Yesterday as I sat on the shoreline of a cove while preparing for my Naropa class on Friday, I looked over my notes on the Beguine mystics.
These women lived in Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany and France during the 13th century and are some of my favorite. Their specialty was the feisty resistance that the human soul puts up to God's seeming absence. One of them, Hadewijch of Antwerp, spoke of a "Noble Unfaith" that is higher than faith and which allows us to declare boldly to God: "I don't believe in your love" and "it appears that I alone am loving and that You do not help me." In so doing, we "practice that great love which God is" through which God loves groundlessly, without any reason.
Looking down at the water and the perfect mirroring effect, I remembered that this kind of loveplay occurs WITHIN our ever-present union with God. We might say that God seemingly turns away from us as a means of getting us to reveal our own groundless and passionate desire within the mirror of faith. It is as though God's mirror-image - US, that is! - takes on a life of its own and then flirts back with God, overcoming him with desire, and causing him to lose himself in ecstatic love! "The greatness of My kingdom is all yours," God declares to Mechthild of Magdeburg, "and you will have power over Me Myself!"
Photo: Horsetooth Reservoir, Lory State Park, CO, February 24, 2016
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.