A dimension of spirituality that is silent, self-emptying, and apophatic
(as in Buddhist experience of nirvana).
Apophaticism is related to the Father, to that aspect of God that is truly
transcendent, infinite and before who we are reduced to
From the very beginning, the Unnameable wore many
names - Brahman, Tao, Yahweh, No-Thingness, Unconquerable Sun, Allah, Grandfather Spirit, and
(A spirituality of ascent)
A personal dimension, as expressed in the person of the Son in the
Christian tradition with its roots in Judaism.
Personalism is embodied in the Son who is the expression of the Father,
characterized by speech rather than silence.
For the most part, it is only when purpose or providence or love is
embodied, when it takes on a face and a name – and speaks our name – that we can fully trust
it. For Christians, Jesus Christ is that embodiment, God’s Eternal Word-in-the-flesh,
telling us that “God so loved the world that He sent His only Son” (John 3:16). He is the
revelation of the “mystery hidden from eternity”. He is the cosmos become conscious; He
provides it with soul-space.
The immanent aspect found in Hinduism of undifferentiated union with the
Divine immanence is realized in the Spirit who brings a consciousness that
one is ‘enveloped in, known and loved by the mystery of
This is the way of descent or immanence: “Over
waves of the sea, over all the earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway” (Sir.
24:6). It is the “evening breeze” that walks with Adam and Eve in the garden; Elijah's “small,
still voice”; the Shekinah/Glory of the rabbis; and the Advocate-Spirit that “blows where it
will” through the Gospel of John.
(A spirituality of descent)