Creator/Spirit/Mind/Source, the infinite mystery of the universe, is described in many ways: word, breath, spirit, formless, suchness, energy, nameless with a thousand names. We turn to look and do not see. We listen, but the sound escapes us. But somewhere in our being, everywhere in and beyond our being we know, we revel, we delight.
This Teacher of mine, this Teacher of mine – he passes judgment on the ten thousand things but he doesn’t think himself severe; his bounty extends to ten thousand generations but he doesn’t think himself benevolent. He is older than the highest antiquity but he doesn’t think himself long-lived; he covers heaven, bears up the earth, carves and fashions countless forms, but he doesn’t think himself skilled. It is with him alone I wander. Taosim. Chuang Tzu 6*
The sages have sifted and filtered the light for us and with us, spoken pieces of the word, cast metaphor on the formless, seen spirit in the manifest:
Just as light is diffused from a fire which is confined to one spot, so is this whole universe the diffused energy of the supreme Brahman. And as light shows a difference, greater or less, according to its nearness or distance from the fire, so is there variation in the energy of the impersonal Brahman.
Vishnu is the highest and most immediate of all the energies of Brahman, the embodied Brahman, formed of the whole of Brahman. On him is the entire universe woven and interwoven: from him is the world, and the world is in him; and he is the whole universe. Vishnu, the Lord, consisting of what is perishable as well as what is imperishable, sustains everything, both Spirit and Matter, in the form of his ornaments and weapons. Hinduism. Vishnu Prana 1.22*
C/S/M/S is the essential energy and spirit. We are not separate. We and everything are embodied temporal expression of that spiritual reality. We fool ourselves into fear when we hide alone in seeming separate ego. But we hide only from the falsehood of fear. There is no true hiding from our essential being, the Self that breathed us and is us – the Self that is every rock and tree and is at the same time the no-thing, the mystery we can only sense, only trust, but not fully grasp.
When appearances and names are put away and all discrimination ceases, that which remains is the true and essential nature of things and, as nothing can be predicated as to the nature of essence, it is called the “Suchness” of Reality. This universal, undifferentiated, inscrutable Suchness is the only Reality, but it is variously characterized as Truth, Mind-essence, Transcendental Intelligence, Perfection of Wisdom, etc. This Dharma of the imagelessness of the Essence-nature of Ultimate Reality is the Dharma which has been proclaimed by all the Buddhas, and when all things are understood in full agreement with it, one is in possession of Perfect Knowledge. Buddhism. Lankavatara Sutra 83*
We move, we feel, we see, hear, judge and act. We must never forget who We are as we do these things. The talent is not to be buried, but to be used to its fullest in the creation of beauty, wonder, compassion, the newness and suchness of each breath.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. Christianity. John 1:1-4 NRSV
We are the Word, spoke into being by I AM. Thinking ourselves alone we hide in fear under the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Awake, we breathe, we create. Growing, becoming, we heal. We are, suchness and form, in the image, under the Tree of Life.
© Two Trees in the Garden. Feel free to quote, as useful, with proper reference.
*From World Scripture, A Comparative Anthology of Sacred Texts, © 1991 by International Religious Foundation.
Jerry Kennell now provides spiritual direction by Skype. Contact email@example.com.