“I have gone beyond vision into many of the experiences described in Eastern and Western literature– the transcendence of the subject-object relationship, the sense of solidarity with all the world so that one actually knows by experience what “God is love” means: the sense that, in spite of death and suffering, everything is somehow ultimately All Right: the sense of boundless gratitude at being privileged to inhabit this universe. Blake says, ‘Gratitude is heaven itself’ – it used to be an incomprehensible phrase, now I know precisely what he was talking about.” – Aldous Huxley
This morning’s reading of the BBC news caused me to head to my altar and hold the world in love and meditation. The world is a mess. The world is in pain. The world is in trouble…
And yet there is a sense of peace and well being within me. There is this sense that Huxley speaks of, of everything being All Right. There is still a flow from me to the giant maples outside, and to the people in the cars or bicycles that pass beneath them. I do feel the privilege of Being, here, on this planet, in this cosmos, at this time. The gratitude I feel is indeed heaven, that state of connection and bliss, that is available to me whenever I choose to remember: It is now. And in fact, it, is not an it at all. “It” is not a place, not a time, but the reality that place and time are mutable creatures existing in continuous flow.
(Reach into that flow. Immerse yourself. The parts of you that know fear and resistance can also be bathed in this. Let go, and know yourself completely. Be in your own Presence. Know that you are God.)
Yesterday there were plenty of volunteers at the soup kitchen, it being summer vacation and all, so I left early in order to get some work done before my afternoon and evening clients. Riding my bicycle down the hill I thought, “I wonder if G is in the shop?” G is a friend who had a terrible auto accident months ago, and has been unable to work since then. But the bookshop was near enough, so I took a chance. There he was. After catching up a bit, I noticed the ways in which our energies were linking, so I offered to do some work on him. Fifteen to twenty minutes later, we stopped and looked at each other, he with cathartic tears on his face, and me with peace in my heart. We had experienced a full connection with each other during the healing. The current flowed all directions, linking us in a place of deep listening with each other, with the whole shop, with the people who came in to browse, with… All. Afterwards, another customer handed me a card holding the Huxley quote that heads this piece.
(And in writing the words above, the phone rings, and it is G, calling to thank me and to talk over yesterday’s experience.)
Separation is an illusion. Sometimes it is a joy to feel the edge of me bump against the edge of you in heated conversation, in laughter, in healing, in a kiss… And sometimes this sense of otherness causes us severe pain: a disengagement that wounds whole countries, rends families, and seeds the base of Sagarmatha and the space between the earth and stars with garbage. Can we come together by recalling that we are never really apart?
As Nuit reminds us: We have been divided for Love’s sake, for the chance of union. Let us strive to remember. We are All. We are All Right. We are climbing the sacred mountain, picking up the garbage as best we can.
[photo of Everest/Sagarmatha can be found here]