Saturday, June 10, 2017

Soul Dancing

One recent holy day, in the Christian cycle, was Pentecost. According to that tradition, this was the day the Holy Spirit flowed from on high and danced as fiery tongues upon the followers of Jesus. They claimed a direct experience of the Divine.

Pentecost is a holy day, as with those in many other traditions, that defies logic. We often read, or are even taught, these stories as metaphors, not as actual occurrences. As metaphor, they provide the basis for creed, doctrine and dogma without necessitating actual subjective experience.

No matter the religious or spiritual belief, embodied experience sets one apart. These are uncontrolled and uncontrollable mystical experiences. They are the moments when we touch, and are touched by, the Divine. We all can describe moments akin to these: the joy when we feel the first quickening of a new life; the quiet awe of a glorious sunset; the wonder of a rainbow after a wild storm.

Mystical experiences are like these, yet different. They are deeper, higher, broader, more intense. We can turn away from a sunset and miss the deep wonder of it. We cannot, often dare not, turn away from the Divine when Its touch reaches out toward us. The encounter with the Presence of the Divine without mediator, without outside sanction, is both thrilling and terrifying. We are in unknown territory with only that Ineffable Presence as guide. We have no clear idea what will happen.

And yet.... and yet these moments of intense encounter causes our soul to dance. Whether you believe, as the author of the above quote, that the soul is inside the body or that it is outside the body, it is an animating force. A mystical experience, an encounter with the Holy Other, enlivens that animating force as no other experience can.

I long to live my life, each and every day of it, allowing space for that encounter. Then, when it happens, I know my soul will dance.

How do you experience the Divine? What are your encounters with the Ineffable One like? What makes your soul dance inside your body? Is that a feeling you desire? Why or why not? Do you recall one or more mystical experiences you have had? What brings you the deepest joy? What do you want with/from your encounters with the Divine?

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