*Brian Wilcox. 'A Gathering of Pink'. 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," with preceding and concluding verse.
* * *
Truth, through whatever means,
elicits a response from Itself to Itself
this Truth cannot be known objectively
only in pure subjectivity
awareness of This arises
in the absence of a knower ~
knower and known being one
when untruth is seen
Truth appears to appear ~
yet Truth is the Presence
showing untruth to be untruth
so Truth never appears,
the Truth, then, is seen
in a posture of passive receptivity
* * *
I often hear that words aren't very important in spiritual teaching. Then, why use words? why do you, do we, not remain silent?
When persons say words are not very important, that is the play of duality. Beyond that, words are and are not very important, neither more or less important than silence. Dualistically, we can say words may be very important in spirituality. One moment the dance may be in words, the next in silence. What do you know spiritually that has not been communicated to you through words? Just think on that, do not give an answer.
After a time of silence...
So, why use so many words in teaching? What is the role of words for a spiritual teacher?
First, the spiritual teacher is best seen as a non-teacher. In this, one can see better the role of such an apparent teacher. The so-called teacher is the means of the teaching and of the teacher.
I think I'm more confused now?
In Vedanta some apparent teachers speak of the satguru, or sadguru. Sat, or sad, means being, Being. Being is the teacher, the inner guru. The human guru is the means of truth, not the giver or teacher of truth. The same in Christianity. In the Scriptures of the churches, Jesus speaks of this, telling his followers that "the holy Spirit will lead you into all Truth." In another Scripture, a like saying is given, as the writer of I John posits that "the anointing that you received from God remains within you, so you do not need anyone to teach you. But as God's anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie." So, this holy Spirit was called in early Christianity "the Spirit of Truth." Truth teaches truth, no human does that or can do that. Ultimately, Truth teaching truth is Truth giving Itself, for truth and Truth are one. So, this is very, very intimate.
I still do not understand the need for words? or so-called teachers?
The human, apparent teacher is more than a means of words. Words are less important than something else. I will share an experience here, and, maybe, this will help. ... I went to a meditation meeting. A video was shown of a person offering apparently spiritual teaching. She was lecturing on a matter of spiritual import, she was not providing spiritual teaching. A couple of us in the group spoke on this in group discussion. On a second occasion of attending and listening to this lecturing, I found myself feeling agitation, more so than the first time. What the apparent teacher was informing about was a profitable matter, and it was not bad or unedifying in itself as subject matter. Some there were obviously interested in the information; yet, again, what we call spiritual teaching is not principally informational, but formational. Informational tends to keep us in the head, and can lead us to think we know much more than we really do; it is the map, not the territory, as some say.
But are you not being judgmental?
No. Judgemental has to do with attitude. Discernment itself makes judgments, but is not judgmental. Discernment arises as clarity, but does not exclude the potential benefits in anything.
Why the agitation?
Well, that is part of the story. We had shared in a deeply-felt time of communion in meditation, prayers, visualizations, and chanting. Then, we were being lectured. So, the movement was from heart to head. The agitation was arising from the dissonance, like being pulled down from the subtle to the gross. I could sense no scent of Spirit, no Grace flowing from the words. The human, apparent teacher is the means of unseen spiritual energies, and the words are means also. So, to use the language teacher, a spiritual teacher is not mainly a sharer of ideas, a provider of information ~ that is lecturing, and why so much preaching in churches is lecturing ~, he or she is a means of Presence, and his or her words the same. Both the apparent teacher and the words are mediums, living means, both live and are means of what lives. Once you grow beyond needing to be lectured on spiritual matters, you will not need it and not desire it, you will likely best avoid it. You will, likewise, have no wish to lecture others on such matters.
So, what if one grows not to need words?
Possibly, that needs to be your concern later, not now. Again, words are the play of nondual Presence. In less mature expressions of the path, we are guided to choose between words; later, all words, as all thoughts, are embraced as arising from Life, being the play within primordial spaciousness. Here, we may not choose some words, for any number of reasons, while knowing beyond dualistic thinking, all words arise from Truth, they simply head in different directions with different potential consequences, so to speak. So, words, as teachers, arise from an equal Source but are not equal in relative worth. As you are drawn close to Life, you begin to have spontaneous discernment on such matters. So, likewise, the apparent spiritual teacher provides himself or herself and the teaching for you to receive discernment within, not simply to accept what is said as truth.
I think I'm understanding this some, but could you say it another way, I mean the role of words?
Words are a means that Truth seduces you to Itself, a way Truth elicits from you a response. Truth can seduce you through a myriad other means, as well. Words have the power within both of invitation and response; you are being invited through the teaching and teacher, to be drawn through each to the Truth.
One final question. How do I know when words are arising from the satguru, or holy Spirit, directly?
When living in alignment with Truth, your whole being will sense Truth. A tactile way of saying this is, "When a Truth-lover hears the Truth, the taste of Truth will be witnessed within his or her whole being."
So, not just mind?
No. The immediate recognition of Truth is in the body, made possible for the body is communicated to through the subtle body, or the energetic body, which is like a sheath overlaying the physical body, within which exists the physical anatomy. Yet, here location is misleading, for the energetic body is not limited to place as is the physical body; also, they are divided in referring to them, but really the physical is only a continuation of the subtle. Possibly, this is intuited in the words "Buddha mind" or "Buddha nature" in Buddhism, and in Christianity the division of self into mind, body, and spirit. Yet, in such classifications, we move from gross to subtle, there is really no point of separation however. We stop now, with this, enough to think on later. Now, silence, as in silence we most become sensitive to Truth, to be taught in a passive receptivity.
* * *
like a lover
who is excited in the nearing of the beloved
for the lover
senses the perfume of the beloved
so is the lover of Truth
to the scent of Truth
known from being conditioned
by Truth to Truth
*Brian Wilcox. 'A World of Beautiful Blue'. 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.