God, whose love and joy are present everywhereby Angelus Silesius
English version by Gabriel Rosenstock
Original Language German
God, whose love and joy are present everywhere,
Can't come to visit you unless you aren't there.
|-- from The Longing in Between: Sacred Poetry from Around the World (A Poetry Chaikhana Anthology), Edited by Ivan M. Granger|
This is a great koan-like couplet by Angelus Silesius.
This couplet has two statements of God's presence that cause the logical mind to do summersaults. First, God "can't come to visit you unless you aren't there." And, the second, we have to ask, how can God "whose love and joy are present everywhere," "visit" anywhere since a visit implies God isn't already there?
Think for a moment what Angelus Silesius is saying in these few words. God "can't come to visit" unless "you," the ego, the me-self is no longer present. The ego identity, though normally assumed to be the fundamental sense of one's self, can, through spiritual practice and deep surrender, fall away. When there is no longer any "you" there, the radiant, loving, blissful presence of the Divine is perceived everywhere, even where "you" once were. This is what it means for God to "come to visit you"... but it won't happen "unless you aren't there"!