March 31, 2005

"We are all thieves"

Re: Margaret Fell's comment "...but what canst thou say?"

We take scripture, dead words, and try to make them our own. They do not reflect our own inner light, instead they reflect someone else's experience of awakening. We believe in, have faith in, these scriptures, and ignore our own source of light within. These belief systems distract us, suck our energy, our juice which could be going into opening, receptivity, and the trusting of our own light within. At some point these belief systems need to be completely thrown out so that our energies are not divided, and we move in a total waytoward trust. Move away from faith, from belief systems of all kinds, religious doctrines, scriptures; say goodbye to these things so that your whole energy can move toward awakening the source within. Nothing spiritually enlivening comes from without, comes from anything external.

Margaret Fell had a glimpse of living light, the living presence of pure consciousness. This is what responsibility is all about. No one else, not Christ, not Buddha, not Mohammed, not Moses, not George Fox, not tree spirits, nothing, no one can be responsible for awakening the light within you. You must bring it forth on your own. It is not a result of intercession or mediation of any kind. The best these masters can do is to point out to you what worked for them, and encourage you to make your own journey and discover your own light within.

Imagine if you were around when Jesus walked the earth and you had the good fortune of encountering him. Here was the living presence of awakening. It was alive, fresh, juicy, risky and dangerous. You could feel it, experience it. Imagine you were Mary Magdalene in the presence of Jesus. When you were near him you were flooded with a presence, something within you was vibrating, something you had never experienced before. You were opening. In your heart a thousand roses were blooming and the fragrance seemed to reach to the furthest stars. You found yourself in the presence of a vast trust. You gave yourself over to this presence with a receptivity that was beyond your rational mind. You were dumbfounded encountering this presence, an energy that wascompletely unexplainable. You were filled with a bliss of such height and depth that it could not be fathomed. And it was emerging from your very own heart. It was like you were being ignited. Like you were an unlit candle coming close to a burning candle, and as you came closer to this presence, this flame, suddenly you ignited, a flame burst forth from the depths of your being. Jesus gave nothing to you, yet something magical transpired within you. In the presence of a living flame, something may transpire in your heart, something may wake up that had been slumbering for an eternity. In the vast silence of a Jesus, the light of transformation may burst forth within you. In your light, in the vast silence of your awakened heart, the light of transformation may burst forth within another. No scripture can do this, no matter how eloquent or articulate.

Imagine a thirsty woman lost in the desert. Every fiber of her being longing for water; her whole attention and quest one pointedly focused on quenching her thirst. She knows only one thing, a deep thirst. You cannot quench that thirst with scripture. You cannot satisfy that longing with lovely words about water or beautiful pictures of a bubbling spring or of a flowing river. The Bible, Koran, Buddhist Sutras, or the Vedas are not going to help her. Beautiful cathedrals ortemples, or belief systems of any kind will not satisfy her. They do not nourish. They do not quench this thirst. But if you take her by the hand and lead her to the river, where she can drink to her heart's content, where she can fill herself with real water; if you take her by the hand and lead her to a Jesus, a living presence of light, where she can drink deeply of his presence, his silence, his light, she will be nourished, satisfied, and within her heart she may experience an opening like she has never experienced before. She may find her own heartopening with light, with bliss, with love, with trust. But she will not be a Christian, just as Jesus was not a Christian. All of the subsequent doctrines and religious structure that followed Jesus, all of the Christians and Christianity, simply obscure the living light.

When you sit silently with this living flame, speak or write in the presence of this living flame, it is prayer. Your life becomes a living prayer. You find a tremendous aliveness and freshness in the here now. Your life is filled with bliss, a rejoicing beyond pleasure and pain. The fragrance of love flows from you. You feel as if you have been showered with such abundance that how could you ask for more. You are filled with such gratitude and an immense contentment. It is as if you had been living your whole life in a dark room with a small candle. When the candle was lit, you were happy. When the candle was not lit, you were sad. You lived in a small world of pleasure and pain, want and fear, a dualistic world. Then somehow you realize that the drapes could be drawn, the doors and windows of your house could be opened wide, and sunlight streams in from all sides, flooding the room with light. Now it matters not whether the candle is lit or unlit. Before, it made all the difference in the world. Now, with the brilliant luminosity of the sun, whether the candle is lit or unlit is irrelevant.

In this day and age, there is tremendous confusion around the subject of spiritual masters. A master is a presence, not a person, not a personality. If you have the good fortune to be in the presence of someone who is awake, someone who has realized his or her original face, you may feel your own heart lighting up, you may feel a blissfulness bubbling up from within. You may experience a kind of light you have never experienced before; a kind of peace or ease that seems to come from the beyond. You may experience a love that has nothing whatsoeverto do with what you've come to know as love. You may feel a prayerfulness, a benediction showering, but from where, you do not know. The presence that the master is is not separate from the presence that you are, except that the master realizes this nonseparation, experientially and existentially realizes this, and you do not. A master is the living presence of pure consciousness. This presence isliving, it is alive. It is a dance of emptiness and form, a vast silence with primordial energy dancing on the surface, an uncontainable and unexplainable juice that followers attempt to replicate and codify. A Buddha is alive, a living presence. A Buddhist is a poser. A Christ is living light, a Christian is a wanna-be. Why be a Buddhist or a Christian and live an artificial, disingenuous life, when you can be a Buddha or a Christ? Let go of your Buddhism, your Christianity and all the scriptures that support these dead vehicles. Open your eyes and see the presence of light that is already, always here now. The light isshowering on you, only you have your eyes closed. No one but you can open your eyes. The light cannot do that for you. This luminous presence is your original nature. It is your birthright. It is not something that Christ our Buddha has a monopoly on. It is not confined to these individuals or any individual. It is vast freedom itself, ever present. This light has been shining for eternity. It has no beginning and no end. Drop your self-identity, your belief, your faith, thespiritual doctrines you cling to, all the tired scriptures you're attached to, and realize the living light shining in your own heart. You do not need all these crutches because you have the living light within you now. Just a tiny photon of your own inner light is of vastly greater importance than all of the written scriptures of the world. But your focus is external. You are looking for the light outside your self, in a book or in a person. Turn within and see for yourself.

Post by Akilesh


james said...

Right on. I feel the same way. We all have the birth-right to the living light within. Shine on your crazy diamond.

Ruth said...

thank you for this post - I find it helpful to know that others might feel the way I do

Jon said...

It really is crazy. . . religion is nothing but distortion since it's conceptual, yet it's what passes for spirituality for the overwheming majority. Crazy. tragic.