and when i breathe you in, i know you know ~ The God-like Things by Lubomira Kourteva
From the depths of our soul we are continuously being pulled by the invisible threads of love. It’s a secret only our heart knows. And even when it doesn’t make any sense, this voice that is older than time, older than us, calls us towards itself. Because we come from oneness. Because love has no other choice than to fulfill its destiny of being experienced by us. And then one day, two worlds will meet. Two people will touch, will kiss. And we’ll remember that love is not only felt in the hearts, it is known by our hands also.
Love is the most powerful force of all in the universe, and for centuries mystics have understood the transformative potential of divine love. Love draws us back to love, love uncovers love, love reincarnates as love. Love is what makes us whole.
But as time goes by in our human skins, we sometimes forget, separate or are hidden from the deepest love within us. The mystic’s way is the one that uncovers love, the depths of our soul, and helps us remember where and with whom we belong. It awakens us. It opens us. And we awaken and we open the capacity within us to love and to be loved.
Like all else in life, love too needs to separate into two so that it is able to incarnate into this human world of duality: feminine and masculine, negative and positive, yin and yang.
The masculine aspect of love is the fiery sword that becomes the action, the word, the seed, the penetrative power which initiates, which says “I love you. I want you. I need you.”
The feminine quality of love is the mystic. She is the yearning, the longing, the moist soil, the bottom of the wells, the wombed room, the cup to be filled, the tides pulling in towards herself, the desire, the dreaming. She is the memory itself. She whispers in a voice only the soul of her beloved understands and she says, “I am waiting for you. I am longing for you.”
He is the hands that dig in the mud searching for her; she is the opening saying, “I choose you”.
Love is a remembering. And it is in the ancient mysteries of the feminine that call us towards our remembering. Remembering our heart, truth and ability to love in the deepest, most profound way.
The Mystic’s Way.
Throughout scriptures, including the ancient Biblical mystic texts of the Song of Songs (or Song of Solomon) or reading Rumi’s love poetry, we see a lot of longing and desire. There is a thread of mystical ecstasy that weaves in and of the mystics along their search for truth. It recognizes and marries the physical desire with the spiritual depth.
Merging human and sensual love with divine was something that we see throughout history, including Sufism, mystery school, Greek mythology, Hinduism and Christian mysticism. In Christian mystical texts, mystics often not only used erotic language and imagery, but also the sentiments and experience of human sensual love to describe their experience of connection to God, as seen from the biblical Song of Songs and The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa.
There is talk of love, sensual delight, vitality, bliss, passion and ecstatic union with the beloved, such as God or Christ. Within the romantic love tradition itself some Christian writers also correlated human and divine experiences of love, as they did not see it as separate, but rather as inseparable in meaning under the Christian conception of love. All the while, they incorporated the importance of blessedness, grace and virtues such as loyalty, devotion, humility and faith, that are needed to attain the connection to higher consciousness.
True love, sacred love, dissolves all divisions within ourselves and merges two into one; it has the capacity to transform human to divine, while remaining as it is. The beloved through love becomes a window to the divine, while remaining true to self.
I am my beloved and my beloved’s mine. ~ Song of Songs, 6:3
The Song of Songs is full of longing, desire and sensual imagery, yet it is one of the most profound texts in mysticism that speaks of sacred union. And what is mysticism anyway? It’s an opening. It is a dissolution of boundaries that takes us beyond the rational. It is aliveness. It is vitality. It is a remembering to
breathe life into the desires of our soul.
The ancient mystics described mysticism as a similar state to eroticism. They described eroticism as aliveness, vibracy, vitality and ecstasy. And this is what it is at its essence: It is a transgressive force negating the “known” to break the boundaries of reality and take us outside of the limitations of life. It is like prayer and mysticism – our entire body opens to experience the extraordinary beyond the explainable, to surrender into the blind faith and trust of the unknown and unseen. We let go of the mind’s rational explanations and reach out with our hands in faith.
Love also demands such a surrender and transcendence beyond the known.
To be able to love and to be devotional, our energetic body need to be awakened. We need to know what that “erotic” state of aliveness feels like – what it feels like to desire, to yearn, to long for, to feel deeply and wholebodily. We need to know what it feels to be alive and embodied.
Longing is a wisdom, not a weakness.
Longing creates deep vulnerability. It creates pain and sadness too. And as such, it is often frowned upon or misinterpreted as neediness, which it isn’t. Longing comes from a deep part of us that knows and understands there is something higher and stronger pulling us towards itself that needs to be fulfilled. Longing comes from a place of allowing, opening and honouring. It is not from a place of not being self-sufficient, it is from a place of knowing, because there is a remembering beginning to awaken us.
In the old texts, the mystics would describe longing as the sweet pain of belonging to God. Once longing opens within us, it makes us vulnerable but it is through this deep vulnerability that we can access the divine. It transforms us. It is uncomfortable because it might pain us that we are separated from what we desire – and vulnerability is still something shamed by society. But we need to feel all of ourselves, all of our feelings. We need to sit in this space and allow the tears of our heart to nurture the soil of our soul. This is why Sufi mystics always emphasized the importance of longing, “nourish me not with love but with the desire for love.” In simpler terms this refers to: don’t drink all the water, know how to stay thirsty. This gives us the passion to create even more love and never take our lover for granted also.
The feminine mystery of longing belongs to the nature of the soul because woman is nature itself. She pulls towards her constantly, and she engages with all and with everything. She is the moist soil, the good mud, the bottoms of the well. She is the memory that knows to grow a rose garden from her beloved’s seeds. She is the sky, the scent of midnight forest, the moon, towards which the hungry wolves howl and kneel in devotion before her love. She is the mud in which man’s hands dig tirelessly even without the hope of ever finding her.
There is something beautiful that happens through the perceived sadness of longing – we open up.
We reclaim the sacredness of our sadness and the meaning of the tears of our heart. The longing of the lover is what returns him from separation back to union, from the fragments of the self towards his entirety and wholeness of true being.
The longing of the heart, for love, is a sign of fulfillment even when it terrifies our mind. Because there is no visible lover, no one to touch, and no one to control. It is only an eternal love affair between souls, between essences, born and kissed into existence somewhere in the heavens. And as humans, in our modern society, we have forgotten the potency of the intangible – how it can be felt in our body, and through our body, even when we can’t touch the skin of the one we desire.
And this is one of the hardest lessons the mystic learns, and we too in life: that love is something invisible, and can’t always be experienced by the desires of the flesh, yet it is powerful, meaningful and needed. Think of it as someone that you love, whose soul desires your soul, yet they are at a long-distance and you are currently separated. Would you love them less? Could you just tell your heart to stop loving them just because skin cannot be against skin?
Our culture has forgotten and perhaps even buried the doorway to devotion. The lover is often stranded, left aside unknowin the true purpose of his heart’s longing. We are conditioned to avoid sadness, avoid pain, and only satisfy ourselves with instant gratification. We are conditioned to be ashamed of longing for love. But it is this song of our soul that uncovers us. God is the sigh in our soul. It is the lover’s prayer. It is the surrender. And through that love comes through our body like the eternal spring and guides us forward.
Longing, like inspiration, is not necessarily of something we seek by ourselves – it seeks us. And perhaps all it needs from us is to be in a state of availability to life, of openness to things to approach us, to be experienced by us, to be felt by us.
Longing is not a weakness, it is a wisdom. Numbing our longing and desires only separates us from ourselves and as such, we will attract partners who can’t see our true selves also. Actually, it is suppressing our need for love which is what creates neediness. Suppressed needs turn into neediness, which then becomes manipulation and control. And the degree to which you shame yourself for your longing for deep love is the degree to which the people with whom you enter into sexual and romantic relationships with will not treasure you. In order words: the more you feel shame about your true needs and desires, the more unfulfilled you will be by your partners. You need to honour your needs, desires, and your wants – so that your partner can do the same.
Do not be afraid to feel all of your feelings. Do not be afraid to need someone. Often times saying I need you to someone is one the most intimate things we can say. There is no shame of desiring intimacy and love, this is why we are here in this life. We are meant to share our love with others. We don’t need to transcend our hunger and our passions – we are meant to honour them. And we have to be able to tolerate, handle and express in healthy ways our vulnerability if we ever want to have fulfilling intimate relationships.
Long for deep love, rich love, full love, true love. Build the capacity within you for more love, and then contain more love, emit more love. Love others as passionately as possible, and through loving them so deeply and fully, by being profoundy caring and devoted, you will inevitably love yourself also. Healthy relationships and intimacy itself are build upon interdependence. We need one another. Even if it hurts and you don’t end up together, don’t ever regret loving deeply and passionately – it is why you are here.
In deep love divisions dissolve and we become one. And the soul of the relationship is born. And we become more intimate with one another, sharing our deepest secrets, desires, yearnings. This makes our connection more fulfilling.
Trust the longing in your heart because it carries within it wisdoms – it is a language telling you what you need, what you are missing and what may not be right in your life now. It is a language that pulls you towards truth. Towards what’s real, true, deep love. It guides you intuitively across your unique emotional and physical wildlands. Because to walk the paths of life, to experience the real and true treasures of life, you want and you need to be with the man your heart. Your soul knows this. Trust it.
Sometimes love is the slow steps on the sidewalks.
Sometimes love is the quietness of dreams.
A major part of the feminine mysteries remembering. It is a quietness, a listening to the voice from a time before time beyond time. It is a reconnection. Remembering love, heart and higher wisdom.
The deep esoteric knowing of remembering is beautifully portrayed in myth and tales throughout cultures and history through the symbolism of the sleeping queen. Snow White, Alice in her garden before she falls in Wonderland, and perhaps more famously than all else, The Sleeping Beauty. We also have the Goddess of love herself Venus falling asleep in her lush garden of eternal spring, also known as the Sleeping Venus, where she sleeps and dreams of love, symbolizing her power not only as the act of love but as the recollection of it.
In all these myths and tales, a time comes when the heroine falls asleep. These tales also held a deeper secret from the feminine mysteries: that there will always come a time in humanity when the divine feminine will come to a temporary close, a resting phase, a quietness, a sleeping – where humanity will have to live from what was already established from her divine love.
And then, she awakens. By a kiss. By a true love’s kiss. This kiss is the breath of life, the union – it is the divine masculine force activating her, so that her love is carried forward again, into a new state of evolution.
All priestesses were actually guided by higher masculine aspects of themselves, just as the Templars and knights worshipped and aligned to a female Goddess like Venus. All of us are continously guided in such ways: yin and yang are powerfully drawn towards each other. And so it is, along ever step of our way, we are continuously being pulled towards our sacred union by the true love’s kiss.
Venus too awakened by a divine masculine power, by her son Cupid, God of love and desire who came to wake her in the garden. Cupid (eros, desire) later falls deeply in love with Psyche (soul) which reminds us to breathe life into the desires of our soul.
And this is the remembering: within each one of us are the residues of deep love and intimacy carried from many lives, memories which become strings pulling us towards our soulskin. Whatever it is that you truly desire, desires you, and wants you and needs you – and if what you feel is true, coming from the purity of your heart, from a deep knowing, you must follow it.
And in our every day life, remembering can sometimes take another form: responsive desire for our lover. After many years together, passion can get lost amidst the busy minds and schedules, and we ourselves can feel like we’ve become spread into parts. In those moments, not all is lost and we can come into remembering.
Put your body in bed. Lie beside him. Skin against skin. And allow your body to awaken to the memory of him, to the scent of him, to the now of him. Sing love back to skin, warmth to skin. And skin against skin you’ll remember, I like him, I love him.
Recommended articles from Art of Love:
Breath of Life: The Esoteric Symbolism of True Lover’s Kiss
Mystic Nights: Power of the Womb
Soulmate Love: What You Seek Is Seeking You
When Hawks Fly and Eternal Lovers Meet
Sacred Relationships and How to Build Them
Love, Devotion and What is Purpose
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Cover art: Aphrodite by Susan Seddon Boulet.