I set Yahweh ever before me (Psalm 16:8)
At any point in a day, season, and lifetime, we’re walking in a sacred direction. Sunrise is in the east: Noonday is in the south: Sunset is in the west: Midnight is in the north. The four seasons of our planet are similar: Spring is to east what summer is to south: Fall is to west what winter is to north. Our human lifespan is arrayed by these same directions: Infancy and childhood is east: Adolescence and early adulthood is south: Aging, dying, and death is west: Transmigrating in the afterlife is north. In any personal cycle within our life—as in a relationship, career, or a goal—participates in this same rhythm of directions. An inspiration for an experience marks its beginning. Growing and cultivating this, the experience rises and expands to its highest, widest point. As anything that begins must end, with faith we can look through the end into its in-between state, where another beginning awaits. At any single point in a day, season, personal cycle, or lifetime, the Eternal One—Yahweh—is ever before us. There is no where God isn’t.
Elements of Inner space
Mystics and gnostics also relate biblical instances of the four directions with elements of consciousness. The four angels that bear the divine chariot (Ezekiel 1:5) and surround the throne of the Lamb (Revelation 4:6), the four winds of the Spirit (Ezekiel 37:), four attributes of Messiah (Isaiah 11:2), and four loves of Yahweh (Mark 12:30), are just a few of many biblical examples that invite us into a mystical contemplation of the omnipresence and inner space of Yahweh.
If the experience of Yahweh’s omnipresence is known by its effects later, this is much like “air,” a quality and element of consciousness that corresponds with the east. Key words of air, breath, spirit, and wind open biblical views of “air.” If Yahweh’s omnipresence ignites, accelerates, or even consumes, this is much like the principle of “fire” that corresponds with the south. What was the nature of the flame that called to Moses out the bush that burned but wasn’t consumed (Exodus 3:2)? Reflective qualities of change between states of fluidity and solidity are much like experiences of “water,” which correspond with the west. But far beyond H20, what really are the upper from lower waters Elohim divided on the second day of creation (Genesis 1:7)? Stability, manifestation, and physicality are often very rooted like “earth,” which corresponds with north. But what is the rock that bore you (Deuteronomy 32:18) or the foundation the wise builder (Matthew 7:25)? A mystical reading of these four elements figure beyond their literal chemistry. Instead, they point to attributes of Yahweh manifest in inner space.
The orientation of holy people in scripture is other than “I am here.” Instead, when Yahweh asked, they oriented by saying, “Here I am.” This awareness of “here” is a mystery and practice of centeredness in the Holy One. “Here” may be a physical location, but, as we’ve already considered with elements and directions, “here” is an orientation in consciousness, an experience of inner space. Before any tabernacle or temple was built, our ancestors worshipped Yahweh “here” outside. The prophets had powerful experiences “here” by rivers (Ezekiel 1:1, Luke 3:3), on mountains (Exodus 19:20), or in caves (1 Kings 19:9). They were intimate with many mysteries of the Presence of the LORD manifest “here” in elements or directions of the sacred circle. Any mention of directions east, west, south, or north correspond with attributes of consciousness of the Holy One. The four letters that spell YHVH even correspond to directions and attributes! YHVH literally pervades and surrounds us!
We have an extensive body of practices for prayer and worship of YHVH “here” in the outdoors by rivers, at sacred fires, on mountain tops, or beyond stars. We practice seeing Creator here in Creation. The more closely we learn to be here with the One in creation, the more naturally we’ll see, hear, and know God in reality-as-it-is. The sacred circle orients our awareness of God within that which appears in all things. Tau Malachi calls such direct perception of reality-as-it-is a “material vision.” This expresses the fullness of God making Godself known to us here through Creation. Everything is a sign of God Most High. All creature here are veils and faces of God. Earth is the gate of heaven. Only through material vision can we merit heavenly vision. Only by way of the directions can we orient where we are in life in the Holy One and say, “Here I am.”