SILENT MUSIC ( The Science of Meditation)
By WILLIAM JOHNSTON
Published by: HARPER & ROW, PUBLISHERS
Meditation opens up levels of psychic life that are ordinarily dormant. St. Theresa calls these deeper levels of awareness as interior senses and she speaks of a seeing, hearing touching and embracing that are different from seeing hearing touching and embracing that we associate with external sensations. A sixteenth century Spaniard St.Teresa used vivid and dramatic language to speak of a phenomenon which other mystics describe in simpler terms. They talk about relishing savoring the deeper realities while Bargson speaks of a deep creative emotion. All are striving to describe a dimension of psychic life which most of us rarely actuate because we live at a superficial level of awareness..
In case of Teresa these mystical faculties are operative chiefly in her relationship with Christ. It is Christ that she sees and hears and loves with the most profound faculties of her psyche. But these same faculties also can be brought into play in human relationships. This was the case with the mystics. Their most interpersonal relationships were the outcome and an extension of their profound contemplative experience. That is why in dealing with their fellow-men they could see and hear and touch at a new level That is why they could read hearts and know intuitively what others were thinking. When two mystics were friends, there arose between them a remarkable indwelling which enabled them to say one another- as the father has loved me so I love you
Living in a religious culture which set great store on the beauty of friendship, Aelred of Rievaulx composed a treatise on spiritual friendship in which like many of his contemporaries he makes extensive and mystical use of the Song of Solomon. O that you would kiss me with the kisses of your mouth. Aelred comments that a kiss can be exchanged at level of consciousness transcending the physical. Just as Teresa speaks of a seeing that goes beyond all physical kissing with the lips of the body. Such a kiss is infact nothing other than a meeting of two spirits. In a kiss he writes two spirits meet mingle and become one and as a result there arises in the mind a wonderful feeling of delight that awakens and binds together the love of them that kiss
Following the contemporary custom which looked upon perfection as a ladder rising up towards the spiritualization of matter he divides the kiss into three ascending stages of consciousness or awareness. According to the different kinds of union there is a kiss of the body, a kiss of the spirit, and a kiss of the mind. The kiss of the body. In a kiss of spirit by the union of the hearts; the kiss of the mind the infusion of grace into soul through the spirit of God, Then he describes three kinds of union beginning with bodily kiss. Hence the bodily kiss should not be given or accepted for certain or just reasons; for example as a sign of reconciliation, when enemies become friends. Or it may be a sign of peace as those who are about to receive Holy Communion in Church express interior peace with an exterior kiss. It may be given as a sign of love as between the bride and the bridegroom; or as it is given and received after a long separation . It can be given as a sign of catholic unity as is done when one welcomes a guest.