The mystics have been saying it for ages:
“Existence is One. All division is in the mind.”
So the MIND gives us the ILLUSION that we are separate!
And if we are exploring this with the mind, we are certain to find objection to the idea that we are NOT separate!
It is those rare moments – gifts from existence – when the curtain parts and reveals for a fraction of a second the truth of the ONE, that can give us the support needed to keep the inquiry going!
That fleeting awareness can only be invited, and meditation is the key.
“But for the grace of God go I.” I stopped…and took this in.
What does it mean? It means that I should be thankful for where I am, because I could be far worse off. But that kind of comparison breaks down when I understand that I could also be far better off than I am. And besides, what kind of a game is this to find thankfulness in others misfortunes?!
But that’s only part of it!! What I see as a “misfortune,” existence often shows me is really a space of amazing potential, where I could learn far beyond what I am now learning about myself and life.
Take Helen Keller and her plight for example. Blind and deaf…. How much more difficult could existence make it for her? And yet, as a result, she was able to “see” and understand things about life that those with sight and sound hardly ever see.
So, if we are on this planet to learn about ourselves, we don’t need a comparison with those in different circumstances to feel grateful.
And once I understood that, ALL of this life was there for me to learn from, nothing became excludable, and all became teachers. And that is how I continue to find the life I love!
And for THAT, I feel tremendous gratitude!
I am continually learning to surround myself with beauty! In the process, I still find other priorities taking preference to beauty…but, on the whole, it is becoming a more rooted understanding how important beauty is in my life. Here’s why:
I understand that there are two types of beauty: one comes from the ordinary mind that likes to separate the world – in this instance, into beauty and ugliness.
It is a comparative process.
The other type comes from an experience when, on rare occasions, the divine is found in everything…and everything has its own beauty! It’s not something I can DO. It’s just a gift from existence.
But I can prepare the invitation for the second type! In the ordinary state of mind, I can find those things that are experienced as beautiful, and bring them into my life, more and more. They then can become mirrors that help me remember and fall into the second type, and then I find myself once again in existence’s gift of “everything is divine!!”
So, if your want to connect more with this second type, then surround yourself with whatever you find as beauty. And see if you don’t drop into the divine!!
Maya is the Hindi word that has been translated in the west to mean “illusion.”
It is said that life on this planet is maya – an illusion.
This translation creates a misunderstanding which goes like this:
Life as we experience it doesn’t really exist because it is maya – illusion.
What is more helpful is to understand that maya really means “that which is impermanent but which gives the illusion that it is permanent.”
Everything in the physical world will come and go. On an intellectual level, we have that understanding. Yet we still go about our daily lives with an unconscious expectation that the world around us has permanence.
What we don’t understand is that when a hundred billion years are dropped into eternity, they disappear in less than a nanosecond. Any number of years – in fact anything finite – will vanish without a trace when placed in the context of infinity.
And when it is deeply understood that nothing in the finite world has endurance, then the only “thing” which does endure is that which has no substance, which is pure potentiality. It can be called the unmanifest…or it can be called “no-thingness.” Everything else comes and goes, but the potentiality always abides, forever…and even beyond forever!
This understanding, even if it is presently intellectual, opens the door for a deeper exploration into that which never dies – that which is not maya!
And it explains much of the pain we experience in our lives because we are always trying to do something impossible – to hold on to the impermanent….