The Awakening Institute exists to help God's people profoundly know, see, hear and respond to God, who is with us, and to equip them to go into their churches to do the same for others.
By promoting the development of a deepening awareness of who we are, as those created in the image and likeness of God, as well as a deepening awareness of God with us, through a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light
BLOG #17February 22, 2021
In today’s BLOG, as we consider Contemplative Spaciousness, we come to the end of our introduction to Contemplative Simplicity, Solitude, Silence, Stillness and Spaciousness. Over the months, perhaps the years, to come we will unpack these contemplative postures and consider many spiritual practices by which we can live into them.
Contemplative spaciousness in some ways brings us back to simplicity. Rather than simplicity in our life however, it is participation in the simplicity of God as a way of simply being in God. God is three persons in One. These three person (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) are in peripheric union with one another. Perichoresis refers to a divine dance. Contemplative spaciousness in a nutshell is our joining in on the dance and simply letting God lead.
Contemplative Spaciousness is faith in the truth and the freedom we enjoy as Christians who live, move, and have our being in Christ Jesus, no gap, no separation, just infinite being. This is the radically open, undefensive, and in the moment freedom of simply being in the infinite mystery of God, without thought, image, concept, or words. This is the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Rom.8:21). It is freedom of and in eternity in which we are simply our pure, unadorned, naked, God created true selves radiating in the midst of the radiant God. The radiance of God’s radiance in which we have been graced too simply be. This is freedom that comes from a pure heart that is fully content with not knowing, or needing to know, as we are drawn beyond knowing from an informational perspective, to an inner vast transcendent knowing that flows not from doing but simply being. Paradoxically, this is a way of being unknown and unknowing while simultaneously being intimately known by God. This is the way of knowing as we are known. (see 1 Cor.13:12).
Contemplative spaciousness is not really space at all, as much as it is union in and with the One God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) who transcends all space and time as those filled with the Holy Spirit and in Christ Jesus. The Apostle Paul spoke of this. You can sense the paradox in Pauls’ words as he searches for a way to describe that which is indescribable.
I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven-- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. 3 And I know that such a person-- whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows-- 4 was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. NRS
2 Corinthians 12:2
Contemplative spaciousness is the holy space of a realized pure heart, which simply knows itself as simply being in the midst of God, who is the One who truly is, the great I AM.
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. NRS Matthew 5:8
The purity of the human being with a realized pure heart/spirit simply is us being in the midst God’s isness. The way of Contemplative spaciousness, not a way of seeing God as an object but as holy being who is everywhere and nowhere simultaneously. God is everything yet God is no thing. God is not a thing. Contemplative spaciousness is comfort, contentment, with and in the infinite mystery of God. This is a spacious awareness that goes beyond words, thought, image, or concept. Contemplative spaciousness is the infinity of God in which we become fully immersed and soaked. It is union, but it is differentiated union, (we are not lost, or absorbed in God). Yet, it is in the moment hard to know where we end and God begins, or God begins and we end, as the infinite light of God touches the light of the infinite light of the image of God, who we are. The beauty being that we can just rest in the Reality of God without needing to know and in so doing know all that needs to be known as we become those through whom Love flows into the world. Loves kenotic flow though the fully surrendered, humble, willing image of Love. Holy spaciousness is the realization that all creation is interconnected and being gathered in Christ. It is holiness of being within the eternal holy flow where all God’s creation is invited and drawn by God grace, back into God who has never left us or forsaken us. This is a holy movement into union with God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). We thus move from our disconnected, dualistic, and fragmented existence back into a nondual Oneing where we simply are, and God simply is. This is the place of realized reconciliation with God and all creation becomes a way of being. Attempts to explain God, to define God, even to name God, or the ways of God, go by the wayside as fully inadequate. This is the irony of trying to use words to describe the ineffable. But I will continue to try my best. Contemplative spaciousness is a holy drawing into what the 14th century writer of the Cloud of Unknowing referred to as a cloud of forgetting, in which we leave behind our inept attempts to define God, life, and creation as inadequate for this way being. We are herein drawn by God into what the writer of the Cloud1 refers to as the cloud of unknowing. This is the holy way of freedom that allows us to simply be our naked, unadorned, true self “in Christ Jesus, in God,” who is simply purity of being, who simply is, without description or need for us to understand. We simply receive the Reality that.
For freedom Christ has set us free. NRS Galatians 5:1a
As with contemplative, simplicity, silence, solitude, and stillness this is not something we do as much as it is a way of being that which we have always been, by the grace of God. Like stillness this spaciousness is purely an act of God’s grace to which we have fully surrendered. Thus, we discover that Contemplative Spaciousness is not static. In fact, it is more dynamic than we could have ever imagined. We have not entered a void where nothing occurs, but an indescribable of being the fullness of who we have been created to be. The difference is, now all that occurs flows from God who is Love in union with the image of Love as we have now become nonresistant kenotic vessels through whom God’ s Love, without any effort on our part, (as all action is now God’s action), flows into the world, for all eternity. Not just for now, as we live today, but for all eternity. We have now awakened to and been set free to be who we truly are, as those who live move and have our being in Christ Jesus. Our will is fully united with God’s will, which we discover is synonymous with the will of our true self, which is the very image of God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit). This is more than unity of will, however, as it is union of the fully effective and vibrant image of God with the Creator of the Image. Thus, union occurs at the spirit, soul, mind, and body essences of humanity. The born again, fully alive human spirit, a healed soul, which is inwardly and outwardly expanding, the renewed mind, and the transformed body which has become the seed of the imperishable body. All of this of course negates any separated solely spiritual, or ethereal concept of contemplative spaciousness, for in this way of being we discover all creation (heaven and earth) as one and realize that the incarnation of God, Christ Jesus, and our life in Christ Jesus is the holy ground where union of the glorified image and the One who is the Creator and glorifier of the image occurs. This is the mystical movement of awakening to God who is Love, being purified by God who is Love, being illuminated by God who is Love and uniting with God who is Love, having come to full fruition in the infinite, mysterious contemplative spaciousness, where all things are possible in Christ Jesus.