I had no fancy words when I was young. I had no understanding of terms of religious description or doctrine. I had no ideas about history and who may have written their versions of it. Life was simple in the extreme; I got up, lived my day in the present moment as it unfolded, went to bed and was taught by Jesus Christ [between the ages of three and seven every single night]. I saw Him as clearly as you see the person next to you, felt Him, this was not spiritual sight, this was solid, physical presence. All very simple at the time, nothing unusual in it for me. My life was whole, complete and happy.
I knew nothing of formal prayer; of the concepts of sin or of what was and what was not acceptable to God according to someone elses doctrine. So everything that came to me was complete in itself. If I had questions they were answered by Him. Loving Him, I loved with one hundred percent, nothing held back, nothing protected. I saw God in everything else too; it never occurred to me that others would see this as an issue for debate. I didn’t know what debate was. So as I lay in the orchard on my tummy checking out for hours the tiny beetles and insects crawling up stems of grass, or lay on my back watching blue skies and clouds rolling across them, or shinned trees or paddled in ditches for frogspawn; to me it was all part of the same great whole that was God, visible on Earth. The flowers, the trees, the animals, every human, the sky, the soil; all were visible aspects of God just as I was. God was in music, in dance, in painting, in learning to read, in feeding my rabbit or playing with my bulldog. There was never a time when God was not in my world and my nightly teachings only added to the understanding of the layered whole that Christ was building for me.
It didn’t matter whether I hiccupped or had measles when my Lord attended me; I did not have to wear my best dress or be anything than exactly who I was. I did not have to go down on bended knee or repeat prayers after a certain fashion, or be anything other than my small serious and sometimes very mischievous self. I would bubble over with excitement as I told him about my day; what I had found or discovered; the robins had laid four eggs in our pear tree or I had seen beautiful dragonflies on our pond, or that we had eaten our first strawberries and that my Dad was annoyed because the blackbirds had got to most of them before us. All was in the round, embraced within the circle, suffused with the joy of life, the experience of Creation itself. And I was cosmically hugged by this beautiful loving smiling laughing Lord. Sometimes He would laugh at my antics until tears rolled down his cheeks, then I would become infected and we would giggle like we had a secret than nobody else knew. So here I was, young, tender and growing along His chosen path for me, that had no boundaries, led every step of the way by my Lord, always bidding me to look beyond horizons, to look deep into the beyond-ness and follow its Light. Loves extending; ever creating, creation without beginning or end. He was my best friend. He was as natural a presence in my life as my parents and my sister. He was constant, and with Him my heart could soar and fly for no barriers or restrictions were placed upon me. And so I was, a Christian, chosen and called by the Lords grace and presence but it was to be a long while before I could see what essence of Christianity he had in mind for my journey, my path. Christ spoke to me of a Love so vast it created, encompassed and was visible in everything, everyone, throughout all time and all space, worlds without end. Amen. This glorious magnificence of God is in every atom. He spoke of Universal Godhead experiencing itself through form. Thus it entered all form and was within all form. Form includes every atom, every stone, every water droplet, every person and animal, vegetable, mineral…everything.It was to be a lot of years before I could see that I was following a mystical direction of travel, and that if I had anything in common with any tradition, it was to the ancient rhythms of the Celtic Church that my heartbeat was in tune with; the immanence of the Cosmic Christ; the Christ beyond Christianity. To them what was important was to build up an awareness of God who is nearer to us than ourselves. The concept of divine immanence, an integral part of Orthodoxy, has been largely lost in the West, but is retained in the Celtic tradition and is also inherent in mysticism.
I was confirmed into the Protestant Church aged twelve. As the Bishop placed his hands on my head, I felt a bolt of blue light come through my head and flash through my body exiting from my hands and feet. As I looked up in shock, I saw Jesus Christ there standing beside the bishop, smiling at me. It had been five years since I had seen him. I found comfort in the Protestant family; they nourished me through my childhood years and gave me the magic of the nativity, simple childhood faith, the Apostles Creed and a comprehensive grounding into Christian doctrine. I ‘converted’ to Roman Catholicism at thirty-one years old, and felt Christ again within that circle. I found the beauty of mystery in the Catholic Church and felt cherished by its statues and ceremonies, its ritual and ancientness. But the bounds of both these traditions chaffed my spiritual flesh, they felt too restrictive compared with my Lords expansiveness. I am a member of both the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church, yet I belong to Christ. I knew I needed to stretch and stretch and stretch, to gulp in air and soar above the altar, beyond the altar; to where it led me. I was looking for the Love match, Cinderella’s slipper if you like. Once I had reached that I knew I could soar beyond boundaries and continue my process spiritual development. I found it where I least expected it.
Mystics have always understood that what we call The Cosmic Christ extends far beyond the perimeters of the religion known as Christianity, loving, nurturing and sustaining all life. It is our relationship with this Cosmic Christ that we nurture and develop.
For me, the Celtic stream of Christianity; where all life is universally connected, everything belongs, everything has its own unique belonging within creation and blessings embrace all events, all thresholds and all seasons: this is true communion. This is so beautifully represented in the art, circles and interconnecting patterns, the end is its own new beginning. It is in this osmosis of the Cosmic Christ that enables us to see and describe life as One. The glory of God is man fully alive and this is why many of my blogs work around The Prayer of Enoch because in this prayer, all is embraced. God is in all. The mystical tradition sits in contemplative prayer-attending God and as Fr Rohr says in this video link below; when your prayer reaches this level you see life as both/and, not either/or. It colours our whole understanding of physical life and eternal life and in this video clip, Fr Richard Rohr explains this in a very beautiful way. I hope you really enjoy this. I have chosen to upload photos of Iona, which he speaks of and which is very close to where I live. I will be blogging more on the spiritual legacies of Iona in coming blogs.
But first; a piece I wrote back in 2002.
My Being is the only safety within a jungle of confusion and illusion.
Within my Being is the Cosmic Christ
The destination of the journey
The refreshment of the parched,
The food graciously offered to the starving.
Christed One, Be One with me
Hold me tight and keep me from harms way
For I am lost, lonely in this world and have great need of your Light.
My will is Thy Will and Thy Will is mine.
My desert shall be watered from the sweetness
Of my desire for Thee Beloved,
And mine enemies shall be scattered in the winds
That sweep the plains and hills.
Blessed Be my Soul, in grace and Love.
My Lord, my Beloved answers my cry, and I am no longer alone