April 21, 2015

“The way we came into this world, the way we are naturally, we have perfect vision, we have the ability to perceive things exactly as they are, the ability to see without interpretation, the ability to know a thing and not merely our mind’s impression of it. The way we were made, at our source, in our origins, we have this kind of perfectly clear seeing which fails universally to confuse that which is benign and beautiful with something fierce, something dark, something dangerous. It is only since our seeming disunion from God that we have become capable of all our confusions, that we have begun to mistake things, and so, in our projection and misunderstanding, failed to know them.

The question is always asked: ‘Why did this happen? Why, when our sight began so blissful and perfect, when we were made with no confusion and no shrouding, did we ever have to come to this, this tangle, this mistake? Why is it that what used to be so right seems now to have gone so wrong?’ That is not an easy question, and none of the normal answers satisfy us. Many of the sages simply say that we are not deceived, we still do see so perfectly, everything else is not real. But to those of us confused and mistaken it seems very real indeed. And others warn, ‘It is for your teaching, it is for your learning. Each of these mistakes, all of this fall from grace, produces the conditions so that you might return to your proper home, you might learn who you truly are and, so, reunite with that.’ But are we to believe that the God of all mercy, the God of all beauty, the God that is truth treats us like schoolchildren, inflicting painful lessons so that we might grow? These answers don’t satisfy. These answers fail to honor the fact that our trouble here really is trouble to us, that our wrong perception, though indeed it may be fundamentally flawed, is still truly our perception. And so what can possibly be the point?

There is a great deal of the point of all this that is and will continue to be a mystery, but there is some of it that I can, at least, hint at. We do not have one kind of vision; we have two.   We have, each and every one of us, perfect sight, and we know this, each of us individually, through moments of revelation, wisdom, grace, and peace, all of which we have experienced from time to time, even in this life of chaos. And when we see with those eyes, we know for a moment, beyond all contradiction, that everything that is here is perfect, it is harmless to its very core, it is light and it is love in its very essence. And then we have our second vision, our second way of seeing, the sight we most often use; and with that vision we see darkness as dark, we see danger as dangerous, we see that the knife is sharp and we see that death really takes us. But thank God that danger looks dangerous, otherwise what could be the great joy in opening to it? If everything appeared to be a soft embrace, then what would you ever risk and how would you ever find the pure bliss of your own courage? The darkness looks dark so that we will have our fear of it, but our fear exists so that we may have the beautiful satisfaction of not giving ourselves over to it. You wish that the world did not appear jagged, full of thorns, full of insult, and hard in every way, but every moment of true joy you have ever known has been because these things were real to you and you did not succumb to them: you opened yourself anyway, you gave yourself to life anyway, you allowed what was there, be it soft or sharp, be it jagged or smooth. We have an unparalleled opportunity here, and as we are God in our essence anyway, God must want every experience possible. We, as we participate in this strange place, with our warped, dark vision, give rise to all that is possible, all that variety that would not be possible without us.

Of course, as much as you can, correct your vision, rub your eyes and cast the demons out of your mind until you see what is really here, but along the way, please appreciate all the experiences that only become possible because you must muster your courage, you must open yourself even though you are afraid, you must live even though death is very real to you. Be here in all that is here and give thanks, even, for your faulty vision and the darkness that you see, because it, too, is part of the blessed, perfect wholeness of things, the blessed, perfect God.”


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