What would it mean to love yourself?
“Let your God love you,” she said. I don’t believe in God. I believe in a mystic observation, of love, light and guidance within, which human beings can access. It would be better, obviously, to have a theory including what this whateveritis actually is, to pin it down, to describe it in prose rather than that irritating poetry, but the bare observation of how people feel and what they do, and what they say about it, shows the whatsit, this “Light”, this “Spirit”
(note the anger, my loathing of my incomprehension, my frustration, my inability to use positive words unqualified, because “Light within” is a huge thing)
this Light within
No, I don’t believe in it. Such a thing could not be in me. Yet “Let your God love you,” shared in the zoom Quaker meeting as the Americans there enter their election day, hit me over the head. I may still be giddy from it.
Now, I know the poetry becomes prose, literal and merely descriptive. For example, “The disordered society is full of loyal patriots” (Tao Te Ching, 18) is merely true. What else are we to call the loyal patriots but what they call themselves? “Be broken to be whole. Twist to be straight” may eventually prove to be prose too.
I am grasping after prose. There is something I do not know.
This light within that people call God
Tomorrow I will cycle thirteen miles (I hope) and the difficulty of it will be admitting it is difficult, because it should not be difficult, it should not trouble me at all. There I was at war, between the part of me driving myself on and the part telling the driver it was too much, miserable, trying to suppress my feeling of misery below my own consciousness even though it makes me depressed and stops me doing anything. That’s the root of the depression.
Then there’s the “inner light Which Is god”
scare quotes again
which could be the primary feeling which I fear and seek to suppress, because I should not find any difficulty. That protean, mercurial, changeable, reactive thing within me, could it be the Light? And the problem with it is all those unpleasant feelings, the fact that when there is something I cannot allow myself to admit I find difficult it feels the difficulty.
And it seems so completely in the moment in the worst possible way, in that it seeks short term comfort. Be comfortable for a minute because I won’t be, within an hour.
For twenty years I’ve been on this
and the point of it, I realised early, was not to feel angry and scared any more, and I realised that was what I wanted from it, and I realised that was full of shit even as I admitted it was what I wanted and I still wanted it. And I still want it. To stop feeling angry and afraid. To stop the world going on at its dizzying pace (here the world is, waiting for the result of the US elections, a lot of people feeling angry and afraid right now, loyal patriots terrified of each other)
I am on a spiritual journey
And then at worship someone shares a poem by Edwina Gateley finishing with the line “Let your God love you”. And I want that in prose. There’s the emotional being, within, feeling angry and hurt or frightened
when it is appropriate to feel angry, hurt, or frightened
and beneath it, perhaps, there is God, an inner light which I have never met, the bit I am supposed to have been seeking for nineteen years in various Quaker meetings, I may have been both wasting my time and disrupting every one else who has this Light, active and accessible.
God loves the emotional being. God, within me, loves the slave-driving part of me that cannot admit anything is difficult, because it is scared, and the resisting bit which is also scared and cannot bear the slave-drivinng bit. But both are complete shit, utterly worthless and bad, because they are scared. Who could love that but God?
“Hell is rejecting the love of God,” says prosaic Christian apology. That must be in CS Lewis somewhere.
How could I possibly? “Let your God love you.” Is there a God in me which loves all of me?
Just be, permit, and be loved, for c’est son metier. And then go out, not knowing who will be President (depending when you’re reading this) or cycling and being at war within, doing what you have to do.
There is a light within which loves me and loves the World and everyone in it. It is an emotional being looking at all of life and eternity. It is the Light of humanity.
Let your God love you.