9/05/2017

The Void Is Not Devoid

The integral silence of pure awareness is oceanic, containing waves of sorrow and waves of joy, both of which are waves of ananda.
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The Void is not devoid of passion. What physicists call "fluctuations in the vacuum" fill empty space. Transcendental feelings permeate unbounded silence.
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The great Jewish theologian Joshua Abraham Heschel called this paradox The Divine Pathos: Godhead empathizes with human suffering. Spirituality is not the transcendence of feeling. Indeed, human feeling is but the reflection of transcendent passion.
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The Godhead is not passivity. Christian mystic Jan Ruysbroeck wrote about "the wildness of God," and "the wilderness in the Godhead." Entering transcendental consciousness is an ever unfolding relationship of Lover and Beloved in the very silence of the Self. Thus the 4th Century Christian father St. Gregory of Nyssa coined the term "epictisis": eternal becoming in the groundless depths of God.
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To enter the wild inward life of the Divine is to enter the Garden of Vrindavan, and to participate in the passion of Radha for Krishna, full of longing, ecstasy, and the pain of separation. Yet this longing, even this divine feeling of separation, is the play of God and Goddess in the absolute Unity of Brahman. The flowering of non-duality is the lovers' "lila."
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In Buddhism, the divine emotions are called the Four Immeasurables: omnipresent compassion (Metta), joy in the happiness of others (Mudita), sadness in the sorrow of others (Karuna), and dispassion (Upeksha). It is dispassion that holds space for passion. The spacious heart of dispassion remains clear as the sky, even while embracing the clouds of human experience.
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Our graceful task is not to reject human feeling, but to infuse it with the radiance of the Infinite. If I use "awareness" as a shield to protect myself from the wounded, angry, jagged, uncertain shadows of my soul, it is not awareness at all, but flight.

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