God is a verb. God simply “IS”. God is the "Great I AM". When Moses asked God on Mt. Sinai, whom shall I say sent me, God said; “I AM THAT I AM”. Tell them that “I AM” hath sent thee. “I AM” refers to the verb to “BE”. And the essence of the verb to be is - “IS”. God simply “IS” God is a verb, “BEING” constantly alive - a Living “BEING” in constant expression of love which is continuously flowing through everything throughout creation; flowing through you and me. God is the very best of both men and women and infinitely more and is referred to in the Old Testament in both the feminine and the masculine. That is why I constantly refer to God as he – she, her – him in alternating order because neither is more important than the other.

And since God has no gender, and as the Creator of all things throughout existence, and since God is all powerful and since God “IS” love, I refer to my God simply as my Beloved. My Beloved is all things to me but the most important thing my Beloved is to me is my Beloved Best Friend. Being infinite, I will never be able to understand or to grasp an infinitesimal aspect of the depth that is my Beloved or of the infinite depth of love that “IS” my Beloved. I am content to know that from the depths of the infinite love and power of my Beloved, my Beloved wants only the very best for me and with that knowledge brings an incredible humility.

Life is painful. It has thorns, like the stem of a rose. Culture and art are the roses that bloom on the stem. The flower is yourself, your humanity. Art is the liberation of humanity inside your self. Daisaku Ikeda President, Soka Gakkai International. sgi-usa.org

My fine art; my paintings, my Giclée Fine Art Prints, my Architectural Stained Glass are all both acts of love but at the same time are painful to produce on emotional, mental and spiritual levels. But that doesn't diminish the immense satisfaction of finishing a work of beauty. And this beauty is a direct result of my giving of myself as a tool, an instrument, a channel over to my Beloved Best Friend who is my God. I am merely a channel, a conduit through which the immense love of my Beloved Best Friend flows into this world both through my art and the example I try to convey to my beloved brothers and sisters in this humongous family of our Beloved Creator.

Our Beloved Creator is the only absolute. As for us, his - her beloved children, we are all of us flawed, weak and incomplete relative to the perfection that “IS” “The Great I AM”, our Beloved Creator. But our Beloved has given us principles to live our lives by that she – he designed to help transform us into her – his likeness of love.

My concept of The Holy ONE is that mode of being which is made up of all the best qualities of the greatest and most loving father and mother and infinitely more. So much more than my puny little brain cannot even begin to comprehend the depth of love that “IS” The Holy ONE nor the magnitude of my Beloveds power. And because of the ALL COMPREHENSIBLE goodness that “IS” our Beloved, and since I am making an attempt to not overuse my favorite and only reference to The Holy ONE as my Beloved because he – she “IS” love, and also since it seems to me to be out of place to refer to our Beloved as it, I always add the references to The Holy ONE as she – he or he – she in alternating order because my Beloved Best Friend who “IS” The Holy ONE is also my ultimate and absolute Creator and therefore both my Mother and my Father, and as I already said, infinitely more.

What first comes to mind when I ponder the idea of the Pure in Heart are “The Four Absolutes” as taught by Pastor Frank Buchman. They are “Absolute Unselfishness”, or “Absolute Selflessness”, “Absolute Honesty”, “Absolute Purity” and “Absolute Love”. Pride, especially spiritual pride is a great delusion of many. We think that we have our lives under control and all we think about is how we can get more and more. More and more of whatever it is that we think will make us happy. And quite often what we think will make us happy, especially material things turn into burdens that we soon wish we never had to begin with.

In my younger years, I was full of myself and I suffered greatly because of it. Spiritual pride was especially a source of great pain in my life. Spiritual pride is simply taking all the credit for my achievements while ignoring the true source of my achievements; the Great Creator of all. Without my Beloved, I am nothing, I am infinitely less than a puff of smoke.

There is one simple question to ask myself to determine if selflessness is indeed active in my life. That question is; “How will what I am about to do affect someone else?” If it will not affect anyone else, it is simply an innocuous act without meaning. If what I am about to do will affect someone else adversely, then my actions are vain and selfish. However, if what I am about to do will help another, and if I am content to help this other person for the sole satisfaction of allowing my Beloved Creator to use me as her – his instrument, without any desire for any kind of recognition, that is truly selfless action.

Love is the source of purity. In order to determine if “Absolute Love” is an active part of my life, again, all I need to ask is one simple question; “Is this ugly or is this beautiful?” If this whatever is truly beautiful, then “Absolute Love” is an active expression in my life.

My art is and always has been an act of love; an effort to effect and enhance spiritual growth both within myself and within the spectators of my art, who hopefully - invariably will be affected either negatively, or much more hopefully - positively. You see, most artists prefer, at least some reaction, some kind of response to their art whether that reaction is negative or the response positive. There are artists who seek a negative reaction. I am an artist who seeks a positive response from my viewers. Notice my use of reaction to the negative and response regarding the positive. It is my belief that a reaction comes from the gut level, base animal instinct we all possess. Whereas a response derives from a higher consciousness of love and understanding and is a result of restraint from launching an immediate barrage of insults and taking time to understand the other person. The St. Francis Prayer says in effect that we need to seek to understand rather than to be understood.

1 John 3:18 states; "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth." I call God my Beloved simply because my Beloved whom I worship and continually seek a deeper love relationship with "IS" love. As 1 John 4:16 states; "The Beloved is love. Whoever lives in love lives in our Beloved, and our Beloved lives in him." We each and every one of us is the temple of the Beloved. In some of us, the Beloved is buried deep within, in others the Beloved shines through virtually every action and word. The relationship that each and every one of us has with the Beloved is the most intimate of all whether we are aware of it or not. The Beloved lives within each of us. But as stated in the Book of Acts 17:28 "...in the Beloved, we live and move and have our being." “The Great I AM” exists everywhere, throughout the universe, from the core of our planet out to the farthest star and infinitely beyond. We are alive, living out our lives and breathing and communicating with one another and with the “Holy ONE” within our Beloved while at the same time our Beloved is alive and living within us. When I ponder this truth, I am always astounded. We at once live within our Beloved and our Beloved lives within us. That is the most profound and intimate relationship in all of existence.

There is only one thing that I have absolutely no power over; 'EVERYTHING'. The past is past and I cannot change the past to save my life. The future is completely beyond my realm of influence. The only thing I do have power over is right now, this moment to the extent of the attitude I strive toward during this moment. I can wallow in self-pity, or I can enjoy this moment, to the best of my ability. If I strive for the attitude of loving my existence, my being, right now, this moment, the future at least appears promising.

I have developed the habit of meditating on love, the love that “IS” our Beloved Father-Mother in heaven. 1 John 3:24 states; "Those who obey his commands" - (to simply love one another through acts of kindness) - "live in him, and he lives in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us." His command is simply to "...Love each other." The one flaw that holds each of us back is our attachment to this world we presently live in.

But, 1 John 4:4 states; "You, dear children, are from our Beloved and have overcome the evil one," - (and our attachments to this world) - "because the ONE who is in you “IS” greater than the one who is in the world." And finally 1 John 4:16 states; "And so we know and rely on the love our Beloved has for us. Our Beloved “IS” love. Whoever lives in love lives in our Beloved, and our Beloved lives in him."

Fear is biblically the opposite of love. 1 John 4:18 states; "The one who fears is not made perfect in love." In prayer, I call my Beloved by name. The name of my Beloved is both love and beauty. Pure love is pure beauty. Our Beloved Creator “IS” Pure love and therefore, Pure Beauty. In my favorite prayer I address my Beloved Father-Mother as; 'My most Beautiful, Precious Beloved, remove my fear and grant me your direction, strength, and inspiration to become what you would have me be. Help me be willing to allow you to transform me into your likeness of love.' It is clear, at least to my mind, that the likeness of the unseen Spirit which “IS” our Beloved Father-Mother, (our Creator), is simply love. Love is an unseen intangible, but, it is the most sought after, intangible or tangible, in one form or another, in this life, and in this world. The love that “IS” truth, the love that “IS” our Creator, has been distorted out of countenance and has been misapprehended to mean everything from sex to what I can get out of or over on you just as the word awesome has been distorted from its original meaning of that of a depth of feeling beyond any verbal description. But, my Beloved “IS” the most beautiful of all because my Beloved “IS” love and love “IS” beauty.

When I mix that simple prayer with meditation on the truth which “IS” love which “IS” my Beloved Father-Mother, and I reciprocate with admonitions of my love for my Beloved, I at once am consumed by a peace and joy which deepens with every admonition. I do this throughout my day. When I fail as I inevitably will do, I can start my day over again with meditation on this truth which “IS” love which “IS” my Beloved and it never fails to bring me to the center of peace and joy. It has never failed because this is the Great Truth. “The Great Truth” that our Beloved - being all-powerful; the greatest power in existence, “IS” love, makes love the most powerful force in existence - love is infinitely more powerful than all the hatred, wars, jealousy, pride; in effect, all of the negativity combined which human beings have perpetrated upon one another throughout the ages and all of this negativity becomes meaningless once this simple truth - the truth that The Holy ONE “IS” love, becomes fully realized in our consciousness.

There is once again, only one simple question to ask to determine if “Absolute Honesty” is actively at work in our lives. This question is: “Is this true or is this false?” A self-determined striving for that which is true is the noblest undertaking of any and every human being. Living a lie, any lie is not striving toward the perfection that “IS” our Beloved. All of the Four Absolutes are guides for each of us to work on ourselves disregarding all others with respect to the application of these Four Absolutes. What this means is that they are designed to put a halt on our pointing our fingers at others and exposing their mistakes and concentrating ALL OUR EFFORTS on utilizing these principles on ourselves to affect our own spiritual growth. Perhaps not a lot of fun at first, but as I grow in my own personal development, I myself can testify to the fact that utilizing these principles in my own life without drawing any attention to others who have adversely affected my own life, has brought ever-increasing peace, joy, happiness and perhaps most importantly, usefulness into my own life.

Put in their simplest terms, These principles are; to place my complete trust in the hands of my Beloved – to recognize my brokenness and dire need for help, both from my Beloved and a Spiritual Advisor – to dig deep within my past and write out on paper or type out on my computer every single mistake and hurtful deed I have ever done both to myself and all others in my life and to also write or type out all of the good I have done in the past – to confess ALL of my wrongs to myself, before my Beloved and in the presence of my Spiritual Advisor for any feedback he or she may have – to become entirely willing to give ALL of myself, both good and bad to my Beloved and then to ask my Beloved in prayer to remove my fear as fear is the evil and corroding thread at the core of all of my past mistakes and for my Beloved to grant me her – his direction, strength and inspiration to become what he – she would have me be and to make me willing to allow him – her to transform me into her – his likeness of love – to make restitution to all I have harmed except when to do so would injure them or others – to continue to include this personal analysis with prayer and meditation every evening and when I hurt someone else, to apologize immediately and to further live my life in a way that shows them and others my sincerity and to begin my day with prayer and meditation, asking only for direction and the strength to carry out the will of my Beloved – and finally, to devote the rest of my life to helping every child of our Beloved who she – he places in my life to help, and we always know when we have the means to help another brother or sister in this immense family of our Beloved Lord and Savior.

From what very little I know now, I would have to say that that perfection which “IS” our Beloved is absolutely impossible for every one of us to attain. But, it is in the striving that we flourish and grow in the love that “IS” the Spirit. To strive toward that which is good, pure and true is in itself the finest of fine arts known to humankind. It is through this striving that we begin to appreciate and apprehend the ultimate truth which, from my point of view “IS” within our grasp, regardless of the fact that the depth of its meaning will remain beyond our understanding. “The Great Truth” is simply that The Spirit of the Universe our Beloved Creator “IS” love. "...and the truth shall set you free."

In order to discover whether or not “Purity” is guiding our lives, we once again need to ask but one simple question; “Is this right or is this wrong?” Obviously, if what we are about to do is without question absolutely, morally within the boundaries of goodness and right living and are kind, patient, tolerant and loving; the actions we are about to perform are “pure.”

Purity is of flawless quality. In his essay; “Of Pure Mind and Simple Intention,” Gerard Groot states; “By two Wings a man is lifted up from things earthly, namely by Simplicity and Purity. Simplicity tends toward God; Purity apprehends and tastes Him.”

Purity is a quality of both the mind and the soul. In the realm of mind it is the simple question; “Is this right or wrong?” With most of us, knowing the difference was and is the source of our shame, remorse, and guilt. We did not and or do not want to face the reality of our doing that which is wrong. However, when we hurt ourselves or others through our selfishness, the conscience deep within each of us indelibly cries out and beckons us to make restitution. But our own self righteous egos fight against our doing what is right and therefore what is pure.

In the realm of spirit is where we face difficulty. We know what is right, but do we have the dedicated will to do it? We must have a determined desire to do that which we know to be right if we are to achieve any measurable degree of purity. Intelligence is discipline. Knowledge means little until it is put into action – so it is with the decency of our lives. Unless we do what is right – the knowledge of, what is right is a haunting vacuum.

Selflessness includes more than just doing for others – it includes all that we do because most of our help to others comes through our example. The best that we can do for others is to give them an example of the decency and rightness of our life. Were we to contemplate the peace and contentment that a pure conscience would bring to us – and the joy and help that it would bring to others – we would be more determined about our spiritual progress.

The love that “IS” my Beloved is infinitely kind, gentle and tender, patient and tolerant, persistent in the quest for a love relationship with all of us; her – his beloved children, generous and selfless, innocent, sincere and humble. And the idea that the most powerful Being in existence is at the same time absolute humility just blows me away.

The Beatitudes are a perfect expression of or guide to the path which will lead us to a constant unfolding and deepening love relationship with our Lord. And the Beatitudes are in the perfect order as to how to allow that to happen. It's not something we can do. It is something we can only allow to happen. Our Lord has granted each of us free will and will never transgress that covenant she – he has made with us. But he – she “IS” constantly opening, with a loving invitation, a means for each of us to either make a beginning to seek her – his love or to continue in our growth toward that perfect love which he – she “IS”.

When I was utterly broken by my own arrogance and self-centered fear, I finally surrendered to the God of my spiritual infancy. I found that, as an anonymous source put it, “God doesn't make too hard terms with those who seek Him.” The barest, simplest approach is all that our “Infinite Beloved” yearns for. He – she already knows our finite limitations. All our Beloved is seeking is for us; his – her beloved children to seek him – her out so that, in spite of our infinitely limited ability to discern the depths of our Beloved, she – he can make him – herself known to us. In my own incredibly shallow, finite understanding, it is my belief that our Beloved simply wants us to know him – her.

If we make a daily attempt to surrender our will over to the truly awesome gentle, tender, loving care of “The Holy ONE”, whomever you or I conceive him – her to be, purity will come automatically, simply because “The Holy ONE” “IS” absolute purity, love, and goodness. The virtue lies in our striving. It doesn't matter what faults and flaws lie within our past. The Beloved loves you and me with all the intensity it took to create everything throughout the universe and infinitely beyond. It is the nature of our Beloved to forgive; finally – completely – unconditionally. So if you haven't already – join me and embark on this wonderful, beautiful journey with me. It is the journey that is so exciting and fulfilling with each new discovery, not the destination. Within the journey, there are endless possibilities.

Other articles in this series are:
Synopsis of the First Four Beatitudes
Blessed are the Poor in Spirit, for Theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven
Blessed are Those Who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness, for They Will Be Filled
Blessed are the Merciful for They Will be Shown Mercy
Blessed are the Pure in Heart for They Will See God

You can Order 18 1/2” x 12 1/2” fine art prints by Curt Doll for only $35.00 plus shipping of course. Every one of these works of art is a product of intimate and personal collaboration with my Beloved. I was the instrument which my Beloved used to create these works of art. Without my Beloved, I am infinitely less than a puff of smoke.

Author's Bio: 

Artist - Designer - Painter since 1977 - Curtis R Doll Jr began creating Stained Glass Windows in 1979, cutting glass, assembling the windows including installation and various & sundry jobs that go along with making stained glass - began designing Monumental Architectural Glass Installations in 1983 for churches, storefronts, malls, and continued to design small, residential & commercial projects - in addition, creating computer graphics, manipulating & restoring photographs - creating Digital, Limited Edition Fine Art Prints since 1998, and his passion continues to be Gouache paintings of abstracts.