4/27/2015

See the Seer


"The most sacred Name is the soul of silence." ~St. Theophan the Recluse

Moses insisted on knowing God's name to gain some control over an Inward Light that would implode all things into the beatific singularity from which creation was arising at the center of his soul.
But because "God" was Moses' own Self, God refused to take any other name except I Am. That is why, in Exodus 3, which is the central event in the Bible, God told Moses, "I am that I Am... I Am is my name forever... Tell the people I Am sent you to them."

But Moses refused to accept the revelation on Mount Sinai as Self-realization. Instead, he turned God into an Other. Western religion has suffered the division of God and Humanity ever since.

Through names, we shield ourselves from the brilliance of our own Light. "I" believe that I will not survive gazing into that brilliance. And of course, "I" won't.

Whether we name this radiance Yahweh, Brahman, Buddha-nature or Allah, these names are all but shields. The true name of God dissolves into silence. And the enlightened are precisely those with the courage to enter this process of dissolving. That is why the subtlest instruction in the whole science of Yoga is given by Rishi Ashtavakra: Layam vraja, "Dissolve now!"

Don't worry. When this happens, God does not disappear from your mind. Your mind disappears into God. "The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me," Meister Eckhart reminds us.

When the first glimmer of that measureless clarity of the sky that is deeper within me than my own thoughts, flashes through the chinks of my little mind, I cannot believe the vastness of who I really Am. So I assume That to be some Other. Then I super-impose upon the sky of my awareness the shape of some familiar religious hero, such as Jesus, Buddha, Krishna, or my Guru.

But all such saviors are projections of mental form upon the formless radiance of pure awareness. Their sacred stories from the past were never written as historical accounts, but as mythic archetypes of our own journey to Self-Realization. The past, with all its stories, is a mirage, rippling in the eternal stillness of the present moment. As I wake to the now, I see that history is a dissolving dream whose duration is no longer than it takes for me to awaken. That "time" can be 100,000 years; or it can be an instant. How long does it take to dissolve the mind?

Will I spend thousands of life-times worshiping my projection of a savior, who appears in the mirror of my own consciousness? How long will I settle for that ghostly avatar, who is perpetually receding into the past, or ever about to return in a future that cannot arrive, because there is only now?

Any real God must be present. Therefor, I abolish belief to make space for what is. I reverse my outward-seeking gaze and revolve my quest 180 degrees, from the object of my longing to my longing's source. I look where looking begins.

Some in the Western religious tradition might be offended to hear this. But in fact, this revolution, this turning, is the true meaning of Biblical repentance: "T'shuva" in Hebrew. The word means turning back to God. "Return unto the Lord, O Israel," declares Hosea, and other Biblical prophets. This is literally turning our attention from the object to the subject, from the idol to the I Am.

Refracted through the prism of my mind, the Inner Light has diffused into multiple shapes and colors. This makes a fine dance, but dissipates the power of consciousness. Therefor, from time to time, I need to take a Sabbath rest to recharge the Light. When my world-scattered energy is depleted, I turn the rays of refracted awareness back to their source: T'shuva, returning to who I Am.

Jesus said, "If your Eye be single, your whole body will be filled with Light" (Mt 6:22). The journey is but a Gaze, and at the heart of this return is a mystical Mirror. I look into the Master's face. The Master gazes back. We meet in one Eye.


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