“You are the feelings of love in my desire.
You are a sweet cooling for my breast.
You are a passionate kiss for my mouth.
You are a blissful joy of my discovery.
I am in you
And you are in me.
We could not be closer,
For we two have flowed into one
And have been poured into one mould.
Thus shall we remain forever content.”
– Mechtild of Magdeburg, ‘The Flowing Light Of The Godhead’
A beautiful verse in the deeply mystical sense of being, Mechtild of Magdeburg, talks here of her deepening love for God. She is describing the soul’s relationship with God, she marvels at “the powerful penetration of all things and the special intimacy which ever exists between God and each individual soul,” concluding that it is “a thing so delicate that had I the wisdom of all men and the voice of an angel, I could not describe it” The paradox enchants her: God is everywhere and surely, therefore, impersonal;and yet in relation to the individual soul, God is entirely intimate and surely, therefore, personal.
“Our redeemer has become our bridegroom!” Mechthild tells us. Of course others had said as much, but hardly in the same way. They had chosen the allegorical mode. When Mechthild writes of the soul’s exquisite romance with God, she is no allegorist: in the very depths of her being, she has found a lover who is fully, deliciously responsive. “Thou art my resting-place,” God tells her, “my love, my secret peace, my deepest longing, my highest honour. Thou art a delight of my Godhead, a comfort of my manhood, a cooling stream for my ardour.” God is there, Mechthild insists,for every one of us, not in a general, impersonal sense, but there—so exquisitely right for you it’s as if you’d made him up. He “whispers with His love in the narrow confines of the soul.” Her language is almost shockingly erotic at times; for Mechthild, the sweet goings-on between God and the soul are the reality—all-consuming and exquisitely fulfilling—of which human sexuality is only a pale shadow.
This is a small excerpt from one of my favourite books, Enduring Grace by Carol Anne Flinders. She is describing here the same yearnings, Rumi has so beautifully expressed in his poems and which we all adore. The same intimacy is described by Kibir and all lovers of God. In deep contemplation, the chakras open one by one reaching the seat of the heart, where all love is known.
How does he move about?” Krishna replies with a series of practical criteria beginning as follows: “He lives in wisdom who sees himself in all, and all in him—whose love for the Lord of Love has consumed every selfish desire and sense-craving tormenting the heart.” For Christians, the answer has been essentially the same. “By their fruits ye shall know them,” said Jesus, and Paul added,
“The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 2:9, KJV).