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Intimate Union With God
(Passionate Love For The Personality of Divine Love)

Firstly, it is worth mentioning that the following description of union with God or Divine Love (for God is Love) is not dependent upon the knowledge of the mind; neither is the mind the experiencer - it is a soul-experience transcending the boundaries of the physical mind which does not operate properly in the Spirit-dimension.

The love of God (Divine Love) is poured into the souls of some people in a powerful manner and they enter into an extremely intimate and often overpowering Divine Union. It is the nature of human language that an explanation in words would only leave a partial impression of the power and feelings involved - it is not a psychological or emotional self-creation but a so-called "supernatural" (non-physical) and spiritual act performed upon a soul while still encased in a fleshly body. The experience is of pure, tender, intense, unyielding love - the love which is truly Divine and which is unconditional. Often, in its more powerful appearances, this Divine Love can be felt as a bittersweet "pain" on a physical level within the body. The experience may last for different periods of time and may happen frequently and unexpectedly. In its more powerful form the experience is one of almost perfect unity or union with Love (God) where the individual soul seems "lost" to itself and yet at one with Love. As the years pass, although this phenomenon does not decrease in power, the experience passes through transformations and the experiencer is generally able to control when and where to give over to it.

This is a phenomenon that can have extreme spiritual purgation (purification) accompanying a heartbreaking and undying love for Love (God), and in its most powerful manifestation this phenomenon is comparatively rare and yet occurs in such a powerful form more than most people would expect; yet there are varying degrees of Divine Love which can be experienced by many people. This can happen due to the strong desire to have Love in the heart during the earthly stage and is not confined to dogma or doctrine for it has been observed in those named by man as "saints" (eg. John of the Cross, Teresa of Avila) of the West and austere "saints" and "seers" of the East (eg. a relatively small number of Himalayan "yogis", and ancient Kamal Posh "mystics").

Please note that hose who enter Divine Union who do not specifically follow a Christian teaching (as it is generally regarded) should not be ruled out as experiencing Christ in the Divine sense. One must not allow preconceived ideas of the mind to cause a separation on a lower level of disunity which is in direct opposition to the harmony of Divine Love. It is not for man and his interpretation of scriptures to say how God works and how His Spirit can operate. Some have said that God does not expect people to withdraw into silence (caves, etc.) but rather live amongst humanity to not only gain essential experience but to be of service to humanity. However, it should be remembered that Christ often withdrew into solitude to pray, and He also said to pray in secret (citing a room with a closed door). One must be at peace and be still and know God, as well as be of service to ones brothers and sisters - that is what Christ exemplified.

To truly comprehend the God in Christ and the Christ in God, we need to transcend the limitations of doctrine and dogma which appear to prevail in the mind of man today, and dismiss our concerns for our own salvation because knowledge has come that we are safe and spiritually emancipated in Christ forever; this is because we have had Truth revealed and now comprehend - both in mind and spirit - the Way (hodos) He has laid down for man to follow which leads into the Light which never fades, the Life which has no end. These are the Glad Tidings He brought.

The deep and personal fire of love between the Beloved and the child of God, which does not consume and yet is all-consuming, occurs to people both in the Old and New Testaments, as well as ancient eastern scriptures, although there may be slightly different manifestations of this intimate contact with (and knowledge of) the Personality of Love (for Divine Love is one with the Personality of the Supreme Being). In followers of the Cross, for instance, on occasions, there can be a communion of this Divine Spirit throughout the individual's soul which permeates into the physical body, sometimes manifesting as "stigmata" and this is perhaps what Paul was referring to when he spoke about his body displaying the marks of Christ: "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus" (Gal. 6:17) (although he may have been referring to the "stripes" that he endured - perhaps both). It should be noted, regardless of indoctrinated references to spiritual perfection, that there are aeons of evolution in front of such revered and highly spiritual figures, for the awesome Purity of God is known in It's absolute fullness by none except God.

As has been said, Divine Love which enters into union with an individual spirit (which is itself Divine) in the form of recognisable and tangible personal love, can come when the strong desire to know and experience the love of God is in the heart, although this union is not dependent upon conscious desire as it is received also by those who have not been consciously seeking it. The Contemplative will be desiring the love of God as his or her main goal, and working towards that end. For instance, this may involve forsaking all else except God, and may involve spiritual practices such as prayer, contemplation and meditation with the aim of fulfilling the overwhelming desire of receiving this wonderful gift. It should be noted that one does not have to be a "Contemplative" in order to desire God to come in this form of Divine Love, but the desire for the receiving of this priceless gift and the willingness to make regular time to pray and meditate, will most certainly reap rewards towards this end although it may not be realised during the short Earth life. However, by the grace and pleasure of God, the bestowal of this Divine Love can come to one who is not following a similar path to the Contemplative - by no means does Love restrict this personal and intimate union to those who follow similar structured paths to the Contemplative. To experience the Living Flame of Love throughout one's life is fairly rare and it does not require that the person was seeking it in the first place.

Once this phenomenon occurs within an individual soul, the human being of that soul undergoes powerful changes by nature because of this most intimate contact with the Source of Life - Love. The person will be more conscious within himself or herself of the spiritual qualities which emanate from Love such as humility, compassion, tenderness, kindness, selflessness and the desire to give without taking. However, receiving such a wonderful gift does not make a soul instantly prepared for the inconceivably powerful Realms of spiritual Perfection on departure from the earthly body; indeed, the pilgrim's journey continues onwards and upwards through spiritual conditions of unimaginable and ever-increasing purity long after this life on Earth as a human being in the flesh.

There have been interpretations of Divine Union that have directly or indirectly claimed that there is a sexual connection involved. The Song of Solomon in the Bible has, by some, been referred to as being blatantly sexual in nature. However, this is a greatly mistaken interpretation. There is nothing sexual where pure Divine Love is concerned. Intimate yes, but sexual no. Consider, for instance, certain statements from the Old Testament, and the fact that they were said by a heterosexual man who experiences Divine Union of the soul, which should lay interpretations of Divine Union as being sexually orientated, to rest:

"My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God"

"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is"

Just because this statement mentions the longing of the flesh, it does not mean there is a sexual connection - that would be an interpretation of the physical mind and not a spiritual one. All pure aspects of Love between people whether sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, grandparents etc. are ultimately non-physical and the love exists whether the loved one is absent or present. In Divine Union, a person experiences pure Love (as much as a human can bear) - overpowering and never satisfying when in Union, and a heart-breaking and profound yearning when not in Union.

It is worth remembering that it simply is not possible in these vibrations to experience more than just a small part of Divine Love, and while a person may be completely overwhelmed by Divine Love and wish to die to this world to be with his or her Divine Beloved in Another World, the Divine Love which can be experienced by each individual when free from the physical body is far greater than can be experienced while in a body of flesh. It is a subjective phenomenon - it is experienced subjectively, it cannot be known objectively - and is experienced in this powerful form during a relatively short life on earth, yet it should not be forgotten that eternity lies in front where there will be more than enough "time" to experience of a greater magnitude than we can possibly even conceive of now, let alone experience while in a material body of earthly flesh. The strength of God's Love is truly and literally unlimited - there is no end to the power of Divine Love.

To one experiencing Divine Union while still in the flesh, it might seem to them that there could not possibly be a more powerful love than they feel, and yet they, and each one who follows the path laid down, will experience a stronger and ever stronger love. This is because it is God's Will that to each one created out of Himself, shall come all that He has prepared for them. Love is eternally giving, therefore when one is in God's Spiritual World and that one spiritually evolves a little more, then there is even more Divine Love awaiting that one. And this goes on forever.

It is this personal experience of God's Love which provides, over time, instruction as to not only the unconditional Love which is true Divine Love, but also tuition as to the ever-giving nature of that Divine Love, the actual giving of God Himself to His children - indeed, a God Who is Love and Who wishes to give Himself to the children of His Heart. His children, by degree, experience His Love, they experience something of what He Himself is: Love. This is Intimate Divine Union.

It is part of God's Plan that some have this experience while still here in a body of flesh, and it must be remembered that some who have this experience while in a body of flesh can sometimes feel very sad because they cannot be with their Beloved. It must also be remembered that God does not interfere with the courageous desires of the individual spirit, and some spirits - out of love for God - choose a hard and difficult path while the opportunity for a physical body is theirs, and so they choose experiences which will test their faith in the most potent way, and this may involve choosing not to encounter the experience of Divine Love while walking in a body of flesh because the spirit knows that faith with "blindness" is so much more beneficial to the soul than faith with "proof" (John 20:29).

It may seem odd to the mind that is not discerning, that someone who desires with all their heart to have such a close contact with God, can - at times - feel that the way has been lost all together. But these tests must be put; these tests are put because the spirit within desires them to be put. He or she who still seeks after the periods of chill have taken their toll, shall not only find what they seek, but in the Life-to-come shall be overjoyed that those periods of chill have strengthened the link between himself or herself and the God Who is Love.

Anyone who has known a form of love where the object of desire is absent, knows that the person is real - and to someone in Divine Union, God is more real than a physical body which shall return to the dust of the earth from which it came. Yet, while contemplating this subject, it should be noted that the yearning for the Source of all Love is also one of the most heart-rendering holy emotions there could be.

While attempting to summarise this subject, there is no conscious intention to describe what is, and what is not correct from a spiritual viewpoint. Nobody is truly in the position to be an authority on the phenomenon of Divine Union, not even those who experience it. Neither should anyone limit the power of the Holy Spirit and confine it by laying down boundaries. Tomorrow there could be something in this world from the Holy Spirit that has never been known by human minds on this plane before. Or the Holy Spirit might manifest in a manner quite different to anything known about so far - the point being that nobody except God is an Authority on the matter of Divine Union.

It is certain that the world in general, even after 2,000 years, is not ready for large-scale spiritual phenomena to be made manifest. Two main reasons can be considered: Firstly, there would be desecration of what is Divine through self-denial of spiritual reality by many, bringing untold misery not only to the ones unwilling to face the Truth, but also to those who turn to the darkness of the lesser self after spiritual reality has been revealed to them as the repercussions would be many times worse than if they had not witnessed the Holy Spirit at work. Secondly, the spiritual immaturity of those speaking in the name of God would bring about harm because of desires belonging to the lesser self as they seek to sensationalise, or even commercialise, what should only be taken in its spiritual sense alone; for example, they might seek to take people who experience the gift of Divine Union and force it upon a world which is not ready to understand (John 6:30; Mark 8:11; Matt.12:36-40). The world must first become spiritualised in God's way.

Every individual spirit is different and requires different experiences for it's own happiness Hereafter. One who experiences this Divine Union may be experiencing it because God wants that person to play a particular part in His Plan for the redemption of His children. Or perhaps that person needs to know the absolute agony caused by separation. Conversely, perhaps the spirit has chosen not to be given too much proof while sojourning this planet in the flesh and so God abides by that spirit's wishes and does not initiate this Divine Union while the spirit is in the flesh. There are many angles to consider and only God knows them.

It might be true to say that often this spiritual Union is unexpected by the person - they had not been seeking it consciously. It will have something to do with the position of the soul before taking on a physical body. It may also be true to say that humility beforehand is not a prerequisite for this to take place.

The phenomenon of Divine Communion: unity of spirit/soul with the Divine Spirit/Supreme Person/Love, while still in a body of flesh, obviously has a profound effect on the person. It is a changing phenomenon and the individual does seem to be able to quite adjust. It should be noted that for someone whose agonising love for God changes his or her outlook on life in a drastic manner, that person is still human and has "common" human feelings, although the revelation of the higher self is, as it were, a drastically accentuated and unstoppable process which no longer can be denied by the lesser self, as could be the case for one in whom the experience of this transforming Divine Power is not occurring.

This does not mean this experience does not happen to those who are seeking God consciously either. However, there are those who genuinely seek this union with Divine Love but never get what it is that they are seeking on this planet - but God's laws are just and when they pass into Another World they shall find that their highest hopes have been superseded many times over. It is the same law that applies, for instance, to the childless mother who desires so much to have children but the Earth life does not provide the fulfilment of her desire; but when she passes over she will find herself surrounded with more children than she could have ever dreamed of, to cherish, nurture and love as her own.

When contemplating this subject it is important to keep things in perspective. It may be a fascinating subject but there are already many fascinating things available to us that we take for granted. Take, for instance, a tiny babe. Is this not as fascinating a subject as Divine Communion, but how many people seek the spiritual truth about the origin of the tiny babe cradled in their arms? From God came the babe, it might be said, and then it is left at that. But there is a whole discourse of Love surrounding the tiny babe that can enlighten and uplift spiritually, and therefore bring joy to the Mother and Father Heart as the soul reaps the benefit of the instruction received. Divine Union/Communion is a gift from God, it is a spiritual gift manifesting on the Earth plane. But so is the little babe a spiritual gift manifesting here. We should keep all things in perspective.

The main "Home" of those who have Love in their hearts is full of Divine Love. Physical bodies are only inhabited on a daily basis, as it were, and for a very short time in comparison to life in Reality. Real Life is elsewhere. Now, that "Elsewhere", for those who have God in their hearts, contains all the love experienced by someone on the Earth who experiences the phenomenon of Divine Union - and more. There are many, many different Spheres and everyone inhabits a Sphere until they are able to enter one of more purity, which they then inhabit, and so on - and one is not confined to that Sphere but is able to enter any previously inhabited. In each Sphere there is work to undertake because Service is the only way a soul can satisfy its love for God - that soul wants to help Him because of its overwhelming love for Him. It is known clearly within, at such a time, that while another struggles, the great Heart of God seeks to console - and there manifests yet another chance for Service. Life is living, whether on this Earth or in the Beyond - Life is living. There cannot be a state where Divinely-connected life does not progress creatively, because to be "living" in the Divine sense means to be "alive", to be creating, to be producing love. Thus a soul is always becoming more and more refined in spiritual growth which involves states beyond human comprehension, yet always remaining individual because individuality is a gift from and out of God.

Many will wonder, when in the Next Life, how so much could have been achieved during this short Earth life. One must remember that here on Earth the spirit within desires strongly to be back in the Home from which one came. One who experiences Divine Union has chosen to leave that beautiful Home - full of Divine Power and Divine Love - for a reason. Perhaps one has seen a more beautiful Place of God, and having become somewhat acclimatised to the present Beauty - at one time seeming like the ultimate in Paradise - one wishes to enter a Place of even more awesome Divine Beauty and Power, but cannot enter because of its overwhelming Love which is just too strong to permit entry at that certain stage. Therefore, it is necessary to gain the ability to enter that Place in as short a time as possible, and so the suffering of Divine Union in a physical body is taken on as being the quickest and shortest way into that Place known and seen by the spirit prior to taking on an Earthly body of flesh. (Please note that this aspect of spiritual growth is a generalisation based upon the evolution of the soul and its onward journey and not a specific, all-encompassing reason as to why spirits take on the experience of Divine Union while in the flesh).

To one in Divine Communion with God while still in the flesh, it may seem that he or she will never have the will to ever be separated from that Union, but they will see that they do not need to be separated from that Union even though they can be an active part of His redemptive force through Service. All are His children and the more a child of God frees himself or herself from the lesser self, the more like one of His children that soul becomes - and His children, in Essence, are made out of God.

Thus, His children too shall thirst for lost and lonely souls and seek them out, bringing a cup of the waters of eternal life to their lips, yearning for them to sup and so cast out the darkness which causes such misery all around. One cannot rest while His children need help to cross the barrier they themselves have built up between themselves and Him. This may take one of a million different forms of Service, ranging from travelling in spirit with a band of others into the dens of war-planners on Earth and seeking to influence the warmongers to cease their aggression, to working in the children's Spheres where those taken from their worldly guardians at a tender age need caring, guidance and loving; or perhaps the form of Service will be as a keeper of a sacred meditation temple where others can come for a deeper Union with God - the possibilities are endless.

We can be in powerful loving Union with God whenever we desire in God's World of Spirit, and we can do this for as long as we like, He will not stop that. But there will be a time when we will want to work for Him and relieve Him of His pain and agony as He watches and feels His fallen children stumbling around in blindness and ignorance in the grey regions and dark planes. If we just wanted to be in Union with Him and not do anything to help His pain, would this not be selfish? We have our guidance in the Example set by Him when He left His own Godhead and came to suffer with us - and many other forms of sacrificial redemption by the Divine there are too.

Brave spirits are really missionaries. They leave their beautiful Homeland and enter dangerous and vile localities to bring the Light to others. This is the correct perspective to take from the point of view of Spirit; traditional religion encourages us to think that once this life on Earth is over we shall spend eternity doing nothing but revolving around the Throne Room gazing in awe. A person experiencing Divine Union on this Earth has no greater desire than to be forever with God, and so it shall be, so it is. However, when the fuller, more real Life is seen after the limitations of these physical senses are left behind with the dropped physical body, then that person will not be content to ignore God's children and not play a part in their redemption. Someone in the flesh who is experiencing Divine Union has a love for God that is literally overwhelming, and indeed it shall be overwhelming for each and every one whether on Earth or in the Next Life; it will be even more potent in the Hereafter because ultra-fine and delicate sensitiveness is released once the confining and dense physical body is no more. But how can one truly love God and not do something to bring to Him some amelioration for the unimaginable sadness and sorrow caused to Him through the separation of His wayward and self-injurious children from Himself? And do not forget that as the soul becomes "fashioned" more to the likeness the spirit it carries (which was given out of the Great Divine Spirit), so does the same yearning that is in God increase in the souls of His children, except in miniature!

The "Mansions" in God's World offer a thousand-fold opportunities to be of Service compared to anything available here on Earth, and the love that exists there is beyond our imagination, even to those who wish to die to be with Love through the Divine Love felt now. The "Summerland" immediately adjacent to this Earth is for those who have no wickedness in their hearts but who desire "beauty" that is akin to Earth beauty; this pseudo Summerland is in fact a temptation to be overcome, and those who think they are content there have much to learn because they seek to take all that is around them without giving anything in return, thinking it is their earned right. This state is in fact a worse state to be in than on Earth because at least on Earth there is the blessing of confinement within a physical body that, in itself, can progress the evolution of the soul in a way not possible in a more refined state (explaining the spirit’s choice to take on this wonderful gift of human life). This knowledge is in fact a warning to each and everyone. Note: This pseudo Summerland is not to be confused with the so-named astral plane which does not really hold the beauty of even the earth, but which is a place where the thought-forms which are materialistic exist in abundance, and which is inhabited by souls which could yet go upward or downward towards the hells.

Then there is the beauty of the Spheres, the Summerland of Divine Love, beyond the lesser Summerland of temptation, and it is not the same kind of beauty at all. Those Spheres are bright with the beauty of sacrifice, enhanced with the melody that has been harvested and culled from faithful hearts and minds undertaking the mundane task. And then there is that which is beyond those Spheres of spiritual beauty and it could be termed Heaven because of its Divine Purity, so vast, so all-embracing that it would be impossible to convey anything of it to those in the Spheres beneath, let alone to those those on Earth.

When the significant phenomenon of Communion with the Divine happens to a person, with some it can be so strong as to make them unable to perform their daily duties properly, and may find they have to retreat to somewhere quiet where they can lay their body down, perhaps feeling crushed, until after hours or perhaps a day, they can arise again. They may feel alienated from this world and will feel that they belong to another world. This does not mean that they have no feelings but they could be feeling numb to previously felt emotions. Agony and despair in varying degrees will be felt. As the individual becomes accustomed to this phenomenon of Love, it may become even stronger for them but they are able to gain some measure of control and can perform in the world once again, regaining their interest but with a completely different outlook. It might be said that words mean little to such people and anything which does not equate with the Love they know exists is seen for what it is - the devices of the human mind.

It is sometimes mistakenly assumed by those who have not experienced Divine Union that those who do experience Divine Love are experiencing it with their minds, but really they are experiencing it with their hearts and souls, and the mind plays a lesser part. This is why words which belong to the physical mind have no method of explaining what is experienced, and the experiencer often complains that it is not possible to explain what is happening to them. This is also why a new understanding to scriptural words transcends the common teachings of those thinking with their physical minds.

The "Union with God" experience has a similar basic underlying set of experiences for those who have this experience here in the flesh. However, there do appear to be differences, some more potent than others, some with accompanying effects and others without. It should be noted that while the experience may have similarities, the interpretations of what is happening to the individual by the individual, might vary. The philosophy that comes from the individual as a result of Divine Union may be markedly different because of religious background, characteristics and personality, and degree of spiritual release.

Such an experience is not as uncommon as might be expected, it is just that most of the time such experiences are undocumented and remain as a personal and intimate relationship between the person and the Supreme Person, and the individual would rather keep it that way. Some might term people having such experiences as mystics, but perhaps many of the people having the experience would call themselves just "ordinary" people like everyone else, each being a child of God. Others might term such people as saints but perhaps the people having the experience would be the first to claim that they are far removed from sainthood and would be fully aware that they are not perfect - they are simply overwhelmed with a spiritual and very real unity with the Divine Being where they are as one and yet remain individual in order to experience that unity.

Tony Bisson
(*Also see Sainthood: "Perfection" is saying a big thing in a small word
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