Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Spirituality & Not Belonging & Belonging

 
 

welcoming the Buddha in the Bible Belt

this seeing communion

Aug 24, 2018


CHASING THE LIGHT

When I say see, I mean insight into Truth or an aspect of truth. If one says, "I found this to be the truth," that one is saying, "Truth shows me that is true." No one can claim to have arrived at truth, to have found truth, to have discovered truth. Truth cannot be taught or learned, only seen for only being shown. Only Truth reveals truth, and each arising of seeing truth is an aspect of the whole of Truth revealing Itself. If you taste the saltiness of one drop of the Sea, you have tasted the whole Sea. No truth is apart from Truth.

* * *

The following musing I wrote 20 December 2000. Anne was an elderly widow, living alone and in a fundamentalist Christian community, Georgia USA ~ the name of the town is respectfully changed to "Dunbar." I was attending Medical School in nearby Macon, GA, and served as pastor where Anne attended worship, and I lived in the small town ~ one blinking light. Reference to "you both" refers to a woman I was dating at the time. I would write this musing differently now ~ more compassionately, less critical toward the community ~, but I have chosen to present it unedited, apart from the change noted above, to retain the original form and content.


Today I picked up the Christmas card from my desk top and read the note Anne sent. The name brings back memories of the face, the intelligence, the openness to truth, a widow living alone, a pilgrim in the spiritual life who stood out beyond the narrowness and rigidity of many in the town of Dunbar. I see the words, "I think of both of you so often." I am surprised. That year in that little one-light, dirty South Georgia town was the most difficult of my life. I was never unhappy living anywhere before there. I moved in the day after my divorce was final. I lost my dogs-my best friends. I was suffering depression for months. The congregation and I never bonded, though I know we tried. I never found a way to break through its clanness mentality; they never found a way to break through my suffering and distancing and wish to be elsewhere. They did not like my long hair, my way of dressing, and claimed they could not understand my sermons. The parsonage never for one moment felt like home. I stayed away as much as possible. The parsonage was old, dirty, and smelled from the cigarette smoke of the last pastor and wife. I was single for the first time in sixteen years and learning how to keep a checkbook and other basics. I was so lost, confused, and trying to put my life back together again. And in the midst of it all, I was trying to survive it all while finishing Medical School. Now today, how appropriate. Anne speaks to me across the distance. I recall that fond night when she related how she watched a special about Buddhism and could not believe the Buddha and such fine spiritual persons would go to hell just because they were not Christians. Such openness and compassion made Anne, like I, an oddity in a fundamentalist Bible Belt town. Anne, a light of intelligence, in an area afflicted with sincere but mean ignorance. My heart cries with love and gratitude today for the words, "I think of both of you so often." Dunbar was a place of Advent. I would never wish to return to that year or that place. But Anne's words today remind me love is found everywhere, and we are all blessed to know someone accepted us in our weakest time and still thinks of us even now.

* * *

Anne intuited the belonging indicated by the words "the Buddha" and "the Christ." She intuited, in Buddhist terms, the co-dependent arising of Buddha and Christ, in Christian terms, the Body of Christ, which is not the Body of Christianity.

This set Anne apart from the socialized delusion around her, at least to an extent. For a Christian in the Bible Belt USA to speak of a heaven where both Jesus and the Buddha would be together... well, that would be considered un-Christian, heresy. Anne knew better, her heart knew better.

Only the mind can devise the delusion of an everlasting place of happiness where Jesus would be, called heaven, and another everlasting place of torment where the Buddha would be, called hell. Indeed, I believe the heart of everyone knows such is delusion, yet the overlay of the mind is usually like a cloud mass hiding the Sun. And, often, we are listening to the mind, not the heart, not the Wisdom of Life untouched by the fearful prejudices we were taught as truth.

* * *

How is one awakened, however, to the truth of Truth? To the inner-teaching of Grace, when that truth counters the teachings one has been socialized in? I cannot answer this, no one can. The seeing of truth is by Truth; yet, even this is an explanation. Truth is without explanation.

I could say Anne saw the truth for she was prepared to see the truth. Those who would assign the Buddha, any Buddha, to an everlasting torment by a Christian God, well, that is what they were prepared to believe. So, we need not stand on the side of the Annes of this world, pointing a finger of criticism at the non-Annes. Still, we can compassionately hold in embrace that the seeing that is really not insight, but simply information, ideas, thoughts, can bring harm enormously, to human and other sentient creatures and our Earth environment.

* * *

I recall the night Anne spoke that acceptance of the Buddha. I was, with my date, at her house. I heard her words with gratitude, and surprise. I am thankful she trusted her pastor so to share that witness with him.

What is more important than what Anne said or believed, at least to me, are the words, "I think of you both so often." Looking back, now over 16 years since serving as her pastor, I see the letter differently, even as I see everyone at that church and town differently. What stands out now to me, most, is the communion between Anne and her pastor, a common ground likely partly due to sharing a "secret" together, a seeing unseen by those around us. So, seeing is drawn to seeing, for Truth attracts Truth. And, we find a precious, kind communion with those who see unlike and do not find empathy from others as to that insight. The communion is Love, that Love is deepened with the depth of being embraced by the truth of Truth, for to embrace Truth is simply a way of saying to be embraced by Truth.

* * *

When you are awakened to belonging to Everything ~ the Christ, the Buddha, the trees, the dying child, the grieving widower, the wilting rose, the falling raindrops, the bright sunshine, the waves lapping the shore, ... ~ and sense your kinship with Life Itself, you enter a knowing in which you have given up the right to belong. Yet, belonging happens, arises, connects without your interference. And, yes, the attachment to a need to belonging can arise, at times. Still, the heart knows you do not need to belong, you ~ we ~ already do.

At the same time, you accept you will not be understood and will carry secrets inside yourself. You relax into the verity that you belong to all and everywhere, you belong to no one and nowhere. If you know this, you will know not to try to help anyone understand any truth, beyond simply being a means to speak forth insight in the appropriate contexts, but not in an effort to convert others to see. As well, you are human and still capable of delusion. So, you will know to be aware that what you think you see now may be only a different version of delusion.

Blessed is the moment you embrace that this seeing is what has happened to you and you will never be known and understood by most others, even those close to you. Neither do you understand yourself, and you, finally, quit trying and embrace the bliss of Grace in unknowing.

* * *

Do you, now, love less? You love more, for you are freed to love more and more truly, but your love may look different than most will appreciate. Indeed, some, possibly most, persons will avoid you, even if they admire that Something shining inside you and longing for It, too, and not having the prepardness to say "Yes." Possibly, or not, someone meeting you is part of the process of being prepared to see what he or she cannot presently. Again, no need to criticize: Does anyone fully see? I think not.

When this is your life, you cannot go back to the belongings of the past~the past is over, the lesser truths are dead, even if that past sometimes plays in the mind. This does not mean less connection with others, but, now, you move about freely among others, not from a need to be accepted or even acknowledged. This unbelongness, which is really true belonging, is resultant of following Love into the bright Darkness, where light is as darkness and darkness is as light, and the Buddha and the Christ, and you and everyone, and everything, is one, ceaseless wholeness, in Grace by Grace.

Into the light

*The vision statement for Lotus of the Heart is Living in Love beyond Beliefs. These presentations, inclusive in nature, are invitations for persons to explore for himself or herself. Brian does not claim to have answers or the Truth for anyone. He provides pointers to Truth, so as to inspire others on his or her own journey of Truth, to compassionate living with Earth and all creatures sharing this planet.

*All material, unless another source is cited, is authored by the presenter of Lotus of Heart, Brian Kenneth Wilcox, Florida USA. Use of the material is permitted; Brian only requests that credit be given and to be notified at 77ahavah77@gmail.com . Also, for spiritual guidance via phone, Skype, or in-person, Brian can be contacted via the above email.

*Brian's book, An Ache for Union, is available through major booksellers.

*Move cursor over pictures for photographer and title.

The Sacred in Me bows
to the Sacred in You

 

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