The essential reality for the mystic-activist is a metaphysics which affirms that a "One Love Consciousness" permeates the entire world: and that it is by "attraction" to "This" that atoms cohere and people aspire to the good. Our "drunken" attraction to Love convinces us -- despite every bit of evidence to the contrary -- that we live in a universe that is benevolent and conscious both: when everything is overflowing with Love, then a sort of "divine intoxication" pervades ones life (of course this is assuming that one is genuinely tending towards a "Solidarity Paradigm" and not masking for the Dominator Paradigm)...
This "divine intoxication" will have one not only working in a Soup Kitchen (one example from among many), but living in such a way that those served in fact know themselves to be one's sister or brother: this "divine intoxication" will have one engaging in the daily competition of trying to love more than Love Itself: "Okay, Holy One, you think you've got mercy down, well let me show you some real mercy!" Or, "So, You think You are compassion, well I'll show You the real face of compassion!" [These examples are NOT an exercise in ridiculousness: rather, they are indicators of what thrills Love!]
Of course, no single person can actually love more than the One Love: Who is Love-Without-Limits: but that is what lovers want to do for and with their Beloved... But, but, there is a "but" to everything: we are "only human" (a very bad excuse because we are equally divine, but anyway...): we do get tired. We do begin to run out of "gas": so then we begin to justify our limitations: we begin to increase our expectations upon those whom we used to simply serve with love and devotion: we used to be enthused with the challenge of a hospitality that would say "Welcome Home": and mean it: we never used to think that we could "foreclose" on compassion: we never used to think that the vision of "I am my brother's keeper" came with term limits: maybe our house even becomes a corporation: maybe our corporation then institutes a commitment to certain business models of "success" and eventually sheds the Folly of the Cross... [Perhaps following the dominant corporations, our CEO's get raises, while the lowest workers become expendable...]
"But" this is precisely where love gets interesting! "Beginners enthusiasm" is like the newlyweds marriage bed: everything is exciting: this unveiling, that caress, this kiss, that massage... but when schedules collide or anything else that comes along to erect barriers instead of flooding passions, the kisses fade and the dreams can be forgotten. So it is for a life of mysticism and action! We do get tired! We are tempted to say "I have loved enough!" It is at this precise moment that the wisdom of one such as Dorothy Day can be most helpful: listen to her in your mind's ear quoting Dostoevsky: "Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams." You see, "beginners enthusiasm", like a dream, is a great and wonderful thing, like the newlyweds honeymoon. But for the mystic lover, when the dishes pile up and the laundry needs attention: it is no longer "her job": in the "holy competition" of love, it becomes the competition of "my gift" for my Beloved. That "harsh and dreadful part" in the Dostoevsky quote, is about the shedding of all the ego reasons for "doing good" and pursuing justice, equality, and peace. Meanwhile, "our dreams" will find their renewal in "Love Loudly": and maintaining the vision of "Welcome Home": and practice, practice, practice -- until the Earth is renewed in Solidarity...
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.