*Brian Wilcox. 'Heavenly Sunshine'. Flickr
A continuance of dialogues with a sage who did not see himself as a sage, but others did; from Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."
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who would ever enter the House of Truth?
who ever enters the House of Truth?
That is the trust, the waiting, the silence of the mouth, which is so anxious to find telling phrases for what it has glimpsed, the silence of the mind, which is so busy imagining what it will see, the silence of the will, which is so impatient to have a schedule and time-table give the hour when it will arrive; that is the self-naughting. Because it and it alone is sufficiently purgative of the self, it alone prevents the self from distorting what only in such utter silence are we permitted to see. This at last is true, unfailing illumination.
*Gerald Heard. The Creed of Christ: An Interpretation of the Lord's Prayer.
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You often use paradox, and this can be confusing, rather than just saying what you mean. Why is this?
For I cannot say what I mean; more strictly speaking, I cannot mean what I want to mean. I intuit truth, which is direct knowing; this is experienced as truth showing itself, not finding or discovering truth. Truth reveals itself by indirection. If truth appears directly, the mind grasps it in its polarizing grasp. Paradox, a tool of indirection, is literally "contrary to opinion," so, really, "contrary to any opinion." So, paradox defies consistency, which confounds the ego, which demands consistency. The mind cannot fathom that not consistent and not not consistent. Paradox is a last step in language, at the threshold of the Ineffable, for when language implodes, the mind implodes. Paradox solicits the mind to collapse in on itself. If one, however, imposes some higher concept from the paradox, supposedly forming a higher idea to supplant the previous, one remains in the mind and has denied the power of the paradox. He or she has leaped out of the paradox back into the subtle aggression of mind to control unfathomable truth and understand unknowable Reality.
Can you give an example of forming a higher idea from paradox?
In Buddhism we hear of the practitioner crossing from one shore of the river to the other shore. Being enlightened now, he or she knows there was never the other shore. If one says one discovers there was always only one shore, that presents as a higher truth. If one says there was never a shore, that presents, also, as a higher truth. Yet, the resolution of the paradox is not that one discovers there is only one shore or no shore. Truth is truth, not higher, not lower.
So, if not even one shore or no shore, what is the resolution?
Truth needs no resolution, we do. Paradoxically, the resolution is not a resolution. The mind wants to resolve the paradox by its rules, paradox defies this. The resolution is in the inability to say anything, to formulate response. The resolution is silence. The resolution is the nonconceptual acceptance that there is no resolution within the paradox itself, only outside it, so outside concept and language. Truth is linguistically mute, yet learned silence is pure eloquence.
What's this you call "learned silence," I've not heard that before?
Learned silence is silence that is not merely void of speech, the internal of thought or the external of voice, but replete with a direct knowing of the ineffability of the Supreme. The Christian tradition has long called this, in Greek, theoria, while often in Buddhism is used the Sanskrit prajna. The term "learned silence" implies that one has had a direct encounter with truth, one that leads to exposure of all attempts to articulate in mind or word the Unthinkable, the Unspeakable as futile. Unknowing is knowing, knowing is unknowing.
So, what to do with the confusion the paradox presents, if a mental leap beyond it does not occur?
You speak of a "mental leap." The mind surrenders before the truth, it cannot receive the truth; there is no mental leap beyond the paradox. The conceptual cannot leap outside itself, the ego cannot transcend the ego. The mind, so the person as a self, never enters the House of Truth. The Priest of the Most Holy Place is Truth Itself. As to the confusion ~ live with it until you can no longer live with it. Paradox exhausts the mental effort to make sense of the Ineffable, while behind the mental effort is the willpower of the will, this will will be silenced, also. The question is, "How tenacious is your ego to claim what does not belong to it ~ truth?" That will determine how long you struggle before being pulled over the threshold by Grace to Grace. When you can no longer live with trying to fit the Incomparable into your conception of logical, even so-called religious or spiritual, mind will prostrate before the Spirit. See, the mind must be humiliated for the heart to receive truth from Truth. For the person of spiritual orientation, his or her final humiliation is the confession, through silence, of the unreality of all spiritual ideas and ideals. At the altar of the Absolute, you lay all down, even what is called holy or sacred, or enlightened.
Why, if you have been drawn beyond the threshold of truth, do you still offer guidance in words?
As Buddhism says, speaking of the Supreme in words is like a finger pointing to the moon. I offer words that you might realize how inefficient my pointing finger is, and so turn your inward gaze to adore the moon everywhere. The failure of my work is its success. I am one bearing before you the scent of the Beloved, to whet your longing to make love with the Beloved. Beyond words, and more important, is that my presence is a sacrament of the Presence who reaches out to draw you to Itself. When this body is no more, the guidance through it will cease, while the Truth will remain pulling all toward Itself in love by love.
*Brian Wilcox. 'A Beautiful Arrangement'. Flickr
(C)Brian K. Wilcox, 2019
The theme of "Lotus of the Heart" is 'Living in Love beyond Beliefs.' This work is presented by Brian K. Wilcox, of Maine, USA. You can order Brian's book An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, through major online booksellers.