Welcome to Love & Shalom, a place to reflect upon the spiritual potential that stirs within all things. By this means we may loosen the knots of our soul, as we grow and expand into a fuller expression of our true inner being. The threads of this weblog are wound like braided locks about the why, how and what of the most beautiful and cherished wisdom known to man. One strand runs through them all: the revolutionary claim that it is love which breaks open every blossom, and love which infuses every bud, branch and bough; for love is the nectar of life, and the key that turns the clockwork of the world – just as every mystic poet can avow.
A Greater Horizon
In analyzing God’s response to the grievances of Job, the scholar Johannes Pedersen concluded that: “man is never permitted to remonstrate with God and judge him[ , ] because God . . . has a far wider sphere of activity than man, and his deeds are accomplished against a greater horizon” (Israel, Vol. I). But what is the nature and dynamic of this “wider sphere” beyond our ken; and may we ever catch a glimpse of its broad expanse – in an instant of profound inspiration, desperation or reverie? Indeed at crucial turning points in life, many of us experience intimations of such an oceanic feeling, flowing from out of the depths of our heart.
This site provides an invitation and a summons to survey that “greater horizon” with the instrument of spiritual philosophy: new understandings may be made accessible, suggesting a more authentic way of living. Such investigations can also serve as guiding light for the “law” to be written on our heart – for when our nature becomes more like that of God, His love becomes our love; and our deeds become His deeds. Thus would it seem that divine revelation comes to us most directly through a special kind of attunement, such as in a harmonic field of sympathetic resonance, with the immense swirling canvas of life as an undivided whole.
But spiritual philosophy is only as relevant as its application to our own “sphere of activity.” We live, move and have our being in the world, as well as in God; and such lived experience is fundamental to any imperative we adopt. Therefore, we may also benefit by drawing upon the so-called Philosophy of Organism: a framework in which God and the world are organically interwoven in a love dance, in shared pursuit of the actualization of infinite potential. On this view, we breathe God in even as He breathes us out. This affirms the seamless nature of reality – while keeping us ever attentive to the priority, and promise, of the here and now.
Love and Shalom
The center round which our inquiry gathers is the pursuit and discovery of the essence of God, that we may then embody and manifest that essence in the world. Its embodiment is characteristically felt as a profoundly creative love, which delights ever more freely in joining the potentiality of “heaven” to the actuality of “earth.” Its manifestation, known by many initiates into the spiritual art and science as shalom, is generally experienced as an exalted celebration of life: a harmonious thriving; and a fruitfulness of flower, forest and field. This warp and weft is found in every corner of the world – and even in our highest hopes for mankind.
Let us assume the ideal state of humanity involves the greatest possible accord between our own soul, the spirit of God, and the enormous stock of souls in the world: in this context, love and shalom constitute the systole and diastole of that vital flow and movement. Love is the deep sense of kinship we feel for others – out of a sincere recognition of our underlying unity, at the very heart of our being. The degree to which this feeling also consciously extends to God, the fathomless source of potential buried in all things, is the degree of our depth of love; and such depth is the measure too of its ultimate healing and transformative power.
Shalom is the full scope of achievement of this same power: the return breath and ebb tide to the outflow of love; and the reaping of that which love has sown. In love we evoke the true self beyond polarity, imbuing the world with its unifying vision. In shalom we harvest the fruit of this effort, as dark places are renewed and rekindled, and finally all is set aglow. The world coalesces in God as a web of mutually gratifying relations, and as it slowly shines forth, it yields up a state of universal flourishing and resounding wholeness. To feel this brings new love that runs still deeper than before – in a fertile interplay, which spirals out forevermore.
The Edge of Chaos
Love and shalom comprise the initial drive and the final aim of every soul’s living purpose, but these precious elements are rare finds within the experience we have come to expect and to know. The manner in which we have learned to navigate such experience has estranged us from our own divine nature. We must now take up the charge to rediscover that birthright, and on a higher plane than ever before – so that we may in turn extend it consciously, and out into ever greater dimensions of creation. This has always been the quest of the ages: tracing back to the dawn of time; reaching down to the root and foundation of the world.
The story of life began long ago, in the conception of its ancient elemental forces. Our universe issued forth from the silent churning of a vast and fertile void, as light shone through the primordial froth and foam. All things bloomed out of this sparkling ocean: consciousness surging and swelling in the great expanse, and souls shaped by waves of evolutionary advance. Finally we emerged, and rose to the top – claiming agency over that same creative power bestowed by the sacred womb of old. This then was the means by which we were brought into being; delivered by the labors of the world, even guided by the very hand of God.
Yet the saga unfolds within us still, as we carry its seed in the ground of our soul. God joins us gently to each other, and to Himself, throughout this epic journey. With one arm, He embraces us from the heart of the world; with the other, He beckons across the wild frontier. We may face the shadows before we reach light, or crawl on our belly before we take flight. Every moment is a leap of faith, a plunge into mystery, a clarion call to adventure. So shall we explore our own uncharted existence: the tragedy and the triumph, the sorrow, the striving and the joy – for thus is the broad sweep of life, itself, where the edge of chaos draws nigh.
Or So They Say
All our travails are endured in pursuit of a singular objective, to draw out the good, the holy and the beautiful into a waiting and weary world. But these qualities reside only in the deep well of our heart, a well whose waters reflect the very movement of love and creation itself. We yearn to rock and sway in such harmony with that movement, that we may in turn be animated by its timeless, sacred fire. That is our greatest destiny and desire. Now and again it slips our grasp; but still, we are hopeful it will one day be there for the taking: over the trees, and beyond the hills, way out at rainbow’s end – or up just ahead, and right around the bend.
Across the sands of time, glimpses of God have faithfully been recorded, and out of this patchwork quilt a pattern is slowly revealed. The same sap flows in every tree, the same fire warms the hearth of every home; there is a love felt and spoken by the saints and the sages, and our soul has awoken to their wisdom of ages. Now we must solve all their riddles, so the hidden treasure at last can be found. Pure gold, perfect diamond, long lost pearl of great price: these are no less than the spirit divine, the wind under wing, and the trust born of self-sacrifice. Such is the wonder of the world, or so they say – for such is the boundless heart of life.
But mystics of every land insist that the kingdom of heaven lies within. The call echoes thus throughout all of eternity, we must transcend the shackles of our mind if we truly wish to be free. Yet we can only learn of such things by direct encounter and experience. A voice whispers behind the cosmic veil, resounding in the inner chambers of our soul; it urges us to follow its thread, to discover the path that we are meant to tread. Then may we finally join the chorus, blasting trumpets far and wide off every peak and mountainside: raising banners to the wind unfurled – and shouting everlasting truth, from out across the rooftops of the world!