LOTUS OF THE HEART
Living in Love beyond Beliefs
Thy truth is concealed in falsehood,
like the taste of butter in buttermilk.
Thy falsehood is this perishable body,
thy truth is the lordly spirit.
During many years the buttermilk remains in view,
while the butter has vanished as though it were naught,
Till God send a Messenger, a chosen Servant,
to shake the buttermilk in the churn ~
To shake it with method and skill, and teach me that
my true self was hidden.
The buttermilk is old: keep it, do not let it go
till you extract the butter from it.
Turn it deftly to and fro, that it
may give up its secret.
The mortal body is proof of the immortal spirit:
the maundering of the drunken reveler proves
the existence of the cupbearer.
*Rumi. "The Churning". In Reynold A. Nicholson, Trans. A Rumi Anthology.
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We learn from others all through life, while the capacities are inherent, part of incarnation into this world. The soul, clothed with these capacities, needs others to stimulate these capacities into birth. Each capacity is like a seed, teeming with unformed life. Take speech, in some marvelous way speech is inborn within us, yet becomes structured and assigned meaning through interactions with others. Without the learning, the capacity would remain, as observes Rumi, a secret. Speech spoken is the secret unfolded, remaining witness to speech the enfolded, the secret. Trace speech back to its source, you find the secret remains, not negated by its fruition. So, the way of Spirit and spirit.
* * *
Rumi reminds us the soul enfolds "spiritual" potentials that, while of a different nature than for conventional functioning in society, need maturation, need stimulation to unfold as much as do things like speech. These need teaching. The Teacher can come in different, even apparently contradictory disguises, not always another human. I recall walking into a bookstore in a small town, looking at a book, and sensing as though it had my name on it, like "To Brian." I got it, read the author, then read several of his other books. The book was life-changing at a marked transitional crossroad in my life. It showed up at the right time, for me. So, see, that was a Teacher. I have had human Teachers that intersected with my life, ones I sensed were for the purpose of churning the buttermilk, as Rumi would say, likely you have, too. And, sometimes, as noted above, these sources can contradict one another. I have long embraced the love of Jesus and the love of Buddha, and divergent paths leading from the inspiration of Christianity and Buddhism, as well as other wisdom paths. My clinical Chaplain supervisor, in giving a final assessment of my work, assigned me as "Baptist Buddhist", noting this unitive divergence. She was being more honest about me than I was being about myself, she was being a mirror for me to see and claim the truth of the unfolding of the soul. Some of these Teachers that have inspired me disagree, I find that no problem, sensing rather such disagreement itself reflects a deeper unity and leads beyond cognitive knowledge to the wisdom of the Heart, unitive wisdom. When we say "Yes" to Spirit, we are surrendering control over whom or what will be Teacher for us.
* * *
Teachers are everywhere. We may find a spiritual guide, guru, someone like that, or not. Not everyone can go somewhere to sit before some spiritually noted Master. I have read authors on spirituality claim that one cannot evolve spiritually without that; I believe that is unfortunate, misleading, and excluding many persons ripe to be taught . If that is your way, good, if not, good. Regardless, avail yourself of the opportunities present, they arise and surprise, and respect any person or means of the unfolding of the soul, of learning in mind and Heart, and you will always be learning. You will come to delight in it, even when the teaching surprises you as guiding you into insight prior not seen as possible or even off-limits to those who prior defined limits for you. Being taught by that I have been told was off-limits to my tradition, that has shaped much of my life, thankfully. The soul in me sought that, but that does not mean that is the path for everyone. Simply remain open, remain surprised, enjoy the journey. Remain receptive to the churning, rejoice in it. Grace will guide you rightly, with compassion, and you will be blessed in even a little willingness to see what you have not seen before. Peace.
* * *
Grace and Peace to All
Lotus of the Heart is an interspiritual offering of Brian Kenneth Wilcox, who lives in Florida USA. Feel free to submit a query to Lotus of the Heart...
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