Long quotation! But apt to the struggle. If we are lucky – we are more sad than lost. We are working in our shops; we have our inventory, and now toil, transacting. Sad is better than lost.
Back to Marguerite Porete. (About the reference to Virtues – she maintains that we must conform our will to the Virtues, but will remain encumbered until we let go of our wills and Virtues – so that no honor or shame may slow us down.)
“Love: You have heard about those who are lost, and in what, and by what and shy. Now we will tell you also about those who are sad who are servants and merchants, but they act more wisely than the lost do.
Soul: Ah, by love, Lady Love, you who make all things easy tell us why the sad souls remain in the Virtues as well as the lost, why they serve the Virtues, and why they feel and desire through ardor the sharpening from the work of the spirit. Ah, love, Divine Love (says this Unencumbered Soul) I pray that you tell us why these sad ones are wise compared to the lost…
Love: Because the sad ones maintain that there is a being better than theirs, and so they understand well that they do not have understanding of this better thing which they believe. Moreover, this belief gives hem so little understanding and sufficiency in their being, that they maintain instead that they are miserable and sad. And so they are, without doubt, compared to the being of freeness of those who are in it, who never move themselves. Because they maintain and know for truth that they are sad, they often ask the way, through ardent desire, of the one who knows it – tat is, Lady Understanding, who is illumined by divine grace. This lady has pity on their calls, and those who are sad know this. Thus she teaches them the right royal road, which runs through the land of willing nothing… This life is the handmaid and servant who prepares the place for the arrival and lodging of the great being of the Freeness of Willing Nothing, by which the Soul is in all points satisfies, That is, the Soul is satisfied by this nothingness which gives all things. For the one who gives all, possesses all, and not otherwise.” [trans, Ellen Babinsky]