I’m in a kind of dance with love lately. Sometimes it’s cheek-to-cheek, sometimes it’s a graceful waltz, sometimes it’s a wild gleeful swing, and sometimes it’s a solo sway to the rhythm of my heart.
When my ears stumbled upon the words below, I felt compelled to share them here, as I think all our hearts are heretics of the free spirit.
One of my favorite people on the planet was Marguerite Porete, lived around 1300. And she lived a very — she was a Beguine, and she lived a very kind of proper, Beguine life as a lay monastic kind of person.
But she wrote a book called The Annihilation of the Simple Soul. And in that book she describes how she has fallen in love with love. And as a consequence, she has left behind the virtues. She leaves behind the virtues in order to embrace love itself. And then she quotes Augustine, “Love love and do what you will,” that this becomes the moral axis.
So it’s no longer the church telling her what to do. She says, “I leave the little church and now I go into the large church, the great church.” So, she left the little church of the virtues. Because she, I think, discovered the source of the virtues themselves, codified and rigorously enforced.
She was burned at the stake as a heretic of the free spirit.
That’s the heresy. I think she was 600 years ahead of her time. And we all have that possibility now of making that discovery, stepping out.
Most of us have, I think, in this room, probably stepped out of the little church and may be finding our way to the big church. – Arthur Zajonc