Symbols of the world's religions



Francis Brabazon

The veils of the Beloved are mirrors to the lover. What is seen in a mirror is not reality, but a reflection of one's own desire. But since the lover is drunk he takes the reflection of his desire as the reality of the Beloved.

The beauty of the Beloved is according to the lover's desire. The light of the Beloved's beauty searches through the lover's heart illumining the shapes that his eye has painted upon its walls. When the lover is pleased with what is revealed he asks for more skill that he may realize his concepts more fully. When he is disconcerted and vexed with what he sees he prays for a new box of paints so that he can cover the old pictures with new compositions. The Beloved satisfies both sorts of lover, for his patience and compassion are inexhaustible. But for the few who are weary and disgusted with all picture-making, he burns the paint off the walls — nay, he demolishes the house itself so that in the vacancy created longing has room to grow, and separation may become complete.

The shadow of Creation, 69,999 thicknesses of it, was across the face of the Sun of Truth. The shadow was contained by a thread of light, and the shadow gave the light its form. And that form was adorable, and the light of it dazzled our eyes. (God help us when the Word of the Sun tears off a couple more folds of shadow and reveals its veil of glory. Only those who have become blind through love will be able to keep turned towards it and bravely hold on to the dress of its Name. The rest of us will be flat on our faces clawing up dirt to cover the flesh of our spirits from the burning.)

The eternal Beloved who created all things, the Ancient-ever-new-One, was sitting before us — and we only saw the outermost-but-one shadow of his Reality, with the light of his smile playing across it. But those who lived with him had seen also the Shape of his suffering; and so, although they too knew nothing of his Reality, they knew that his radiance was only his divine response to his lovers's love.

They remembered that this Form which now was a fountain of affirmations, only a few weeks ago moved scarcely more than breathing stone; that those eyes which now were mirrors glancing bright love, were slate shutters against pain's escape.

He had covered the Shape of suffering with a veil of radiance so that his lovers would have gladness to take away with them. He had not touched his infinite Bliss, nor drawn on his infinite Power. These he will enjoy only when from the last depths of Humiliation, he utters his Oceanic Word of Power and rises in glory.

The Rose was glorifying the garden with its brightness, but the cry of its perfume was locked in its heart because the garden was surrounded by steel helmets shading muzzles of eyes in lead faces.

The Vintner was pouring out wine, but he did not move freely among the customers for his feet were nailed to the floor.

The Bridegroom was talking to the wedding-guests, but he did not kiss the Bride because his hands were manacled behind his back.

On the top of the hill stands the King's Castle.
Leaning up towards it are battalions of flowers weeping—
for the King is in a dungeon sleeping.

On the top of the hill the Castle seems to be dreaming—
dreaming of the King's past lordship and his future glory
when in each heart is sung his matchless story.

On the top of the hill the Castle sparkles like a jewel.
Its dream and the flowers' grief is broken—
For the King is preparing to speak the Word that is to be spoken.


1965 © Meher House Publications


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