MYSTICISM: Vision 8 — The Mountain by Hadewijch of Antwerp

Vision 8 — The Mountain by Hadewijch of Antwerp

I saw a great mountain, which was high and broad and of unspeakably beautiful form.  Five ways went steeply upward to the mountain; they all led to the highest seat of the noble mountain, which was there on high.  But they went high, and higher, and still higher, and to the highest, so that the summit itself was the highest of all and the highest Being himself.  And I was taken up and carried upward to the mountain.  There I saw a Countenance of eternal fruition, in which all the ways terminate, and in which all those who have followed the ways to the end become one.    Someone who carried me upward showed himself to me, and when I was on high he said to me: “Behold how I am the champion and basal of this true Countenance, which sees to the depths of all things and irradiates perfect service, leads to perfection, teaches both the science of God and wisdom, and gives the riches of all fruition of all the taste of full cognition.  I have the appearance of a champion; see that my beauty is that of one who conquers everything and has in his power the Thing Heaven, hell, and Earth serve.  I have ascended on these ways to the highest; I guide you, and I am your trustworthy finger post on the four ways.  The fifth, however, which is yours, will be made known to you by the just God who sent you this way and sends it to you.”

Then he showed me again that ineffably beautiful Countenance, which was in appearance like a great fiery flood, wider and deeper than the sea.

And out of the flood I heard a great Voice, that said to me: “Come, and be yourself the highest say, and be one with the beings who are perfect in it, and who with short hours retrieve all long hours.  Your great privation of Love has given you the highest way in the fruition of me.  I have longed for this from the beginning of the world, and you have often paid for it with painful desire, and you will yet pay for it.  This privation of what you desire above all, and this reaching out to me who am unreachable: This is the short hour that outvies all long hours.  This is also the way that leads to my Nature, by which I came to myself and went forth.  And by this way I went forth from my Father to you and those who are yours, and I came again from you and those who are yours back to my Father.  With myself I have also sent you this hour, and you must, with me, pass it on to those who are yours.

“This hour, which outvies the efforts men might make in a year, is you yourself; and it is those who are always in new ardor of increasing desires and who, because of this, suffer great opprobrium in unheard-of measure and are complained of by all; and they doubt themselves in spite of all their good works; men condemn them, and almost no one is merciful to them.  For godly men doubt them, their neighbors wonder, and a few hate them; but the hour outvies the year.

“The month, which outvies the year, is you yourself; and it is those who, in their pain and in their outward or inward privations, have little consolation but suffer this gladly for my sake, relying on my consolation which I shall come to them.  They are closer to overtaking me in a month than those who have consolation are in a year.

“The instant, which outvies the month, is you and those who, for my sake and for the sake of others who have need of them, live in torment for my sake and because of their offense, their mischief, and their loss, outwardly and inwardly in all their need, while they themselves labor continually in order to possess knowledge of Love.

“The days that retrieve the week are you and those who, although without guilt they fall into distress, retain their longing for God, because no guilt was attributed to them.

“And because you alone placed your charity for all men in unity with me, you touched me in this hour with the way of my Nature, which I came and went; so I bear to you the true witness with which I am the Truth of my Father.  And my Father bears witness to me that you are the highest way and have brought with you this way of life, which I have awaited in my hidden way.  And because you have knowledge of this in the sanctity of us both, now be holy in us; and all who come to us and have knowledge of it through you shall at least be holy!  Till they are so unified that they know you in this highest way above all things, trust you, and serve you because you are what this way is; and that they desire me in this highest way, and speak aright in what concerns you, and give you their approval, until the day when they will lead so high a life that I and my Father and you can bear true witness that their short hour outvied so long a time.

“Now you have tasted me and received me outwardly and inwardly; and you have understood that the ways of union wholly begin in me.  Now, as the unconquered one who has conquered all heavenly, earthly, and hellish champions, turn to me, and be adorned as victor!  Lead all the unled according to their worthiness, in which they are loved by me and with which they love and serve me according to my Nature, wherein I am everything that all creatures need and lack.”

And I came again into the presence of the spirit who had brought me there, and I asked him: “Lord Champion, how did you come to the beauty of your high witness, so that you led me upward and yet not to the end?”

He told me who he was.  After that he said to me: “I bear witness to you concerning the four ways, and I travel them to the end; in these I recognize myself, and I conquer the divisions of time.  But the Beloved gave you the fifth way; you have received it where I am not.  For when I lived as man, I had too little love with affection, and followed the strict counsel of the intellect.  For this reason I could not be set on fire with the love that creates such a great oneness, for I did the noble Humanity great wrong in that I withheld from it this affection.”

And he continued: “Return again into your material being, and let your works blossom forth.  The blows of enmity are drawing near you.  But you return as victor over all, for you have conquered all.”

Then I came back to myself as someone in new severe pain, and so I shall remain until the day when I am again recalled to the experience from which I then turned away.

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