Negate This

A future that could've been

The Mirror of Simple Souls

Published on by Negate This

“The Mirror of Simple Souls” is a heretical piece of work, and that Marguerite Porette was burned at the stake for heresy and for the circulation of the Mirror is no surprise. Holy-Church-the-little-with-all-his-rude-scripture realizes not that the naughting of the soul’s will and subsequent desires are the ways of coming into union with God. To not recketh hell nor paradise nor the virtues of the Church puts one in a more immediate position to God. For the Church, a soul that does not reckon these things and does not engage with God through Reason is one less divine relationship that the Church can mediate.

But what of the seraphim and those souls that are also six-winged? The seraphim stand among God and possess a fiery divine love. Their proper being is when “there is no mean (i.e. intermediary) between their love and the divine love” for there is no greater gift of love than “the gift given without mean” (Div. 3 Ch. 1). How can one ever have fiery divine love when their relationship to God is being mediated through the Church and the Church’s will? One must annihilate their own will and the Church’s will. Of course the Church would label Porette and the Mirror as heretical, they are both rejecting the deification of institutions, returning the divine to its proper place, or rather unmasking the Church’s false divinity.

So then what of the soul that has no mean between her love and divine love? She is an annihilated soul that does naught and knows naught, but “she knoweth not of this naught-in-God, compared with the all-of-him” (Div. 5 Ch. 9). She is so “absorbed in the contemplation of his All” that her deficiencies are of no concern to her, for God will “work in her without her” (Div. 5 Ch. 9). Her lack of concern, her naught in knowing, means that she does not become an intermediary in her own relationship with God, she does not limit herself in being oned to God because she has let Faith and Love govern and lead her.

The seraphim and the annihilated soul share the lack of mean between love and divine love. Is immediacy what makes things divine? Being oned with God is having no mean between your soul and God, an immediacy between your soul and Him. What of immediacy between other things or with other people? Just like Porette says there must be a rejection of the deification of institutions in order to truly experience immediacy between the soul and God, one must reject the deification of the institutions that govern relations between people and things if they wish to experience immediacy between themselves and other or other things. Rejection of the deification of these institutions, of the state, really, is recognizing that they are not more than us. It’s not a secret that the people are more powerful than the state, after all, so why uphold it as a mediator of our thoughts and relationships?

“The Mirror of Simple Souls” offered me my first look into Christian mysticism, and in the end it revealed a lot more to me than what I had expected. Caliban and the Witch primed me to consider heretical thought as more important than what I had assumed of it years prior, and the Mirror has furthered that consideration.