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March 4, 2006

 
 

6. Mystical Christianity

     "Jesus reveals the existence of this Central Point in His mustard seed parable.  ...  He is referring to the smallest of all things--the infinitesimally-small Center Point."   (Francis, 1998, pp. 14-5)

The Mystic Way of Radiant Love:
Alchemy for a New Creation
(Heart Blossom Books, Los Altos, California, 1998) 
Available through Amazon.com
Email John at johnf153@yahoo.com

"The inner process of entering the Center Point of the soul is like threading the eye of the needle.  Jesus also referred to this as "entering the Kingdom of God." It requires steadiness of attention and acute perception.  ... in our discussion of soul anatomy, the Centre Point of the soul is surrounded by a small shell forming what mystics call the "cave of the heart."  (Francis, 1998, p. 46)
     Christian mystic John Francis, author of The Mystic Way of Radiant Love: Alchemy for a New Creation, (Heart Blossom Books, Los Altos, California, 1998) writes,  "My mission is to help uncover the forgotten, deep heart teachings of Jesus."   Francis explains that "the mystical parables and sayings of Jesus have either been ignored or given superficial intepretations that miss their original deeper, intent."  (p. 6)  Francis provides a valuable perspective on the anatomy of the soul as suggested by an esoteric interpretation of  key Christian scriptures. 
     Christ states, "the Kingdom of God is within you,"  (Luke 17:21) and further, that "the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed."  Francis explains that the "mustard seed" is an ancient metaphor for the Center Point of the soul.    He writes:
Mystics down through the ages have dived deeply into the soul and have made a common discovery.  The soul has a Center a sacred point of contact where the human and the Divine meet in sublime communion. ... Furthermore, mystics through the ages have described God as a circle whose centre is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.  If we think of ordinary human awareness as the circumference of a circle then its center is a point. ... Saint Francis de Sales referred to the Center as the "fine point of the soul."  Father Louis Massignon of France called the spiritual Center of the soul "Le point vierge"--the virgin point. ... Father Merton in turn wrote of the little "'point' or virgin eye by which we know Him! (Christ)."
     Jesus reveals the existence of this Central Point in His mustard seed parable. " ...  He is referring to the smallest of all things--the infinitesimally-small Center Point."   (pp. 14-5)
Even the word meditation translated from the Latin "mediari," literally means "being returned to the center."
     Francis draws upon other sacred verses to illustrate: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hid in a field," which leads the man to 'sell all that he had to attain it.' (Matthew 13:44)  This is a priceless thing within a large expanse of space, and Francis suggests that similarly we "must go beneath the surface of our field of awareness to discover the soul's buried treasure." 
     In the next verses of Matthew, the kingdom of heaven is compared to 'a pearl of great price' and the mechant similarly sells off everything he has to attain this pearl. Christ then compares the Kingdom of heaven to 'leaven,'as the living substance,  which is 'hid in three measures of meal,' suggesting that the life principles is mixed into the three modes of nature- the mental, emotional and physical lives of human beings, and hidden there.
     Francis then quotes Matthew 6:22, Luke 11:34: "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light."  Francis notes that Jesus did not say the plural "eyes" because this eye is not in the usual mode "as a perceptual receptor" but rather it is "a point source of light." (p. 16)  St John of the Cross thus wrote: "With no other light or guide, Than the one which burns in my heart,"  in the Ascent of Mount Carmel. Francis notes that other saints have similarly referred to "this interior star," --as "the star of love," the star "that nourishes and heals" and "expands."
 
 

Any cosmos originates from an incredibly small point source rooted into metaphysical

 

     Francis concludes: 

"... the mustard seed," the "one pearl," the "single eye," and the "star" in the heart are all metaphors that can be used to represent the Center Point of the soul.  Each one reveals a different attribute of this wondrous point."  (p. 17)
The I-existence originates from a point source, and then as a seed of the Father within the cave of the heart.  The significance of the esoteric teaching is hidden within the parables and Church literature. 
     Even the word meditation refers to finding one' centre, within such a single I, the magical 'star' nature, and being able to experience the light and love of God within oneself.  The Kingdom of God is within you, Christ states, so perhaps we might wonder where, and what is the significance of this within our lives. 
      Christ states in the parables, that "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God."  (Matthew 19, Mark 10, or Luke 18)  Francis interpretes this passage: 
The innermost anatomy of the soul can be compared to a needle's eye
because the Center Point is enclosed in what could be called a shell
which creates an exceedingly small and deeply interior sacred hollow. (emphasis added, p. 17)
Francis explains that "this holy sanctuary" of the heart is referred to metaphorically as a "cave," and that the mystical path is one of "entering the Cave of the Heart."
     Christian mystics describe varied 'shells' or 'layers' which surround the divine spark, such that "the inner spark of the soul is trapped in these concentric shells."  Meister Eckhart thus wrote: "A man has many skins in himself covering the depths of his heart." and Teilhard de Chardin spoke of the "incandescence of the inward layers of being."
     Francis notes:
... parables speak of the shell that encloses the inner eye of the soul.
... the "three measures of flour" that hide the leaven suggest that this shell
has multiple layers. Moving inward toward the Center we must pass
through the physical, then the emotional and finally through the mental layer
of being before entering the silent cave of the heart. (p. 21)
"The inner process of entering the Center Point of the soul is like threading the eye of a needle."  (p. 46)   It is passing through and transcending these veils, sheaths, layers or bodies, which serve to bind the soul, like the rich man, to the external phenomena of life.     . 
 

     Francis also provides some interesting comments on the "Inner Tree of Life."  He writes: 
    In the Book of Genesis ... by eating of the Tree of Life humans can live forever.  ... this Tree is a metaphor for an inner structure within the soul. This inner tree is "rooted and grounded in Love" (Ephesians 3:17)  this is also expressed by Jesus in the parable of the greatest tree in the garden which grows from the tiniest seed. ...
    When we allow the Center Point to expand in meditation, God's Grace flows into the soul mysteriously like "living water" and vitalizes the tree of life and it grows so that its branches reach upward to the heavens.  This tree then becomes a living "Jacob's Ladder."
    The roots and branches of this inner tree can be likened to the subtle nervous system of the soul.  It is represented as the seven-candled menorah which is the ancient symbol of Judaism.  These seven candles have deep mystical significance .... (pp. 26-7)
According to esoteric Judaism and Kabbalah, the Tree of Life is indeed a metaphor for the inner structure of the soul.  Our roots are from above, or within heaven, and we are embodied below within seven worlds, with a central Point at the heart of being, with a vacated Space surrounded by shells or veils or knots, as described within the mystical literature. Mystical Christianity certainly supports the essential teachings of the heart doctrine. 

This selection is from the chapter on Mystical Christianity.

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