We are an integral part of everything.

22 Apr

As we have seen in other chapters, the ultimate, even the very idea of the ultimate, cannot be known by discursive thinking. In the now we live our life as it is. Also, through the practice of silent meditation, we focus on life awareness. With this awareness, we experience the interconnectedness of all things and compassion for all sentient beings. Knowing shatters illusions Knowing, then, begins with the release of illusions, with disillusionment. Knowing means to penetrate through the fog, to arrive at the reality; knowing means to “see” the reality without illusion. Knowing is that the ownership of truth is not possible. The I-Thou relationship cannot be explained; it simply is. Through the I-Thou relation, we interact with the world in this whole Being. It is not a means to some object or goal, but an authentic relationship involving respect for the whole being of each subject. Buber considers “I-Thou” communication the fundamental expression of the uniqueness of relation within inter-being. These relation patterns of rapport and affinity are usually found when beings relate with brotherly love, friendship, openness, and care. In the I-Thou encounter, we relate to each other as authentic beings, without inquisition, prejudice, enmity, or predisposition. I meet you as you are, and you meet me as who I am. In the I-Thou relationship, I am with you openly in my heart and mind. However, there are many people who never live through this deeper level of relation. This is unfortunate because living through relationships that enable “I-Thou” brings deep satisfaction and richness in life and opens a greater sense of the original relation with the Absolute. When an I-Thou encounter occurs I am meeting the other as a thou with openness, directness, and presence by means of real mutual action, meaning and confirmation. As Buber wrote, “This person is other, essentially other than myself… I confirm it; I wish his otherness to exist, because I wish his particular being to exist”. We are interconnected, “not just with people, but animals too, and stones, clouds, trees” (Aitken 1984, p. 10). We are an integral part of everything. Nothing exists by itself; nothing has a separate existence, a separate self. As human beings we are Being, one with All. The truth is pure interbeing, beyond the dualistic thinking of the alienated mind. Thus, we are aware of the impermanence, and the ignorance of the “IT” world. Serenity comes with the acceptance of impermanence and interrelatedness. The insights of such Sages as the Buddha, the Hebrew prophets, Jesus, and Master Eckhart show that knowing begins with the awareness of the deceptiveness of our common-sense perceptions; our picture of physical reality does not correspond to what is “really real”. Therefore, most people are half-awake, half-dreaming, and are unaware that most of what they hold to be true and self-evident is an illusion produced by the influence of the dualistic alienated world in which they live. Knowing, then, begins with the transformation of illusions, disillusionment and alienation. Knowing means to penetrate through the fog, to arrive at reality, and “see” the reality without illusion. Knowing is not to have the truth, as possession is not possible, but to be the truth. The being mode of knowing allows us, as psychologist Erich Fromm (1992, pp.117-120) also observed, to go beyond ourselves, outside the ego. The goals are to be kind to oneself and another, to transcend the barriers that separate us from one another, and to live life with recognition of interdependence and impermanence. When communicating at this level, we move beyond social roles, identifications and objectifications. In I-Thou dialogues, we trust and can disclose deep, private, aspects of ourselves that enable us to engage in “I-Thou” relationships. The Buddha, one of the greatest Apophatic teachers, said in his last words to the monks, “It may be that after I am gone that some of you will think, ‘now we have no teacher.’ But that is not how you should see it. Let the Dharma and the discipline that I have taught you be your teacher. All individual things pass away. Strive on, untiringly.” Now, as we have explored in this book the similar meditation instructions and doctrinal perspectives taught by the many Apophatic spiritual teachers, we know we can attain Awakening and know Emptiness and end our suffering, and harmful consequences of dualistic alienation. Let us all follow the Path and accomplish knowing the ‘unknowable’ – No-thing


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