*Brian Wilcox. 'Together'
Taste and see the Supreme One is good...
* * *
A skeptic spoke to the Sage, "You seem very much in love with something. What do you call this?"
"You can call it many names."
"Is it okay to call it truth?"
"Yes, seems so, as long as we do not see this truth as a truth. Truth is not one truth among other truths."
"How would I come to love this truth?"
The Sage began...
A man had what he called the best wine ever made. He bragged about how delicious it was to the taste. One day he invited a friend over to his wine cellar to see a bottle of this wine.
The friend asked, "May I buy a bottle of this wine from you?"
The man replied, "No, I'm sorry, this is my only bottle."
"Well, where did you get this wine from?" inquired the visitor.
"It was here in the cellar when I bought the house," replied the man.
The visitor asked, "How many bottles of the wine were here?"
"Oh," said the man, "this one bottle."
This confused the visitor. "Then, if this is the only bottle, and you haven't drunk any of it, how do you know it's the best wine ever made?"
"Well, that's what the previous owner told me."
* * *
Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think... and think... while you are alive.
What you call 'salvation' belongs to the time before death.
* * *
My parents raised me in a fundamentalist religion. I was a clergyperson in that faith for many years. And for many years, I had lost respect for that faith. I turned away from it, not honoring it. As I get older, I appreciate that grounding given me in that religion. I do not agree with a lot of what it taught me. Some things have shaped my life and continue to do so in a positive way, however.
The idea of personal salvation was taught to me. One experienced the Divine without any intermediary. This was in contrast to faith sects who have a hierarchy through whom one receives divine Grace. For us, salvation did not come through the church, we were the church, we were a community of priests and priestesses. One received Christ through surrender to Christ. A relationship with Jesus was seen to be an intimate, heart-with-heart experience, often beginning after a Sunday worship meeting by kneeling at the altar and praying conversationally with Christ. This relationship was a permanent one. One did not fall out of it due to not being good enough to remain in it, even as one did not enter it through being good enough. No one was good enough for it, no one bad enough to lose it. This was deeply personal.
* * *
A spiritual way is personal for that is how we experience life in the body. The self is not excluded in a spiritual path, the self is reoriented to Life so that personal experience is enhanced, not diminished. Through the person, the self, Grace loves that of God-in-the-other. Imagine someone saying to a lover, "Dear, I love you impersonally." That would be absurd, would it not? Even to say I and you indicates personal experience. In the union of two lovers, the self of each is enhanced through that union.
* * *
When you eat something, that is intimate. You chew it, you swallow it, it becomes part of you, a union. Likewise, no one can taste Life for anyone else. In the words of Kabir, we jump into the experience, right into the intimacy of the Beloved, of Love. In the words of the Psalmist, in the Jewish Scriptures, we taste Grace to know Grace. We know Life in one way, personally, intimately. In our receiving Life into ourselves, Life receives us into itself. Such is the intimacy of co-inhering with the Beloved, in Life.
Ⓒ Brian Wilcox, 2020
*Quote from Kabir. The Poet Kabir. Poems of Kabir.