Skip to main content
Center for Action and Contemplation

Love and Beauty

Monday, January 12, 2015

Wisdom’s Way of Knowing

Love and Beauty
Tuesday, January 12, 2015

The first principle of great spiritual teachers is rather constant: only Love can be entrusted with Wisdom, or with Big Truth. All other attitudes will murder and mangle and manipulate truth for their own ego purposes. Humans must first find the unified field of love and then start their thinking from that point.  This is the challenging insight of mature religion.

All prayer disciplines are somehow trying to get head and heart and body to work as one, and that changes one’s thinking rather entirely. “The concentration of attention in the heart—this is the starting point of prayer,” says St. Theophane the Recluse, a nineteenth-century Russian mystic. Any other “handler” of your experience, including the rational mind or even mere intellectual theology, eventually distorts and destroys the beauty and healing power of the Big Truth.

The second principle is that truth is on some level always beautiful—and healing—to those who honestly want truth. Big Truth cannot be angry, antagonistic, or forced on anyone, or it will inherently distort the message (as the common belief in a punitive God has done for centuries). The good, the true, and the beautiful are always their own best argument for themselves, by themselves, and in themselves. Such beauty, or inner coherence, is a deep inner knowing that both evokes the soul and even pulls the soul into All Oneness. Incarnation is beauty, and beauty always needs to be incarnate, that is specific, concrete, particular. We need to experience very particular, soul-evoking goodness in order to be shaken into what many call “realization.” It is often a momentary shock where you know you have been moved to a different plane of awareness.

This is precisely how transformation differs from the mere acquiring of facts and information. Whereas information will often inflate the ego, transformation utterly humbles us. In that moment, we know how much we have not known up to now, and still surely do not know! This is a good and probably necessary starting place

Love is luring us forward, because love is what we already are at our core, and we are naturally drawn to the fullness of our own being. Like knows like, and when we are comfortable in our true identity, as Meister Eckhart says, “It is God’s pleasure and rapture to place his whole nature in this true place—because it is God’s own identity too.” As an electromagnetic force, Infinite Love is drawing the world into the one fullness of love. We will finally be unable to resist such overwhelming love. (Some saints even said the devil would be unable to resist it in the end.) So don’t fight it, resist it, or deny it now. Love will always win.

Gateway to Silence:
May I love with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.

Adapted from Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self, pp. 90-91, 92-93

Navigate by Date

This year’s theme

A candle being lit

Radical Resilience

We live in a world on fire. This year the Daily Meditations will explore contemplation as a way to build Radical Resilience so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or burning out. The path ahead may be challenging, but we can walk it together.

The archives

Explore the Daily Meditations

Explore past meditations and annual themes by browsing the Daily Meditations archive. Explore by topic or use the search bar to find wisdom from specific teachers.

Join our email community

Sign-up to receive the Daily Meditations, featuring reflections on the wisdom and practices of the Christian contemplative tradition.

Hidden Fields

Find out about upcoming courses, registration dates, and new online courses.
Our theme this year is Radical Resilience. How do we tend our inner flame so we can stand in solidarity with the world without burning up or out? Meditations are emailed every day of the week, including the Weekly Summary on Saturday. Each week builds on previous topics, but you can join at any time.
In a world of fault lines and fractures, how do we expand our sense of self to include love, healing, and forgiveness—not just for ourselves or those like us, but for all? This monthly email features wisdom and stories from the emerging Christian contemplative movement. Join spiritual seekers from around the world and discover your place in the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life. Conspirare. Breathe with us.