Holiness brings to mind purity, commitment, and devotion. From a human perspective, I appreciate how these qualities are expressed – but how are these qualities shown from a Divine perspective?
In 99 Names traditions, the awareness is that these are not really names as we perceive the word. They are traits or features of the Divine, called Names because that’s a relatively simple term. The Creator is the ultimate Source of whatever the specific trait is and is seen through all the permutations of that trait and its associations; by calling to mind the trait, dedicating ourselves to its perfect expression (or as close to perfect as we can get), and allowing the trait to fill our minds – somehow we are elevated. The infinite expansion of God’s mind is still far away, but we can get to a point where we can appreciate and open ourselves to the unfolding of that trait. A tiny window is made, and we can begin to see. As in Plato’s allegory of the cave, we are blinded at first and can only see shadows and reflections, but then we can see more – and the trait becomes part of our fabric.
With the trait of Holiness and Purity, I thought of these ideas as well as the concept that the Creator is the Originator of holiness and all its attendant permutations. The whole universe was created with the single-minded intent, devotion, and commitment to our ultimate well-being, by a Being of infinite capacity. How do we approach this? With words, it’s impossible – every word spoken hides all the others, and can bring us further from ultimate understanding. This is true, I imagine, for every made thing. But doing something without the limit of speaking (poetry, music, meditation, etc.), asking/calling for something beyond the capacity of the doer (Divine inspiration), can open the doors for an expanding awareness; it’s still not entirely adequate, but it’s better.
This is a reflection on the process of approaching – the layers of our experience give space to doorways for the path, and the occlusion our awareness lays over the Truth is part of the process of understanding. We are limited and temporal beings, but however inadequate we feel ourselves to be, the purity of our intent as we continue the journey – that’s what gives place for a union with the Divine.
Appreciation of the Infinite, I believe, is closest approximated by the open-ended process – because, quite simply, if it could be completely understood by a specific, limited act It would no longer be infinite. The open-ended process with a goal but no conclusion, the long life lived with intent and desire to commune with the Divine for example, becomes a simile itself for our comprehension of the limitless expanse of the Divine. As the Buddhists say, The journey is the destination.