Everybody’s journey is different, moreso I feel that all journeys are the same just at different levels. No individual experience is ever truly unique; it’s just expressed in a different fashion with a unique perspective.
For me, my challenge over the past weeks has been the middle path of perspective. Staying connected through remaining in center, which of course the ego wants nothing to do with.
For example, I carry with me everywhere I go “Teachings of Buddha” (edited by Jack Kornfield), a shambhala pocket classic. It’s a small little book, and between here and there when I have a moment I may pull it out and read a few verses. Yesterday was one of those days where I had some time waiting for a client and I read (partial):
“The Great Way is not difficult for those who have no preferences. When love and hate are both absent everything becomes clear and undisguised. Make the smallest distinction however and heaven and earth are set infinitely apart.” ~ Seng-Tsan, the third Zen patriarch
This I recalled was part of a long journey for me both in my history and in moments here and now. My struggle (or I should say my ego’s struggle) with the need to place something within a classification, label or even a category. To call something “good” or “bad”, more specifically to see an action and view it through the perspective of judgment. Challenging me to “see the beauty” in all things, or simply see truth and what’s real rather than fall back or remain within the realm of illusion.
Over all I struggled with just that, seeing the “good”. Not realizing that by even placing something within the “good” category, I was thereby creating the “evil” unto which I would then focus. I was forgetting the fundamental principle that all things within the realm of perspective are illusory. Only in this lower dimensional realm do opposites even exist, and only do they exist through the experience of perspective:
“From knowledge and perception respectively, two distinct thought systems arise which are opposite in every respect. In the realm of knowledge no thoughts exist apart from God, because God and His creation share one Will. The world of perception, however, is made by the belief in opposites and spate wills, in perpetual conflict with each other and with God. What perception sees and hears appears to be real because it permits into awareness only what conforms to the wishes of the perceiver. This leads to a world of illusions, a world which needs constant defense precisely because it is not real.” – A Course in Miracles.
Projection makes perception, we look inside ourselves and decide what kind of world we want to see and then project that world outside making it true as we see it. We are then immediately placed in conflict with its opposing perspective, in which we judge, condemn, or in my case feel sorrow for. It was here I struggled.
I felt sorrow for what I saw, as something I did not understand as it appears to be struggling or suffering, or worse even, inflicting it. Since that which feels pain and strife inflicts in on others, consciously or unconsciously.
I was forgetting the opportunity for forgiveness, the opportunity that life offers every day and the practice thereof. As when Jesus says “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do”. To know that we are all from the same source, and that evil only exist through our actions, choices, behavior, and most importantly, by choice of perspective. To only love, see the beauty within, show mercy and compassion, and to always treat others as you yourself wish to be treated.
So then this has been my own personal challenge in my journey through this life most recently. To remain connected to my source through not simply practicing gratitude, love and compassion, but most importantly forgiveness. It was then validated for me when for no particular reason I picked up the course in miracles, which I haven’t read in many years now, and opened it up to the following:
“The special relationships of the world are destructive, selfish and childishly egocentric. Yet, of given to the Holy Spirit, these relationships can become the holiest things on earth – the miracles that point the way to the return to heaven. The world uses its special relationships as a final weapon of exclusion and a demonstration of separateness. The Holy Spirit transforms them into perfect lessons in forgiveness and in awakening from the dream. Each one is an opportunity to let perceptions be healed and errors corrected. Each one is another chance to forgive oneself by forgiving the other. And each one becomes still another invitation to the Holy Spirit and to the remembrance of God.” – A Course in Miracles.
To err is human; to forgive is divine…