Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Andrew Harvey on Our “Divine Identity”

One of the books I’m reading during my current Australian sojourn is Andrew Harvey and Mark Matousek’s Dialogues With a Modern Mystic.

Following is an excerpt that particularly spoke to me. It’s accompanied by Indigenous Australian artwork. According to Andrew Harvey, such artwork reflects people and cultures aware of and living from their “divine identity as children of the Divine Mother and Father.” In many ways, these Indigenous cultures, Harvey writes, embody “that ancient, eternal, natural way of harmony, peace, adoration and reverence that underlines, permeates and subtly illumes some part of all the major religions, however far they have strayed from it.”


The Divine exists. Humankind is being helped. There are realized [spiritual] masters on the earth. However, it is essential that we not be distracted from the real task ahead by a misunderstanding of the laws of the absolute reality, or spiritual diversion. The light can save us, but we must work with it.

. . . If we had only the external sciences to rely on, the game would already be lost. Fortunately, there exists another empiricism altogether, interrelated technologies of spiritual transformation developed by all the major mystical traditions and still, miraculously, intact and available to us. It is time that Westerners realize that mystics are scientists in their domain, that mystical union and transformation obey laws as inexorable as those of the physical universe. These laws are documented by systems of the most sublime sophistication which can help us take the journey into truth.

Vedanta is such a system, so are Sufism, Kabbala, Taoism, Theravāda and Mahāyāna Buddhism, and the disciplines of such highly evolved cultures as the Kogis and the [Australian] Aborigines. So is the system that could be developed in the Christian tradition from the meditation techniques of the Desert Fathers and the writings of, among others, Ruysbroeck, Eckhart, Teresa of Ávila, Hildegard of Bingen and St. John of the Cross. These technologies have in common the knowledge that the Divine Self is the one essential fact of the cosmos, the ways to reveal and realize it are known and have been charted. Maps of the most helpful accuracy exist and can be interpreted with the help of those who have taken the journey. Astonishing similarities in the laws that each of these great systems honor – laws of meditation and contemplation, faith and devotion, clarity, resignation, surrender and adoration – prove their legitimacy.

These are the laws of the only science that can reveal to us the essence of what we are and the essence of reality. If these laws are not widely known and respected and acted on, it seems obvious now that the human adventure will soon end.

. . . The chaos and tragedy we are surrounded by makes it clear that the patriarchy has failed, that scientific rationalism and the cult of technological progress taken to fanatic lengths are suicidal and that humankind dissociated from the wisdom of nature is doomed. Everything now depends on whether we as a race can restore ourselves to sacred balance and find again that ancient, eternal, natural way of harmony, peace, adoration and reverence for being that is still walked by the Kogis, Yamomamis, Native Americans and Aborigines and that underlines, permeates and subtly illumes some part of all the major religions, however far they have strayed from it. If we do not learn again our divine identity as children of the Divine Mother and Father, our inter-dependence with everything that lives and our responsibility for all our actions and for nature itself, we will destroy ourselves and our world.

– Andrew Harvey
Excerpted from Dialogues With a Modern Mystic
Quest Books, 1994
pp. 40-41 and p. 58

For more of Andrew Harvey at The Wild Reed, see:
In the Garden of Spirituality – Andrew Harvey
Andrew Harvey on Radical, Divine Passion in Action
A Dance of Divine Light
Remembering and Reclaiming a Wise, Spacious, and Holy Understanding of Homosexuality
Jesus: Our Guide to Mystical Love in Action – Part I | Part II | Part III

See also the previous Wild Reed posts:
Toby Johnson on the Mysticism of Andrew Harvey
Aligning With the Living Light
Mystical Participation
Returning the Mind to God
Being the Light
Guidelines for a Universal Mysticism
Christmas for Mystics
Easter for Mystics
In the Garden of Spirituality – Marianne Williamson
“Meaning Transfigures All”
Recognising and Honoring Australia’s First Naturalists
Spirit Dreams
May Balance and Harmony Be Your Aim
Seeking Balance
Prayer of the Week – November 14, 2012

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