Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, October 6, 2011
When you’re blind to your own nature, the Buddha is an ordinary being.
When you’re aware of your own nature, an ordinary being is the Buddha.
At this moment in time - and God knows things change! - I firmly believe that there is no “ultimate truth” which says what is true about human nature. Every group of people who thinks about it eventually comes up with their own “truth”, and this becomes enshrined in their culture, religion, literature, philosophy, etc. I do not believe that there is “one way”, and that every one else is wrong. For example, “traditional Jews” believe that they are God’s “Chosen People”. (Reconstructionist Jews do not believe this, nor do they believe that God “gave them” the land now called Israel.) And it seems by their pronouncements that the Roman Catholic Church believes it is the only “true religion” by which one can be in a “saving” relationship with God. And it seems that Muslims believe that their Muhammad is the last “prophet” through whom God will speak. In my view, such views are the work of Evil in the human heart, causing endless bloodshed, hate, prejudice, division, and all manner of wickedness in the life of the human community.
These days, I am deeply intrigued by the question of our identity and our nature as human beings. There are endless propositions about this. My choice - a choice which I believe every human being is responsible for making - is expressed by Huineng, and I believe by Jesus: What we call “God” is the source of all Life ….. and all Life is a manifestation of God. I do not believe that “God” is entirely “the Other”, entirely different from all else that Exists. I choose to believe that Jesus prayed for oneness with God because there is no other truth, no other path by which we know who we essentially are. God is God, we are human ….. and we are One.
If I do not know that I am One with God, and that every human being and all other creatures are therefore part of me, I will be tempted to treat other humans with dishonour. The result can only be the misery we are experiencing in the World these days. But if I know that I am One with God and with all other things, I will honour all Existence as Divine ….. and Peace and Compassion will define us.
Personally, I know that I am One with God, that You are I. What I seek day by day is the integrity to act on this truth.