Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > the union of form and emptiness


Million Candles & Single Light

Apr 16, 2019


When inside a sanctuary with lovely stained glass windows, the windows are made of different colors of glass. A window depicts a scene, and the series of windows may tell a single story. The many smaller framed pieces in each window are illumined by a single light. This is a rough analogy of how we can speak of how Spirit manifests in the body of our world, a body our body is part of. The diversity of form is illumined by the Light, its Source. The Light is one, the forms many. Form, then, is to remind us of the Light, the Light we have forgotten by our immersion in form. Form, then, is seen as a revelation of the Light, meaning form, in itself, has value as an expression of the one Light. Hence, our relationship with nature becomes spontaneous worship. Rather than seeking to dominate nature, we reverence nature, we realize our bodies are part of the body of the universe, or, literally, one-verse.

Again, an analogy. We say of the body, "... my body ...." We speak of having hands, feet, a face, ... So, this "I", our true self, is aware of the form of body, hands, feet, face, ... Hence, all that spirit refers to lives within spirit, and all is in oneness with spirit. The feet do not cease being the feet, but the feet are referred to, for that referred to is within spirit and finds being only in relationship to spirit. That that refers to "my face" is not the face, that never says, "I am my hands." This "I" that gives life to objects in its embrace, this is comparable to the light shining through the stained glass window. And, as the stained glass window can die, the light lives on, while the "I" that refers to the body, hence, is not subject to the cessation of the body the "I" refers to; for the "I" is not the body, yet, is one with the body. And because the body is an expression of spirit, of Life, the body does not cease, but ceases only as the form assumed temporarily. The body is transformed into elements making up other forms illumined by the Light. So, form and Light continue in a continual oneness.

* * *

The stars awaken a certain reverence, because though always present, they are inaccessible; but all natural objects make a kindred impression, when the mind is open to their influence.

*Ralph Waldo Emerson. Nature.

* * *

First, we become caught in the world of form, we get lost in objects, internal and external, separate from us. Then, the objects become means of revelation, separate from us, still. The energy is still in that we observe. Last, presence, grounded in objects, finds itself the beingness in which objects are. The energy returns to the observer, and the observer and observed are one. This last is global, or all-embracing, consciousness, or awareness. Objects do not cease to be, they live within the embrace of spirit, as Grace includes all in Itself, even as Grace fills that all in Itself with Itself. Here, the heart posture is being in the moment and calm. One is Home. The nonduality, then, is not the negation of form, but the union of form with presence, or emptiness. Presence is empty for it includes all, so form and emptiness are in oneness.

Come, bask in the Light of Love,
all you who would serve
the Divine plan!
Lift up your hands to the Holy One,
singing songs of praise!
Bow down and receive blessing from
the Giver of Life!
All praises be to You,
whose Love created heaven
and earth!

*Nan C. Merrill. Psalms for Praying. "Psalm 134."

And the WORD became flesh and lived among us. And we looked at his Beauty, Beauty as of the only born Offspring of the One. This WORD was filled with and emanated the vibrancy of Grace and Truth.

*Gospel of John 1.14

* * *

To say the Word, or Logos, became flesh, speaks of the one-ing of apparent opposites, the wedding of spirit and form. We enter the Word and the Word us in awareness that we are, while our being is for we are being in the being of everything. For the Psalmist to hymn the Divine formed heaven and earth is the same as saying, "Everything comes into time-space out of the one Divine before time-space." So, all belongs, each thing mirrors all else, as well as the Eternal Wisdom ~ everything is a mirror of every thing, every thing a mirror of everything.

Thomas Merton, late Christian sage, echoes for us the feeling of these opposites in our body...

This sense of being suspended over nothingness and yet in life, of being a fragile thing, a flame that may blow out and yet burns brightly, adds an inexpressible sweetness to the gift of life, for one sees it entirely and purely as a gift. A gift that one must treasure in great fidelity with a pure heart.

*Thomas Merton. A Year with Thomas Merton. Ed. Jonathan Montaldo. From Journals: Dec 15, 1962.

* * *

Much of our felt-alienation and loneliness ~ if not all ~ can be traced to a feeling of and belief in separation from others ~ all creation, all forms. This includes feeling separate from our own selves, a form among forms, exemplified in one way by our over-dependence on reason as conceptual. Separation is solidified by the thought of the other being only the other, rather than otherness itself being an expression of the one Life. Then, this thought of otherness gets located in the body as a feeling. All this entails that we can get alienated from the body of the world, so our body becomes merely an intellectualized object, not in living communion with ourselves.

* * *

The Psalmist speaks of the Creator creating both heaven and earth, or everything, and this leads to praise. So, there is both, yet one ~ both in one, and one is the harmony, not the negation of either. A feeling of separation is healed in this union, a union most of us grow into over time, a long time, provided we choose to. First, we notice times of felt-union, however brief, like Oneness burping Itself into diversity. Then, these become more frequent, and some more extended. This, in time, becomes the sense (not feeling) from which our living arises. Possibly, outside of silence, poetry is best to point to this.

* * *

A million candles,
a single light
they share.

Every creature,
distinct, manifests
the same life.

With distinction,
no separation,
all is One.

God wears
many faces,
so are you.

Shed illusion,
look deeply,
meet Simplicity.

Simplicity arises
as multiplicity,
thus this world.

So, not one,
not two,
is true.

Crossing the river?
Nowhere to go.
"I AM Here."

God is not shy.
Why are you still

Any aspect
is the way to
the Whole.

*Brian K. Wilcox. "Million Candles, Single Light."


Grace and Peace to All

*Move cursor over pictures for creator of photo and title.

*(C)Brian K. Wilcox, 2019


Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > the union of form and emptiness

©Brian Wilcox 2019