The Elements

When Easter is over we tend to forget about such things as the Resurrection, or our place in the grand scheme of things, at least until right about Christmas time when our fashion turns to “church chic” again. One reason might simply be that we don’t really understand what is expected of us to do, what it means to do good, what it means to be a child of God. Or even come close to thinking we could serve in the War in Heaven, which has finished, which is finishing, and which will finish. Let’s maybe break it down, because there are lots of theories that can account for basically everything, if in broad strokes. Let’s see if there’s something we can aim for, perhaps not that lofty, something we can live with, if not live by.

We can say there are things one might call wyrds, like words but with a sort of greater meaning to them. “Wyrd” to capture the two words, word and weird, where “weird” is used in its old sense, that of fate. They are of what we call the Logos, which can be said to be the Wyrd of God. All the angels had been given charge of a wyrd, which governed the function of some part of heaven and earth, which is to say that the universe is made of wyrds. They are the way things work. Satan, before he rebelled, was responsible for a wyrd, as were all who rebelled with him. And when they rebelled, each of them tried to destroy their personal wyrds, by attempting to pervert things to the point where they could be rendered meaningless. None of them, thankfully, succeeded. And their wyrds were taken away.

So, if you say that by wyrds being played, it is the universe at work, then it’s all a grand story that is being told. And the formal and otherwise logic of this wyrld (what I call the encompassing of both the seen and unseen worlds) is defined simply as the way things work, the way things function. There are wyrds that govern other wyrds, so that, for instance, “rose” might mean a different thing told in Heaven than told on Earth. One important wyrd, what you might capitalize, is from the beginning: this is the Wyrd of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is as well as being King of us here, is King of all the angels. His Wyrd is the sacred name, “YHVH”. What Philip K. Dick defined as “he who causes to be”. The three parts of the Trinity, in fact, each have their own wyrd.

The Wyrd of the Holy Spirit is not capitalized, for it is “love”. This is the Spirit of God. This is what it means, that God is love. That of God the Father, the En Sof, is “I Am”. Note, here, that we are still talking about one God, and not three. The angels are the embodiments of the one wyrd they were meant to be about, but God is all “I Am” and all “YHVH” and all love. (God is all love: never forget this, for by it is perhaps the best opportunity to comprehend the divine while still on this Earth.) And you may blaspheme against the Father and the Son and be forgiven, but one who blasphemes against the Spirit shall not be forgiven, in this world or the next. That would be saying “no” to love that is true, for as we are made in the image of love, we are denying that part of us that the Spirit asks, and that part of us dies. This is sin.

As the cosmos, all creation, can be said to be made of wyrds, the stories being told are the structures that hold them in place as experiences: the universe exists as all the stories being told that came to be because God and then you made the choices you did. Things that happen, if they carry a logical skein from a beginning to an end—of course these are stories, but the physical, the real things that exist are no more than information themselves. [Philip K. Dick] And when we say, unequivocally, the best story wins (this is a truth), it is not just to say some representation of material things tied together with added meaning wins, not something that needs to be written down: we are talking about that the things themselves having a meaning, and no translation is needed between the symbols and their reality. That all things are wyrd and story are a way of seeing how the universe actually works.

Now, one need not work in terms of good and evil to know which plot to follow; I once thought to put it as anima vs. entropy: life vs. decay. Good and evil, these are well known terms, though. Or are they? The side of good, of life and love, is not always to be a part of the well established virtues; nor is it always to be a rebel against the monolithic structures that oppress us. It is both much more complicated that that, and ultimately simpler. There is a narrow way that preserves logic and is also in accordance with the heart. Our stories are different from theirs, good vs. evil, for theirs lack both logic and heart—seeking only power at any cost. I admit that evil mystifies me at times, but if there is any understanding of it, it is in the seeking of power. And anyone and anything is to be used and spent in trying to get it.

So it is that theirs is an awful story, to say if you count them all as seeking the same thing as everyone on their side, it is actually umpteen billion different things. Completely the opposite of good, where all the differences coalesce into the greater fortune. Ours is like the music of the Ainur in the “Ainulindalë”, all different tunes in concert to bring about the will of the Creator. Just that instead of music, that we use the wyrds to tell a story. And the outcome is already destined, simply: the best story wins. It is intrinsic to the nature of creation. What is best? That which outperforms the rest, of course. Which is not to say that it’s all a cakewalk, for evil, when it does gain power, will harshly undermine what is of light and truth: the light and the truth, by which we write our own stories.

The narrow way, of satisfying competing goals: this is what is often the path of the right thing to do. One understands that many of what needs to be accomplished is far easier said than done. And in the simplest of terms, what is the way that one must go? Do do all things out of love. All things. When you have eyes to see, these things are clear as winter air, the way we must choose to go if we truly call ourselves the children of God. Pray for courage and wisdom on your way through this life, and may you not have one without the other. The wyrld is what Walt Whitman called the Powerful Play, in which all of us may contribute a verse. I say it is we who each write a wyrd in the Greatest Story Ever Told—do you understand? Jesus Christ may be its beginning and its end, but the middle? That’s all of us!

If you like what’s written here, check out my book, Memoirs from the War in Heaven.

The Secret

I recall reading C. S. Lewis talking about one of the most famous phrases in the English language: “God is love.” He said not to get confused about it, that perhaps there is a subtlety to it we are not readily grasping; he said it is actually not true what some of us think it means: love is not God. But I beg to differ—I think he is selling love short. It has also been written that God is made of the simplest substance imaginable, and I tell you that this substance is indeed love. Love is so simple, we’ll never understand it. Perhaps, then, not to say exactly that love is God, but that the one component (as it were) that comprises the En Sof is exactly love. Nothing more, nothing less.

“En Sof” is a term from Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism. It means, literally, “the Endless”, and it refers to the infinite, unknowable God. “He” is said not to have an existence that we would understand, we being in the land of finite forms. I once thought to equate “Him” to the number zero, and perhaps if any numbering were applied, zero would be it. But the more I thought about it, the more I thought: God is love… that explains it all. I say to you, “There is no ineffable. God is love.” If we can bring into semantic form the subtlest of mysteries, then we can truly explain absolutely anything. Love is the paradoxical quotient that we can render in our minds a divine dimension, infinity’s existence among the finite.

Be not but love, do not but love. In this is the teaching of all the mystics. Bob Marley said it, “Could you be loved? And be love?” If indeed by every action, you do as love would have you do, would you not then say that you are love? If God’s every action is that of love, why would you say that He is not made of love? For what is it truly that makes every one of us, if it is not the choices we take? But with God, it could be a deeper thing. What is the secret to love? It can be soft, it can be immovable. Love is also not always satisfied, much to many a mystic’s chagrin. What is love? God is love. Does it not tell you anything that the whole of the infinite can be described in just one word? What is the secret to love? We are made in the image of the God who is love. Do you not see?

Perhaps to cynics, all that love is can be summed up as an emotion which represents deep affection. Relegated to romance, most often foolish; or to mothers and children, nothing more commonplace. But it was out of love that God created all the world. A God who was hate surely would not have done so. Hate is not, either, the opposite of love, but it is in fact just an evil version of it. The opposite would most closely be nothing. And there, too, is the rub: for love sometimes seems like it is nothing at all, being everthing that it inspires and the things that it makes or brings. Take all those things away to try and find out love’s true nature, and you seem to have nothing left! What is the secret to love? Love, you fool! You will see that there is no secret. (And there, that is the secret to love.)