Friday, August 28, 2015

Thoughts on Self Nature.

Over the years, having read, studied and experienced the voice of enlightened people as well as considering my own, I have attempted to capture, with words, the essential nature of humanity and the opposite: our corrupted nature. The latter has produced an eternity of evil and destruction in the world while the former has countered evil with goodness. I have personally experienced the transformation of self destructive thoughts, words and deeds into genuine benevolence. I have likewise witnessed the attempt to feign piety that clearly stood as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The world seems to know that transparent evil is undesirable and consequently tries to conceal the heart of darkness with a camouflage of pretended allure. This effort, like the opposite of transparency, is affirmed by those who in similar fashion play the same game. The pretenders flock together, as do those who choose to reveal a purity of heart, having nothing to hide. These two forces oppose one another and speak a different language.

It has been my experience that the language of love, compassion and tenderness is impossible to articulate with the cloth of words, while the language of pretense and deception comes in convincing forms more difficult to detect, except to those who by nature have passed beyond words and found their true self nature. To the former, the task is one of mime. To the latter, the task comes naturally. The communication challenge for humanity is to find the way to bridge that gap by adapting to the standard of words and symbols⎯conforming to the lowest common denominator⎯to inspire the minds of those still lost, to a higher standard beyond these surrogates of truth, much like a teacher with advanced education and knowledge must employ with children, not yet schooled. Having once been an unschooled child, the teacher knows both the language of a child as well as the language of the heart. The opposite is not true. It is as the Apostle Paul stated in the 13th chapter of 1st Corinthians, “…where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” Paul’s words are, in essence, the same as the words of Meister Eckhart, the German theologian and philosopher who lived during the 15th century: “The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me.”

While still a child having little maturity and life experience, lost to the voice of others, I was inclined to define myself as incomplete and worthless according to the opinions of those who appeared to hate me, for reasons I failed to understand. The result was I conformed to unworthiness and attempted the impossible of persuading both myself, and those who’s voice I valued, that I was worthy of their affection and love. In essence I did not love myself because I placed more value or their opinions than on my own inherent completeness.

It took many years for this self deception to fully ripen into the unnatural result of pure self-hatred, so thorough that I found no reason to continue living. The only contradiction to this perceived sense of self-hate was the pure, unselfish love that poured out of a magnificent young lady in the dawning of adult life, and that love where our hearts beat as one, was lost to my own na├»ve and innocent error, thus driving the stake of self-hatred and associated guilt even deeper. The ensuing suffering I then experienced continued up the birth of my daughter who seemed to come as a gift from God to show me through experience how to recapture selfless love once again. For 20 years she, and I, grew together within the realm of unconditional love and when she was gone, I returned once again to the hell of self-hatred left with the whisper of lost love of both my first love and my daughter. Once again I found no reason to continue living, sought the ultimate release and readied myself for bodily death.

But God would not allow me such relief, but instead brought back to me the greater relief of that magnificent young lady in the dawning of adulthood. It was then I found my true nature of completion and realized, contrary to what I had come to believe, that I was the essence of internal love that she alone had seen in me a half century before. It was an unquestionable miracle and so clearly the loving act of God that it was unavoidable to not see what had been there all along, but lay hidden beneath that sense of self-hatred. “Then I knew fully, even as I am fully known,” and at last I came to understand the mature language of the heart that joined my heart with hers around the core of a unified, indwelling presence of God.

At long last I understand the meaning of selfless love. It does not mean to sacrifice and give up what is of value. It means instead to lose the sense of an artificial and perverted self, shaped by the opinions of others and affirmed by my desire to be loved; to cast off the unreal that hid the real. By losing the artificial, the true is found and this true self nature is united as a single purity of heart, not only with my first love and my daughter but with the breadth of humanity. True love needs no interpretation or indirect translation thru the medium of words. It is pure, recognizable and when my eyes were finally opened I knew fully what I had previously known only in part. Then at last I experienced personally what Eckhart had said, “The eye with which God sees me is the same eye by which I see God.” Or as the native Indians have said, “Before we can truly understand another person, we must walk a mile in their moccasins. Before we can walk in another person’s moccasins, we must first take off our own.” 

The old self-hatred had to fall away before I could see the new Self-love and when it did I came to know that the ideas I had previously held of myself as a false self, alienated from others, unveiled a true Self that was united with God and the world. Thus selfless love is a love that loses the artificial and is replaced with the real. Selfless love is Self-full love that echoes, in circular fashion from one heart to another. What goes forth comes from within, which in itself is already joined with a love that indwells the heart of another. And when that happens it feels like there is no separation between your true self and the true self of another. That, to me, is the definition of genuine compassion: to experience the love and agony of your beloved, and they of you. You become echoes of each other and your heart beats as one.
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