“I exist, my Lord exists. My search for His glamour, my search for His grandeur is never-ending. I am moving unto Him, moving along a never-ending path. This search for the Great by the little is called mysticism. The fundamental point of spirituality depends on this mysticism. And for the attainment of this status, we have come here. We have come to this earth so our lives are not meaningless. Our everything is meaningful. And by our action, by our knowledge, and by our sincerity, we will be increasing this meaningfulness from unit to infinite.”—Shrii Shrii Anandamurti (1921-1990)
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti (lovingly called Baba) was a consummate master of nondual Tantra and a memorable teacher of mine. In my limited experience, Baba’s immensity of shakti (spiritual energy) and magnitude of caetanya (consciousness) was unfathomably beyond compare. Not your average populist guru.
Ultimately, the sweet fragrance of devotion is what most powerfully merges the mind back into its Source—this blissful interpenetrating dance of lover and Beloved suffused with Sufi mystical tones and resonances reminiscent of Rumi and Ibn Arabi. Baba’s path evinces this devotional stance nicely.
The Sufi mystic’s dance of love with the Divine Beloved is richly present in the Christian biblical tradition too, though not often recognized and spoken about as such. To me, it is evident that the circumincessional (interpenetrating) dance of love between the three Persons of the triune God—Father-Son-Spirit—is just such a dance. God is not a boring monad but a juicy comm-unity in white-hot love.
Ecstatic and overflowing, unreservedly outpouring, self-emptying and other-filling, openly and selflessly receiving—this communion dance of love in the absolute interiority of God is termed “perichoresis”(in Greek) or the mouthful of a word “circumincession” (in Latin-derivative). And this perichoretic dance of love is made available to us who are in Christ.
Christ, by His incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection, has placed us in His very Being to partake and participate in this triune communion dance of love. Loving union and communion between humanity and God. This is grace upon grace indeed.
Even as we see the triune God as a community of three Persons, we must not forget God is quintessentially One. This boggles the mind as we tend to equate ‘person’ with ‘entity’ and the law of excluded middle in Aristotelian logic negates any entity being one and three at the same time.
While Aristotle may take issue with three-one commensurability, I suspect Nagarjuna would be less troubled. That aside, Christian theology upholds the fundamental unity of God in His essential Being, even as God exists in three Persons. Thus, we can see that beyond and underlying the distinction of Persons, God can be understood trans-linguistically and trans-numerically as a boundless field of nondual aseity (pure self-derived Being). To this, one can probe deeper into emptiness (sunyata) of inherency but I shall not do so here.
Regardless of His tri-personal expression, God is singularly self-existent—what I would call a nondual mystery of not-one, not-two, not-three, and not-four (even as we are brought into this divine dance by grace). Here again, either a non-affirming negation or affirming negation in the notion of emptiness would be revealing. But best to leave that aside for now.
Suffice to say, this perichoresis of the triune God subsumed into nondual aseity is advaita of the trinitarian kind. A profound topic for prolonged mastication and digestion.