Q: I have received and seen the DVD “God is All in All“. I enjoyed it very much. Thank you! However I have a question. Thomas Keating talks a lot about us becoming God. Many years ago I listened to a tape by Fr. Keating, and in the end of one of the talks, Thomas says something about the journey resulting in “There is no other, because you have become the other.”
It might very well be me having a very strong energy-center of affection and esteem, (not as dominant as it used to be) or just me being too stupid to understand, but I really do not long to be God. I long for love – a loving relationship with God. It seems to me to be very lonely, if I should become God. I long to do everything out of love of God, to try to imitate Jesus and walk and live with him. Maybe you could explain to me how to understand this issue?
A: You wrote, “I long for love – a loving relationship with God. It seems to me to be very lonely, if I should become God. I long to do everything out of love of God, to try to imitate Jesus and walk and live with him.” What a wonderful grace has given you to have this intention and desire in your life! And what do you think the end result of this desire is? How is this manifested; where does it end?
We have a marvelous insight concerning this manifestation in the writings of the Gospel of John especially John 17:21-23. “I pray that they all may be one, Father. May they be in us just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world may believe that you sent me. I gave them the same glory that you gave me, so that they may be one, just as you and I are one. I in them, and you in me, so that they may be completely one, in order that the world may know that you sent me and that you love them as you love me.”
This is what is meant by the phrase, “There is no other, because you have become the other.” – and I would add the words “by participation”. You are still you, but you have become part of this oneness with your God. Remember there is no separation from God.
And the response back to Fr. Carl from the questioner: Thank you for your answer! “By participation” – Yes! That I think I can understand. Maybe it is somehow like the oneness in the Trinity. God is one and three at the same time. I love the beautiful icon, where the three persons are sitting looking lovingly at each other [see the Trinity icon by Andre Rublev]. Not that I am able to understand that God is one and three at the same time, but lovely it is.