Allow me, for a few moments out of your day, to have your attention. Allow me to show you your boundless faith, the purity of your true self, your ever present awakened and saved self, that thing which, ultimately, cannot be named, yet you seek, because you are here looking.
With what mind do you seek truth and happiness? With whose judgment do you decipher what is a true path, what is a false path, who is a prophet and who is a false prophet? With what words, ideas, thoughts, learning can you form a basis for choosing what is right and what is wrong if you believe that the same you in in need is also the you who will choose a path? Which person are you, ignorant or wise? Who are you?
With whose history do you compare your correct future path to make sure it is the right choice? Is it your history as you perceive it? Is it a history defined by your parents, your friends, your work? Who are you who walks into this church, out of that church, embraces this gospel and rejects the next? Who are you?
Almost unbeknownst to us, we have created an existence where we imagine ourselves both lost, seeking truth and happiness, suffering, and needing a way out, while also seeing ourselves as somehow qualified to decide which path will lead to truth, which religion is right or wrong, whether there is a God or gods or nothing at all. Which one is it? Who are you?
If something has struck you at this point, beyond a mere intellectual understanding, you may be smiling, or laughing, or just still. Do you see it, maybe just a faint glimpse? It should be spontaneous and indescribable. Not to worry if it isn’t apparent. Keep moving forward.
So, how can you be both the helpless, suffering individual looking for freedom AND the one who chooses the path to freedom? Each person begins their journey as a seeker, on one level or another, and yet why are you Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist? Did that broken person seeking God or Truth or just happiness also have the divine wisdom to know where to go, what to choose, to recognize truth?
Maybe the smile has shown up now? If not, read on.
Seeing through this construct we have imagined, we appear to be stuck. We can’t be both helpless and in need of saving yet also able to recognize the ultimate truth which resolves our suffering, can we? If this situation strikes us in our depths, you will, for the first time in your life, experience what meditation is. It is not concentration, focus, prayer, mantra etc. Meditation is spontaneous stillness, quietness, grace. It happens, in a way, to us and not by us. We are not seeking or practicing or trying. We are spontaneously still. It is being overcome by being in a moment of true presence in that state where we see that there is futility in continuing to pretend we are either the one suffering, or the one able to find our way out of suffering. Seeing this, we are still. We are present. Now, again, ask, who am I? Does it seem that expecting an answer now causes laughter?
If you still want to, read on.
There is a paradoxical situation playing out in our role as both the seeker, the sufferer, and the one wise enough to choose the path out of suffering. Some will primarily take on the role of the helpless sufferer needing saving. Some will primarily take on the role of supreme actor who can choose his own path, and some will have whiplash being thrust back and forth between the two.
The helpless one might be compared to the state of deep sleep where we are vaguely aware, yet not really acting in any way either. The supreme actor may be compared to the person in the waking state, believing they are the author of their every move. And the person with whiplash can be compared to the one in the dream state, hopelessly confused by the reality, and non-reality, of the experience. We are all really a tapestry of these states but simplifying them makes it easier to discuss with words.
The seeming paradox, from the perspective of one still caught in the world, occurs in something like a fourth state, not sleep, not waking, not dreaming, and not even really a state. You might call it awakening, being saved, freedom, enlightenment, etc. It is “beyond” even the laughter that occurs when you see the untruth of the predicament we’ve put ourselves in as these various types of people with varying states of wisdom or suffering or whatever combination we choose to see.
You cannot experience or see or understand this last thing. It is the un-doing of the original sin in which the human condition looked upon itself and created what we think is reality. Don’t read into the word sin, try to understand or believe in “Genesis” as an idea- all these attempts are just more of your ideas, more of the whole conundrum we’ve just described. Just let go and read the words without intellectual ponderings, beliefs, conceptual gymnastics.
When people become self conscious, they create a world of their own in which they believe they are thrown out of perfection. Our true nature began in perfection, and has never become anything else, except in our own creation, our own minds. There has never been any of the actual realities we described above. There is no helpless seeker, no person who can decipher a true path, and, in fact, no path at all. We created the problem by looking back at our perfection, believing we were now separate, becoming the seeker trying to get back to where we actually already are, and imagining a path from one point to another, imperfection back to perfection.
Christ came not to change the world, as in the world of our imagination, not even to change us, as in the us that we have created through our imagination. God is within, Christ is within, and there is no separation beyond our own creation of it.
When moments of stillness, through a sudden experience of something beyond helplessness, wisdom, seeking, giving up, and all other becomings, shines forth, we will see we were never separate from God, never lacking grace, beyond time and experience, smiling, laughing, with a total inability to speak without continuing the dream that wouldn’t exist without the words in the first place. Now you should be laughing!