Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Even the Greatest Saints Prayed

 So the Masters told me when I was in the first flush of enthusiasm for meditation. But actually you could say especially the greatest saints prayed.

Something I have noticed more and more, though it's been around a long time, is that if you ask someone if they believe in God they will often, assuming they say yes, redefine God to mean something else. So they might say that yes, I believe in God. He is the One Life or he is the Self that exists within us all or he is the unmanifested Void that exists in the space between vibrations or he is what I am in my truest and best self. But all this means he is not he at all. He is it.

I would question anyone who says he believes in God but then turns God into an impersonal force or abstraction or cosmic absolute. God is not an energy that we can tap into to further ourselves, even further ourselves spiritually. He is not an impersonal Nothingness even if that nothingness be regarded as the seedbed of all existence. That concept, by the way, applies more to the chaos of matter before it is 'breathed' on by God and stirred into active existence, and those who plunge in their meditations into the Void might consider whether they are actually engaging in a positive spiritual practice or returning their consciousness to its pre-created state which is not necessarily the way forward.

Mystical spirituality attracts two types of people. Those who love God and those who want to become God or believe they already are God. At the extremes these are represented by Christ and Satan which should sound a note of warning to the latter type who might see God as impersonal being and therefore regard the spiritual path as one of knowledge or awareness. So it is but it is primarily a path of love and if love is not the driving force for your spiritual journey you risk going off the road. Prayer is love. That is what it essentially is, and love is directed towards a personal being. God is a personal being not an impersonal energy and that is why the saints all pray. Certainly there are deep states of consciousness available to those who seek a God of impersonal being but these are outside Heaven. The perfection of prayer is what heaven is.


a_probst said...

"...it is primarily a path of love and if love is not the driving force for your spiritual journey you risk going off the road."

I'm not sure if I know what love is. It's hard to overcome the childhood tendency to see salvation as a question of 'making the grade' or 'keeping one's nose clean'. Such is the takeaway from CCD or Sunday school lessons.

William Wildblood said...

I appreciate your honesty. Too many people fake love but I think the sincere aspiration to love is an excellent start. And prayer will help with that.

Go Yave said...

Alas many re-define God to confuse a descriptive title with the Being Himself.

And prayer is communication.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - I agree with your post, and it made me think further on the subject.

There are so many misleading things said about 'prayer' that it seems to me yet another subject on which we must each, individually, seek clarification from intuition and by communing with the Holy Ghost.

For example, I don't suppose that a typical modern Man will get anything positive simply from 'saying prayers' - because it would, to him, simply be just that: saying some words. Before prayer can have an effect, there may well be a need to clarify some very basic things - such as that there is a creator, and the creator is a personal God, and perhaps too that that personal God creator loves us individually.

If someone can get such matters somewhat clear, then he can pray. Or, maybe that is what his prayer might consist in: the inner desire to understand such matters.

Before I could pray with effect and benefit, I myself needed to sort out that there was a loving Father and personal God. And then I had some immediate effects of prayer which pushed me over the edge into becoming a Christian.

But many times, in earlier years, I had said prayers of many and various kinds but without any clear idea of what I was doing - and these did not good at all - so far as I could see.


As for the great Saints; I suppose that their prayers were of various kinds, but often would have been the times of direct communication with God.

Why is prayer necessary for Saints? Because in this mortal world even Saints do not live always in communication with God - not least because God seemingly wants us to do as much as possible for ourselves and from ourselves, and his direct guidance is mostly corrective. I don't think that this world is (for most people) intended to be one in which we set aside our-selves and passively follow divine guidance; it is one in which we learn through struggles.

Prayer can help and sometimes be essential, but prayer does not remove the need to struggle and learn.

William Wildblood said...

Prayer has many levels to it from simple requests to God for spiritual aid to intense communion. But important to them all is the sense of orienting the mind to our Maker. It is placing ourselves in the presence of the living God.