49 al-Baa’ith, The Awakener, the Raiser of the Dead

“To understand this divine name, we must enter into the realm of mythological ideas. But we will also return with insights that remain valid and helpful for our everyday life. In mythology, death is considered a form of sleep from which the Awakener will call us back to wakeful life on the 'Day of Judgment,' which refers to the day at the end of all days. A great deal of insight is clothed in this image: that God stands outside life and death, even outside time, in the eternal Now; and above all, that God wants to give us a part in a timeless and, therefore, unending life. The awakening is a gentle image indicating that true aliveness begins with a wakeful relationship with God.

“But why should we wait and awaken only on the last day? Even today, we can encounter the Awakener if we pause and become aware of the many things in our life that are outside time and, therefore, are everlasting. For example, any truly heartfelt relationship between human beings goes beyond time because it reaches into the eternal Mystery. The more consciously we dwell in that part of our life that transcends time, the more alive we become through the Awakener. Those who live only in time are already dead. The more we live our lives oriented toward God, the more we grow beyond the fading and temporal — yes, even now!

“Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and become aware of how a mysterious reality that we call life is enlivening you. Now remember that the Great Mystery is not an impersonal, mechanical reality but your fundamental Thou — and already, the Awakener is giving you a brief taste of the bliss of fully wakeful life for which you are meant beyond time.”