“When you make the person of God your significant other, every other person you meet becomes significant.” ES
I live in Buddhist Country…there are a lot of Buddhists around here in West Marin, S.F. Bay area. I’m not sure whether Buddhists believe in a personal God…a God that can be known as “Other”. I don’t think so. After all, how can there actually be an “other” in a non-dualistic universe…and yet…there is obviously personality distinction. I deal with others all the time…and if I forget or deny them their “other-ness”, they are quit to remind me just how not them I am.
God as “Other? Is there just Being (and non-being) and more importantly how does one concept affect our lives? “Who’s on first?”
I’m kind of a both/and kind of guy. I like it that at the sub-atomic level…sometimes energy mass appears as particle and in other circumstances as, well…wave energy. I guess it depends on the problem we’re trying to solve. (see Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle)
I went to a conference in Boulder on science and spirituality a couple of years ago and heard one speaker say that appreciating the other as sacred stimulated compassion in him, while a Buddhist scientist found that knowing that we are all one evoked compassion.
And how important is it to even make a distinction?
What I find more relevant is that the universe is imminently personal…self-aware and volitional To know that I am both housed and permeated by a Self-aware presence of living love is very comforting. And I need to be comforted…there’s a lot of being jostled and irritated by “the others” going on. Comfort is welcome.
Indeed, Jesus referred to the Spirit of Truth (evidently a new and improved spiritual energy that he was able to liberate into the stream of human consciousness by virtue of his life, death and resurrection)…as “The Comforter.”
Jesus in fact said, “You have seen me, you have seen the Father.” Now, while I can accept the notion that God is much much more than a personality, personality is still one of the faces that God presents to us…along with Infinity of Being, evolution, and even ‘non-being. And in the faces of people, if you look closely enough, you can see God in each face. And if you look even closer, you’ll see that while each face is decidedly different…there is another face in there that you recognize as your own. (“How did that get there?”) So, let’s face it.
I think I would not appreciate existence quite as much if there weren’t such diversity…so many faces on the face of the Infinite. Somehow, the infinite gets bigger because of all the unique faces is makes. (You could even accuse the Infininite of mugging…it has so many faces.When these “separate” faces share with each other, something in the unique-ness of each cross- fertilizes with that which is unique to the other and both experience a burst of newness and each is suddenly expanded by the other and that is how the Infinite (already full of itself) gets bigger. Something is shared from one to another that neither had in the first “face.” And those are blessings, sometimes called miracles.
So, personality seems to be a good thing…though not always so fragrant when under the dominance of the ego mind–that part of the mind that uses separation to know that it exists—which, by the way, seems to be the dominant modus operandus for most of us humans most of the time. And that is where it is very useful to hold the concept that there really is no separation between us. Having that perspective is very helpful in erasing the harmful impact of ego/fear based/separatist orientation.
But when I want heartfelt comfort and soul nourishment…it really is immensely helpful to know that I am in a relationship with a very intimate “Other”…and indeed, the more I surrender (snuggle up) to that Infinite Other, the more I recognize and value that the others I encounter are expressions of Infinite Love and therefore deserving of my respect, tolerance, forgiveness, compassion and…hugs. (It seems to me that hugs are an important contribution to the ground of being, even if it is All One.)
And, just to keep the scales balanced (I am a Libra), I like swimming out into the open sea of un-endingness and non-distinction…it’s relaxing and it’s liberating.
No, I don’t think I would call myself a Buddhist…but then I wouldn’t call myself a Christian, Jew, Hindu or even a Democrat. What I would do is call myself to be accountable and responsive to the movements of the Essence of life which seems quite happy to show up as either particle or energy, as personality and indivisible consciousness, and to be a compassionate “other” to those who need “m-othering” and as permeating presence in the field of Being when the ego and its aftermath need to be diffused.
PS. After all, when Jesus said, “You have seen me, you have seen the Father,” he wasn’t saying that his life is the window to the Allness of Existence…but to a dimension of Source that is “Father”…and who amongst us couldn’t use a little love, acceptance and support from a loving “Father.”
Thank you, Jesus for the ug
and thank you, Buddha for teaching me that I and the hug are one.
“On a Walk” by Errol Strider
On a walk…or pacing…
when I really want to focus in…to perceive Him…
I stare down into grass, dirt or concrete,
for in that focus…mesmerized…
the sweet inner gaze of the Unknown Father filters up to me
And I stare…as into nothing…the ground within…
to walk in the experience
that I am…accompanied.