Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Manifold Unity

My church is within a short walk of a beautiful preserved space (http://www.thetrustees.org/) on the North River (near where William Phillips Tilden worked as a shipbuilder-see post Sept. 29th). It is a joy to pull the boots out from under the desk and walk along beautiful paths, especially now as the leaves begin to change. It is deeply green today after a couple of days of rain and the orange and red flashes of the changing leaves against the dark green background all reflected in the waters of the North River make it easy to believe in the interconnected web of all existence (the UU Seventh Principle)
My morning Sermon reading (The Manifold Unity by Thomas Treadwell Stone-see Sept 27th post) spoke of this connection.

from "The Manifold Unity"
"Our observations, beginning thus in the manifold aspects of nature through its ascending gradations, and seeming, it may be, to lose themselves in the boundless multiplicity, come at length to the sight of unity. The unity dwells, however, in the spiritual sphere, not in the natural world, and reveals itself with a clearness proportioned, not to our sensuous or scientifuc or philosophical knowledge, so much as to our spiritual consciousness. Nature becomes now symbol of Spirit. Spirit, and its outflowing spheres of benignity and of power, encircle and penetrate the world, and make it transparent. Nothing perishes, all is quickened...The manifold works of the Lord beome one in the unity of the wisdom by which they are formed; the earth, filled with riches of God, gives back the whole to its source; one order, one law, one life, shines through the great transparency."
Such moments of the Spirit, I am convinced, are much more common than we know. Seeing "through the great transparency" requires such a small shift in our angle of vision, yet a shift we seem almost conditioned not to make. A walk on the North River in early fall makes it easier. Blessings.

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