be nothing in himself and wholly detached from self: in that way he is not separate from all things and is all things. For since you are nothing in yourself, you are all things and not separate from all things. And therefore, since you are not separate from all things, you are God and all things, for God’s divinity depends on His being not separate from all things. And so the man who is not separate from all things receives the Godhead from where God Himself receives it.
Thirdly, the word, ‘I’, denotes a kind of perfection of the designation, ‘I’, for it is not a proper name. It stands for a name and for the perfection of that name, and denotes immutability and imperturbability, and so it denotes that God is immutable, imperturbable and eternal stability.
Fourthly, it indicates the bare purity of the divine being, which is bare of any admixture. For goodness and wisdom and whatever may be attributed to God are all admixtures to God’s naked essence, because all admixture causes alienation from essence. And so the word, ‘I’, denotes God’s purity of essence, which is bare in itself, free of alien elements that make it strange and distant.
Let us now speak further of the angels, of whom I just said that they were an image of God, and that they are a mirror containing in itself the reflection of the goodness and purity of the stillness and mystery of God, as far as that is possible. We should be like the angels, and so we would be an image of God, for God made us in His own image. An artist who wants to make an image of a man does not copy Conrad or Henry. For if he made an image like Conrad or Henry, he would not be portraying man: he would be portraying Conrad or Henry. But if he made a picture of Conrad, it would not be like Henry; for, if he had the skill and ability, he would portray Conrad perfectly himself, exactly as he was. Now God has perfect skill and ability, and therefore He has made you just like Him, an image of Himself. But ‘like Him’ denotes something foreign and aloof, [while] between man and God there is nothing foreign and aloof. Therefore, man is not ‘like Him’ but he is altogether identical with Him and the very same as He is.
More I do not know and cannot tell, so my sermon must end here. But I once thought on my way, that a man should be so wholly detached in his intention that he had nobody and nothing in view but the Godhead in itself—neither salvation nor this or that, but just God as God, and the Godhead in itself. For whatever else you concern yourself with is an admixture to the Godhead. And therefore, shed all admixtures to the Godhead, and seize it naked as it is in itself.
M. O’C. Walshe (1987). Meister Eckhart: Sermons and Treatises Volume II. UK: Element Books Limited.
Valentinus: From a Letter
One is Good, whose free utterance is his manifestation through his son; it is by him alone that the heart can become pure, when every evil essence has been expelled out of it. Now its purity is prevented by the many (base) essences which take up their abode in it, for each of them accomplishes its own deeds, outraging it in divers ways with unseemly lusts. As far as I can see, the heart seems to receive somewhat the same treatment as an inn (caravanserai), which has holes and gaps made in its walls and is frequently filled with dung, men living filthily in it and taking no care of the place as being someone else’s property. Thus it is with the heart: so long as it has no care taken of it, it is ever unclean and the abode of many demons (base essences). But when the One Good Father hath regard unto it, it is sanctified and shineth with light; and he who possesseth such a heart is so blessed that he shall see God. (Mead, p. 300)
G. R. S. Mead (1930). Fragments of a Faith Forgotten. Chelsea: Kessinger Legacy Reprints. ISBN 0-922802-22-X
Lester Levenson: Identify With What You Really Are
Now, that sense of beingness is not related to the world; rather, it’s related to how you look at the world. You watch the world go by. You watch yourself. You watch your own body moving around like you now watch other bodies. You’ll see your body objective to you like you see other bodies objective to you.
So, try to move up to constantly identifying with your beingness. Hold “I am” or “I, I, I, I” only. “I am my beingness.” “I am.” “I am my am-ness.” And then when you get to be a doer, when you get to be the doer, then try to see that you’re not the doer, that all that is objective to you. Try to take the attitude, “I am not the doer.” Now what happens there is you let go of the ego-sense of doing, and shift into allowing the higher power, or whatever you call it, to do it. In religion they say, “Let go and let God.” When you let go of your ego-sense you automatically move into your beingness. And that takes care of everything with no effort. And your life becomes totally effortless.
And start from taking all your happiness from you. Recognize that every joy you have is that nice quiet place of just being, where your desires are out of the way. Even though you’re taking pleasure from the world, try to recognize that that pleasure is you being you: your mind is quiet.