I have spent most of my life asking the big questions. Who am I? Why are we here? Why are we so violent, so destructive of life? Can we live in harmony with each other and all creatures and all the earth?
For all that asking, I feel I have little knowledge to offer. But there is one thing that I do know.
Everything is as it is.
One unbroken whole.
One act of being.
We live in devotion, not to what is, but to an image of what is, to a story concocted in the mind to make sense out of what it can not truly comprehend.
The mind lives by distinction and differentiation. By relating what is new to what is already known.
That is its nature.
So if we live in devotion to the mind’s image of reality, we live in fragments.
We live in the belief in distinction and separation.
We live in the past.
We live in untruth.
We forget that the mind’s experience of what is, and the image it creates from that experience, is just a tiny, keyhole glimpse onto the whole.
The only reality is the whole of everything.
All form. All emptiness. All being.
This is not trivial.
These habits of mind go very deep. They are ingrained in the nervous system.
Some are obviously negative and destructive.
Others are accepted by nearly everyone as "normal."
For instance, the thought habit that identifies the body as "me." That puts a label on anything that happens on or within the body as "me" and anything outside the membrane of skin as "not me."
What about the Oxygen the body breathes in and the Carbon Dioxide it breathes out? Me or not me?
What about the water it drinks? Or the ocean, the source of that water? Me or not me?
What about the plant or the animal that produces the proteins and the minerals that make blood and bone? Me or not me?
Or the sun that fuels it all, or the elementary particles, spread through out the universe that make up that sun? Me or not me?
Where does the body begin and where does it end? The whales teach us something about this. The body is continuous with the world it swims in.
Where do I begin? Where do I end? Who am I, in reality? As opposed to who or what I THINK I am.
If I come to this point, realizing that what I have always accepted as "me" is just a deeply habitual thought pattern, what happens?
Find out what it means, to live in devotion to the truth of wholeness, rather than the illusion of separation. To live in devotion to the incomprehensible.
I can't tell you what will happen to you. But this feels to me like the root of the whole problem.
It is why we see ourselves as separate. From nature. From each other.
It is why we are unwilling to live with less.
It is why we are unwilling to question our cultural and personal assumptions.
It is why we fall into devotion to greed and comfort and security, to getting more and more for ourselves.
It is why our opinions and beliefs are so inflexible, so resistant to being contradicted by even our own experience.
It is why we make enemies.
Because we believe in the mental image of ourselves.
We believe that our thoughts and opinions define us. Tell us who we really are.
We live out the whole drama of believing the story of the self, whatever that story may be, and we forget the wholeness.
We forget what we truly are.
The whole of everything. All form. All emptiness. All being.
At the very least, devoting your life energy to the truth means abandoning your beliefs and opinions and self images in the face of new experience that contradicts the old. Because you know your beliefs and opinions and past experiences do not define you.
Where did your earliest understanding of the world come from?
Directly engaging the world without prior knowledge.
Being immersed in the unknown and learning about it physically, through spontaneous interaction, and seeing what works and what doesn't.
At the very least, devotion to the truth means being constantly at play.
In this playful devotion to the truth, beyond the known image, there is a radical freedom. You know that who you truly are is in this moment, free of the past.
There is no knowing and no telling where this freedom might lead, for in this freedom the whole universe participates, and you do not know where the whole universe is going.
What am I?
The whole of what is.
All form. All emptiness. All at play.
All deeply, deeply in Love.