Psalm 43

Maryam (can we share, as only sisters share?)
Oh Maryam, He winks! In fun-filled affection He winks!
& i feel His pleasure! His all-embracing love!

& (though mind faints in utter confusion) yet;
Ever & ever my fluttering heart consents! – He is utterly
Utterly outrageous! – Nobody’s Christ – But mine

 

Kevin Moran 14/11/10

Whakapapa: ‘Maryam’ is Arabic for Mary. The psalm is written from the perspective of the feminine (or soul) & based on the same dream that psalm 42 is based on: ‘I saw a bearded man looking affectionately at me. I knew he knew me very, very well, though I had never seen him before. His face looked Middle Eastern. He had a Middle Eastern coat on. I could see him from the waist up. He was positioned higher than me, looking downward at me, smiling affectionately. Unexpectedly, he winked knowingly at me. His wink took me utterly by surprise. I felt shocked and awed.’

After the dream, I came across a number of passages in Tom Cheetham’s book, ‘After Prophecy – Imagination, Incarnation, and the Unity of the Prophetic Tradition’ which spoke of an encounter with the ‘Face of the Angel’ (‘Nobody’s Christ but mine’ in my psalm). Cheetham has a wonderful gift of being able to put complex ideas in simple, yet profound language. He draws primarily on the writings of Henri Corbin, who in turn is drawing on the experiences & writings of various Sufi and Christian mystics, particularly Sufi, Ibn Arabi. A core idea in Corbin’s writing is that each person has a unique Angel (or Christ, or Self). An encounter with this Angel is called a theophany. Each person’s experience of the Angel is unique. The Angel is a unique spark of the Godhead, which is (potentially) present to each human being. The Angel needs the cooperation of the human being to experience & incarnate within creation. The human being needs the cooperation of the Angel to become his or her true Self & to know his or her connection to Creation & the Divine. The aim of the spiritual life is to orientate one’s life toward the Angel. I will quote a number of passages that will hopefully throw further light on the poem.
‘The summit of contemplation … is the exodus of the soul from estrangement & disorientation and toward its Orient, its celestial origin – toward the Face of the Angel.’
‘It is not the ‘God of Gods’ who does not exist without us – it is the Lord, the Angel Holy Spirit, whose fiery face opens out into a myriad of theophenies to bring to light the diversity of creation. We are necessary partners in this creative, intimate, personal relationship with the transcendent. The bond with the Angel requires everything from us. The Annunciation is not an event in history – it is a call:

‘Hail Mary!’ so thou greetedest Her:
Yet, Gabriel, what doth this avail
To me, unless thou likewise come
And greet me with the self-same ‘Hail!’

I must be Mary and myself
Give birth to God, would I possess
– Nor can I otherwise – God’s gift
Of everlasting Happiness. ‘

The poem is from Angelus Silesius: 17th Century Christian mystic. Quotes Pgs. 142/143, ‘After Prophecy’, Tom Cheetham

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