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The Odes of Solomon: 40

Virgin OransA continuation of the Commentary on the Odes of Solomon for Awakening.

As honey drips from the comb of bees, and the milk flows from the woman that loves her children, so also is my hope on Thee, O my God.
As a fountain gushes forth its water, so my heart gushes out the praise of the Lord, and my lips utter praises to him.
And my tongue is sweet in his intimate converse, and my members are anointed by his Odes.
And my face rejoices in his exultation, and my spirit exults in his love, and my soul shines in him.
And he who is afraid shall trust in him, and redemption shall in him be assured.
And his gain is immortal life, and those who receive it are incorruptible. Alleluia.

As honey drips from the comb of bees, and the milk flows from the woman that loves her children, so also is my hope on Thee, O my God.

The second clause of this sentence refers to a very common belief in India that when a mother looks with love on her infant child, milk will spontaneously flow from her breasts. The idea of both symbols, the honey and the milk, is that those who nature has been purified and restored to its true character will naturally, spontaneously fix their hope on God as the source and center of their life, that he will fill their minds and be understood to be the sole reality of all things, including them.

As a fountain gushes forth its water, so my heart gushes out the praise of the Lord, and my lips utter praises to him.

As in the foregoing, the purified and illumined heart will not look upon God as a mere object, however wondrous and awesome, but will stream forth loving glorification of God, because such loving praise is innate in the spirit of every sentient being.

And my tongue is sweet in his intimate converse, and my members are anointed by his Odes.

Margery Kempe in her autobiography (the first in the English language) continually speaks of having such communication with Jesus every day. The speaking of the soul with God can be verbal and it can be only movements of the heart and mind. Indicating this intimate interchange, Solomon wrote: “my beloved is mine, and I am his” (Song of Solomon 2:16). The odes spoken of in this verse are not those of the manuscript, but of the inspiration behind the odes that are expressed by the speaker.

And my face rejoices in his exultation, and my spirit exults in his love, and my soul shines in him.

This should be understood very literally. It is of course a description of a mystical state, but a state that can be described. Often I have had non-esoterics attempt to assure themselves that what I was saying or doing was symbolic and “not meant to be literal or real.” But when I assured them that it was real they retreated into themselves and had no more to say. For example when a “contemplative” Christian monk insisted that I was not worshipping an image, but only what the image represented, he was displeased when I told him: “No. I am worshipping the image because God is everything, including that image. Certainly it represents Something, and What it represents is, as the Bible says, ‘All in all,’ embracing all existence.” Such is the way when East and West meet and pass by each other.

And he who is afraid shall trust in him, and redemption shall in him be assured.

Images in Indian religion often have the deity making a gesture called abhaya–Fear Not. Those who take refuge in God shall find all fear erased from their hearts, and the true salvation, the spiritual liberation which they seek, shall be both assured and found in God

And his gain is immortal life, and those who receive it are incorruptible.

The “gain” of the seeker is God. “The word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1). The immortality and incorruptibility gained is the immortal and incorruptible Life that is God. “For in him we live, and move, and have our being,… For we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:28). The word translated “offspring” is genos, which means kind or kindred, the idea being that we are of the same being as God: divine by nature. But God is infinite and we are finite, gods within God.

Read the next article in The Odes of Solomon for Awakening: The Odes of Solomon: 41

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