Julian of Norwich, Part II — Center for Action and Contemplation

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Julian of Norwich, Part II

Mystics and Non-Dual Thinkers: Week 2

Julian of Norwich, Part II
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The place which God takes in our soul he will never vacate, for in us is his home of homes, and it is the greatest delight for him to dwell there. . . . The soul who contemplates this is made like the one who is contemplated. –Julian of Norwich, Showings

On that day, you will know that you are in me and I am in you. –John 14:20

“That day” that John refers to has been a long time in coming, yet it has been the enduring message of every great religion in history. It is the Perennial Tradition. Divine and thus universal union is still the core message and promise—the whole goal and the entire point of all religion.

Lady Julian of Norwich uses the idea of “oneing” to describe divine union. In Chapter 53 of Revelations of Divine Love, she writes, “The soul is preciously knitted to Him in its making by a knot so subtle and so mighty that it is oned into God. In this oneing, it is made endlessly holy. Furthermore, He wants us to know that all the souls which are one day to be saved in heaven without end are knit in this same knot and united in this same union, and made holy in this one identical holiness.”

In Showings Julian says, “By myself I am nothing at all, but in general, I AM the oneing of love. For it is in this oneing that the life of all people exists” (Chapter 9). She continues: “The love of God creates in us such a oneing that when it is truly seen, no person can separate themselves from another person” (Chapter 65), and “In the sight of God all humans are oned, and one person is all people and all people are in one person” (Chapter 51).

This is not some 21st century leap of logic. This is not pantheism or mere “New Age” optimism. This is the whole point. It was, indeed, supposed to usher in a new age—and it still can and will. Radical union is the recurring experience of the saints and mystics of all religions. Our job is not to first discover it, but only to retrieve what has been re-discovered—and enjoyed, again and again—by those who desire and seek God and love. When you think you have “discovered” it, you will be just like Jacob “when he awoke from his sleep” and shouted “You were here all the time, and I never knew it!” (Genesis 28:16).

As John said in his Letter, “I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, I am writing to you here because you know it already”! (1 John 2:21). I can only convince you of spiritual things because your soul already knows what is true, and that is why I believe and trust Julian’s showings too. For the mystics there is only one Knower, and we just participate.

Adapted from Immortal Diamond: The Search For the True Self, p. 95;
Intimacy: The Divine Ambush,
disc 7 (CD, MP3 download);
Things Hidden: Scripture as Spirituality, pp. 45-46;
and “The Perennial Tradition,” Oneing, Vol. 1 No. 1, 14

Gateway to Silence:
“Nothing can come between God and the soul.” —Julian of Norwich

Photograph (detail) by pedrojperez
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