Gives herself to all things the most cohesive bond
Most excellent in the depths,
And above the stars
(Hildegard of Bingen, Antiphon for Divine Love)
“The devout Christian of the future will either be a ‘mystic’—someone who has ‘experienced something’—or will cease to be anything at all.”
Karl Rahner, “Christian Living Formerly and Today,” Theological Investigations, Vol. 7 (New York: Herder and Herder, 1971), 15.
This is a quotation by Raimon Panikkar which Karl Rahner has made his own to indicate the mystical turn Christianity needs to make in the post-religious age. In his assertion Rahner does not say “has experienced Someone” but rather “has experienced Something,” thus referring to a verb “be-ing,” the infinite ground of being and creative consciousness.
We hear resonance of that “something” when we are told that all the saints will “know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge […] and thus, be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph 3:19). It is a superabundance, an overflow of divine life and spirit which in Jesus bodily dwells (Col 2:9) but exceeds his individuality/locality and permeates the whole Body of Christ (the church) and the whole universe, so that all beings are saturated with “the mind of Christ,” νοῦν Χριστοῦ (1Cor 2:16).
This is what the famous Italian poet, Dante Alighieri (Divine Comedy, Canto 33, lines 142-145) points to in the final paradisiac contemplation of the Divine reality as that
The loving bond Dante speaks of in these lines that connects everything created (légein – logos) was mentioned by Boethius in his Consolation of Philosophy (Book II, Met VIII) where the philosopher describes the universe as continuously changing but at the same time
“[…] firmly bound by Love, which rules both earth and sea, and has its empire in the heavens too. If Love should slacken this its hold, all mutual love would change to war; and these would strive to undo the scheme which now their glorious movements carry out with trust and with accord. By Love are peoples too kept bound together by a treaty which they may not break. Love binds with pure affection the sacred tie of wedlock and speaks its bidding to all trusty friends. O happy race of mortals, if your hearts are ruled as is the universe, by Love.”
Christian faith is called either to remain faithful to its vocation of being continuously reformed or to move in another direction, going backwards rather than going forward, as Pope Francis mentioned in his address to the Roman Curia. Both science and religion have been experiencing the overcome of their “classical” paradigms whose essential feature was the pattern of “duality”: God and world, reality, and observer, subject and object. The present “Post-Religious” and “Post-Physicalist” perspective is leading us into a different Weltanschauung, that is a different view of life, the world and God. Everything is intrinsically connected, and consciousness is the irreducible background within which physicality, the representation of the cosmic connections, emerges.
The Christian and Jewish mystical tradition offer resources to identify the creative and conscious ground of everything as that infinite No-thingness (Ein Sof for the Zohar, intelligere for Meister Eckhart, Nada for John of the Cross) out of and in which things are without stand-alone existence.