This is the twenty-second of the series of reflections arising from a month in silence and solitude; the musings invite the reader to explore the Truth for himself or herself. May the writer's reflections be windows to look in, or out, onto the vista of our one Beloved, our deepest, truest Self. Peace! Brian K
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A paradox in Truth, to which we keep returning, is: communion already is, this makes sharing among sentient beings possible. Communion is not created by us, but enacted by us. This is why sharing is our natural estate. Communion arises from communion, even as the sense of i-ness, or ego, arises from the I present before the arising of self-awareness. The first I is the ground of all differentiation, the derived i is the reflection of the ground, the I. This latter I is the substratum of all Nature.
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The following contemplation arose in the Silence, written as follows...
Egolessness encompasses the action of
an apparent separate-self
And loving that little 'i'
is an act of devotion:
to love that apparently separate
is to love yourself
The i is alone, not isolated, in communion already
for communion is present in and as itself
Contemplation, Prayer, is the act of this communion
in which you are not separate from anything
Nothing needs to be done,
all happens naturally
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So, Katagiri Dainin, in The Light that Shines through Infinity, observes this little i, or ego-self, is a reflection of our True Self prior to the emergence of conception and birth. And, as I have written, taking on the body, this means a relative separation and, so, the ground of communion. In this, the I and i touch, different but one, alone, not isolated. If you see the i, you see the I. Seeing the I, you see the i. Not the same, not different. That intimate. So, Dainin...
Proceeding alone through yourself means through this body right now, right here. Why through this body? Your individual human life is just you, so you have to proceed alone. There is no other choice. It is very hard to be with aloneness, but there is no other way.
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What impressed on me that day, in writing the contemplation before mentioned, is this oneness of I and i, and that our devotion encompasses not judging the ego, or i, but loving that. Spirituality can easily become, and oft does, ego-bashing. Self-basing that is. I-bashing that is, for i is in communion with I, i deriving from I. Apparent separation, continuity.
This means Truth has taken a journey of aloneness. Everyone in body, means apparent separation. This means, Truth, both relative and absolute, is realized alone and is embodied. Spiritual realization is of the body. So, we engage a wisdom path embodied, honoring this aloneness in body. No one can live for us, as no one could be born or die for us. Surrounded by no one or many, aloneness is our constant companion. That aloneness cannot be escaped through communion; rather, communion is an activity of a collective of alonenesses. So, as I and i are in intimacy, aloneness and sharing depend on each other.
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Then, do not see your ego, the i, as wrong, bad, or evil. Rather, recognize it as an expression of the universal Life; that universal Life is communion before communion. In taking this posture, the duality between I and i is healed, and much healing can occur through the lived and deepening relationship between universal Life and particular you. You are whole, then, and becoming whole.
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This communion, then, points to the Ground of I and i. Some call this "God," and many other words are used to point to this. Even the joy of communion between Life and our embodied-selves opens a longing only met through looking before this communion to another ground, the Groundless Ground. This is beautifully intimated in the following poem of Mirabai (b. ca. 1500 CE), who expressed her love for Krishna...
What do I care for the words of the world?
The name of the Dark One has entered my heart.
Those who praise, those who blame,
Those who say I am crazy, wicked, an uncontrolled fire—
All ignorant fools, caught in their senses.
It is true, Mira has no sense: she is lost in the sweetness.
To take this path is to walk the edge of the sword;
Then the noose of birth and death is suddenly cut.
Mira lives now beyond Mira.
She swims, deep mind and deep body, in Shyam’s ocean.
*Mirabai. Ecstatic Poems. Trans. Robert Bly.