This post continues the exploration of the three faces of the Ultimate, which is called by many names in our wonderfully wide variety of spiritual traditions and paths.
In my first blog post in this series, I introduced the three perspectives (represented in four quadrants) and said that individuals seem to lean toward one perspective, as do the spiritual traditions of the world. Since one of the cornerstones of Integral Theory is that each perspective is true but partial, experiencing the Ultimate from all three perspectives allows for a more complete and inclusive experience. It is also well to remember that each perspective “points to” the Ultimate, which is beyond description.
As you read this “pointing out” perspective, notice how you respond to the Second Face. Do you find it familiar? Odd? Uncomfortable? Reassuring? Noticing your own reaction is a clue to the perspective you inhabit most fully.
Seeking and experiencing Ultimate Reality from a second person perspective finds us listening and praying to, receiving from and communing with the Divine. The focus shifts from It to Thou. We experience into a kind of intimacy where we feel known and held in a divine embrace. Our heart opens deeply and we surrender to the one about whom naught can be said. It is from this perspective that we find a large part of our moral compass. Prayer, devotional singing and worship are ways in which we enter this sacred I/Thou space.
The writings of many of the mystics, including Rumi, Hafiz and Teresa of Avila, portray their second person experience of God. Filled with passionate and heartfelt language, their words express a beautiful intimacy with the Divine.
These words and images help us soak in the Second Person of Spirit . . .
As a doe longs for flowing streams, so my soul longs for you O God.
I am born of you and I am Yours. What do you want of me?
Teresa of Avila
My soul is your temple; my actions are your hands. My body is your home and my senses witness only you. My sleep is pure meditation on You, these walking feet are your journey. Whatever comes from my mouth is a prayer to you, O Lord, everything I say and do is worship to You.
Shankara from: Shiva Manasa Pooja
About the Author
Barbara Alexander is a change agent whose passion is human growth and development. She has a M.A. in Counseling Psychology, with a post graduate certificate in Gestalt Therapy and practiced as a licensed psychotherapist for 20 years. During this time she consulted and provided training in the private and non-profit sectors. She also taught Gestalt Therapy. Learn more about Barbara here.