Our Love Affair With God (Part 2)

By Eric Butterworth
Our Love Affair With God (Part 2)

Perhaps the great prerequisite to meditation, or to engaging in the “love affair with God,” is the conviction that there is a Center within you and within the universe, and at that Center of convergence with the Infinite within you, your self is the emanation or image-likeness of God, and thus totally good. Charles Fillmore puts it thusly: “There is a divine goodness at the root of all existence .... No man is so lowly but that at the touch of its secret spring this divine goodness may be brought to light in him.... This goodness sleeps in the recesses of every mind and comes forth when least expected.”

There is little point in going to a bank for a withdrawal unless you know that you have an account there with adequate deposits. There is no purpose in engaging in meditation unless you believe that God is a Presence that is present, unless you believe that there is a “point of total convergence” at the root of you where you are ... created in the image-likeness of God, the Christ, the Son of the living God. Meditation is not the means of painting your inner self with a gilding of divinity. It is, rather, the gentle call to “awake thou that sleepest,” to realize and release the Allness of love, and to “open out a way whence the imprisoned splendor may escape.”

At the very root and center of you; there is only God, which means there is a point in you where you are only God. “Be still,” says the Psalmist, “and know that 1 am God” (Ps. 46:10). Meditation is the ‘‘be still, and know.” And since we are told that “God is love,” this knowing can be, should be, an affirmation of love—leading to its feeling and acceptance. At the Center—here there is only God, who is love, I am God and

I am Love. It is this knowing that God is and I AM which brings us into a consciousness of “total synthesis.” This is the great love affair with God. This is pure meditation. It has no object, seeks no experience, desires no thing, works for no demonstration. It does not even try to create oneness; it is Oneness, a great fusing of light at the Center, “the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world” (In. 1:9 KJV).

Now, as in all love experiences, there is an elevation of consciousness. Thus because of your inward perception and feeling, everything in your world as revealed by your senses appears different. Jesus acknowledges this when He says “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt: 5:8). In elevation of consciousness, one sees from a transcendent level, one sees from the consciousness of God, by which one sees the point of light at the center of all things and all people.

An Experience in Seeing Transcendentally
Take a few moments for another exercise, an experience in seeing transcendentally. Look around you wherever you are. (It might be more effective if you are seated outdoors in a garden or park.) Fix your attention on a tree, a flower, a cloud, a bird, or a lonely person seated on a park bench. Get the feeling of that “inmost center” within you where you experience oneness with God’s love. Feel the warmth of love flowing through you and from you. In this loving consciousness, you are letting yourself be loved from within and letting yourself be love. And then-look lovingly upon the tree or flower or person.

If you sit still enough and concentrate on not doing anything or even trying to see anything, you will suddenly sense and see in a way beyond sight a radiance of light in that object or person. You will feel a closeness with it that is not emotional or sensual. It will give rise to understanding, to friendliness, and to a total freedom from fear. This is the height of the Oriental ‘‘Namaskar’’ (the divinity in me salutes the divinity in you). In this consciousness, there could be no conflict, no hurt or harm, no fear or bitterness. There could be only a kind of joining of what is deepest within that object or person. George Washington Carver meditated on the lowly peanut in this way and unlocked its secrets, bringing prosperity to the entire South. Dostoevsky says this practice of relating to all of nature with love will lead you to “perceive the divine mystery of things ... and you will come at last to love the whole world with an all-embracing love.”

Keep in mind that this love is not something that comes from you, something that is generated in you and by you. It is an energy force flowing through you from that cosmic Center within you and touching and igniting that same energy force within the object or person. Now we can see how the kind of thoughts that reveals an absence of love-fear, hatred, hostility, resentment, anger-frustrates this inner realization and flow of transcendental love, and causes us to relate to the object or person on a purely surface level that is exterior to this inner point of oneness of love. This is why it is truly said that “perfect love casts out fear” (1 Jn. 4:18) and love “overcomes the world” (1 Jn. 5:4). 

Of course, this does not mean that simply voicing the words, “I love you,” will establish this oneness. As someone once said, “I loved him all the way to the divorce court.” This shows how the word “love” has so often been a cover-up for hypocrisy. It is not just affirming, “I know love can solve this inharmony between us, and I will love him even if it kills me.” As we have been saying, love is not the plaything of the emotions or senses, but the activity of divine law.

The need is to turn from the conflict and “let the soul banish all that disturbs .... “ And then “think of Spirit as shining in from all sides” while you relax and be still. Let the emanations of the cosmic point of divine Love flow in and through you, lifting you to the feeling of being love, enabling you to think loving thoughts of the other person, and thus relate to that depth of love which is surely within that person—no matter how he or she may have been frustrating it. 


Read Part 1 of Our Love Affair With God.

 

Life Is for LovingReprinted from Life Is for Loving with permission of Harper One, San Francisco, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers.

Eric Butterworth served as the senior minister at The Unity Center of New York from 1961 to 1963. Over the course of his career, he wrote 16 best-selling books on spirituality, including the Oprah Winfrey favorite, Discover the Power Within You. Thousands of recordings and documents produced during Butterworth’s lifetime are now part of an historic collection inherited by Unity Institute & Seminary. For more information on the Butterworth collection visitwww.ericbutterworth.com.