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On Togetherness and the Light of God

I spent part of the day staring at a Monet painting (from the haystack series). I forget sometimes how visual art can awaken your senses. It shouldn’t surprise me, given my habit of walking outdoors all the time. But every time I step into a gallery or a museum it’s like rediscovering part of myself I forgot existed.

I am deeply in love with images and always have been. They contain stories and yet we apprehend them at once (unlike writing, which unfolds over time). The image is always in the present. It is strange sometimes how fast people will move through a museum. You could give Monet an afternoon, a week even, and he would still be fresh, still have something to teach.

Here and there in those moments – Chrisoula and I were with the kids, so I couldn’t linger as long as I would have liked – I kept coming back to my “we’re in this waking up thing together” theme. It’s on my mind lately.

I think that togetherness can function on many levels. I am always grateful for your presence and support, and grateful that from time to time I can extend some helpfulness too.

Yet at the deeper levels, we are joined in Love. That is hard to talk about – and hard to understand (and the course often suggests we not bother with understanding) – but it’s no less real. In fact, it’s more real.

I sense this at times: in the presence of Monet’s brilliant meditations on light, in Emily Dickinson’s deeply brave poems, in the sudden flash of a cardinal coming from the hedge. It’s like the past and the future dissolve and there is only an electric and fluid present. In those moments, there is no “me” or “you.” There is no conflict.

All we are doing is remembering what was done for us in Creation: Love extended itself and we – together – are its sure result.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • zrinka August 27, 2013, 8:49 pm

    I love Monet’s Haystacks, they truly are meditations on Light.
    Whenever I look at them (and I like to watch them together), I feel sudden warmth in my solar plexus, really I do:) I think it’s because they show something intrinsically, strikingly natural * circles of Life and Light, seasons coming and going* So beautiful. Heheh, and video is great! I like how you combine videos with text, it’s lovely and gives warmth. Smooth and polished sounds like a cleaning device:) Better be you, with dogs and everything:)

    • Sean Reagan August 29, 2013, 9:01 am

      Yes, they are masterpieces. The other thing I enjoy about Monet is approaching him from a literal distance: and then moving closer and closer. The clarity of the image dissolves. When you gaze at the level of the brush stroke – as close as you can get – you are no longer looking at a thing but at a movement, something fluid. I am struggling a bit to express it. But it is as if Monet saw not the thing itself but rather the light from which it is composed and facilitates a similar experience on our end.

      This is a silly video in many ways – and the painting in question is Seurat, not Monet – but Cameron’s intense response to the detail that composes the child in the painting has always transfixed me. I experience Monet that way – oddly there is a sort of wildness as I get closer to the painting or more fixated on a part of the canvas. A loosening.

      [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubpRcZNJAnE&w=560&h=315%5D

      • zrinka August 29, 2013, 11:55 am

        Great scene, love it (and the beginning with kids)! It has this aura of *shifting perspective*, what Shklovsky called “ostranenie”( I think it’s translated as *estrangement*). What a wonderful moment when he enters the picture, so exciting and profound∼ His opportunity to see what is behind the face, the ‘image’ ∼ just dots of color, shapeless *nothing* and perhaps the smell of flowers, but that we cannot see:).
        I guess if you get close enough to anyone/anything, you will see only Light:) Monet’s movement of Light through colors reminds me of fishes ∼ ∼ ∼ jumping on the surface of the sea, only there are so many fishes jumping that it seems that the sea is wavy, in fact the sea waves are *made of us, fishes*:)

  • Aleta August 27, 2013, 8:59 pm

    I enjoy your videos, Shawn, as much as your writings. The videos lend a more immediate aspect to the thoughts you are sharing. Thank you!

    • Sean Reagan August 29, 2013, 8:48 am

      Thanks Aleta 🙂

  • marymccrink@aol.com August 28, 2013, 7:20 am

    today you have planted the seeds of intention for a miraculous life. love begins with me.

    thank you sean

    as always

    • Sean Reagan August 28, 2013, 7:32 am

      you’re welcome, Mary – thank you for being here!


  • JayCee August 28, 2013, 8:19 am

    Sean, I had to laugh at myself when U helped me realize the comforting words about the waves was a quote from Jesus. I started the course by myself and not in a group and I remember getting to a point of feeling overwhelmed and feeling I can not go on and then the next paragraph I read would be Comforting. (I now call those Comforters. ) I would take a deep breath and say OK I will keep going. (Hmmmm a little willing ness???)
    Cheryl stated her struggle with the concept of there is only One of Us as I do and I have heard many of my friends voice the same thing.
    And as you said “hard to say we’re all One because our perception is we’re distinct bodies.
    The comforting quote about the waves in Essence are your words as well, as we are all One at that deeper level.
    I totally understand looking at art and merging with the moment. I do that as well. And for me, as I sit outside I close my eyes and my body seems to merge and I feel as if one with all there is…. I can not seem to feel where the body ends and the chair begins. That is a Moment.
    I smile every time I hear (The Wanted I think is the group) sing I’ m glad you came….
    We’re all in this together and I’ m glad you’re here!!!!

    • Sean Reagan August 29, 2013, 8:44 am

      Thank you JayCee!

  • Pamela August 28, 2013, 9:43 am

    “Yet at the deeper levels, we are joined in Love. That is hard to talk about – and hard to understand (and the course often suggests we not bother with understanding) – but it’s no less real. In fact, it’s more real.”

    I don’t know about the deeper levels and I agree it is beyond our understanding. (I personally conceptualize as a telepathic/empathetic bond at the level of Spirit – but that’s me and I know others see it differently). However, I do believe that at the practical level being joined in love here in the classroom of earth fashioned and given to us by “another Maker of the world, the simultaneous Corrector of the mad belief that anything could be established and maintained without some link that kept it still within the laws of God,” was never better said than in 1st Corinthians 13. And if I may paraphrase and combine different translations of that passage, I would say that joining in love here means being patient with one another and not rude or unmannerly. Joining in love means feeling genuine joy with another gets something good that we don’t have instead of boiling over with envy or jealousy. If we are joined in love, then our interest is in truly interacting with another instead of wanting to interact merely for purposes of bagging or boasting. To be joined in love means that we are not touchy or fretful as a pattern of being, full of insistence that ‘we have rights!’ It means we are unwilling to keep score of another’s mistakes but instead are both ready and willing to see and believe the best in him because we know that the God who created him doesn’t make mistakes. It means that whenever and wherever we spot anything that accords with Truth, we enjoy spotting it. It means we are ever hopeful and never weaken in our respect, appreciation, and approval for all others. It means we feel for others only that which doesn’t fade or become obsolete or have an ending.

    • Sean Reagan August 29, 2013, 8:42 am

      That is a wonderful passage indeed, Pamela. And I agree – it is a good model for how to approach love in the world of form. Another model I like is the prayer of Saint Francis (which I understand was not actually written by him but which does sync quite nicely with the essence of his biography). I truly believe that our sincere efforts to be loving and kind in this world are not errors but little movements in the direction of the eternal. Thank you Pamela!

      • Pamela August 29, 2013, 11:28 am

        I absolutely agree with you that these are movements in the direction of the eternal and I love, love, love the prayer of St. Francis.

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