Did you know the word "spirit" means "breath"?

Zen story – “No amount of thinking…”

A student watched as his master sat on the ground and rubbed a large stone with a smaller one.

Curious, he finally asked, “Master why are you rubbing that large stone so vigorously with the smaller one?”

The master looked up and said, “I am polishing the large stone with the smaller one too make a mirror.”

“But master,” the student replied, “no amount of rubbing those stones together will make a mirror.”

The master smiled and said, “Quite right! … Just as no amount of thinking will ever make you see your true nature.”

Posted: July 28th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Rumi, Word | No Comments »

Abracadabra, please & thank you

Every scripture speaks of a mysterious Word. Is the Word “Abracadabra”? “Open sesame”? “Om”? “Please and thank you”? All of the above? None of the above?

Is the Word as small as a letter? If so, which letter? Is it a sound? If so, which sound would it be? Or is it as big as a book made of many words? If so, which words? Which book? And in which language or languages?

Close scrutiny of scriptures seems to indicate that the Word is not itself a word; neither a person, place, nor thing. The Word that was in the beginning had no beginning and will have no end. It had no form.

Scriptures say the Word is the primordial vibration of life, the essence of all things, the power of life. All scriptures agree that the Word was, is now, and always will be everywhere, unlimited and forever. No one has a monopoly on the Word. Nobody owns the Word.

Nor can the Truth be defined by human minds, language and words. Truth can only be known, within.

Thy Word is true, sings the Psalmist. Thy Word is Truth, wrote John. Jesus promised, You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free. Truth is, after all, true, constant. It is the only thing that is. Everything else comes and goes.

What is Truth with a capital “T”? Is Truth merely a correct thought? Something to contemplate and ponder over? Is Truth a compilation of worldly, human knowledge and facts? Can Truth be limited?  I don’t think so… no, none of that is the Truth with a capital “T”, nor is human knowledge, Knowledge with a capital “K”.

Truth is unchanging, constant, faithful, dependable, enduring, real. The eternal Truth is beyond all concepts. It is everywhere and everything. It is in us and we are in it. We are so accustomed to it that we cannot conceive of it. For in it we live and move and have our being. Kabir said, I laugh when I hear the fish in water is thirsty. It is everywhere and we are unaware of it.

Truth is true, always was, is, and always will be true. Yet is it possible for any person, place or thing in this world true, unchanging? No. It all changes. Truth is true, constant. Everything else comes and goes, begins and ends, is born and dies, while Truth remains, always true.

What about the mysterious Name all scriptures revere? Is the Name a word? Mere language? Can it be spoken? Is the eternal Name Eloha? Jehovah? God? Jesus? I Am? Alaha? Abba? Allah? Buddha? Krishna? All of the above? None of the above?

Some religions teach that you can annoy God merely by speaking his name aloud or by saying it wrongly. Others preach that you can chant your way to heaven by repeating his name over and over again. Some think you can abuse God’s name by cursing. But Word, Name, or Truth cannot be abused. There is a built-in fail-safe because neither Word, Name, nor Truth have anything to do with language.

The Name that can be named is not the eternal Name.
– Lao Tsu, Tao te Ching

Posted: August 24th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Knowledge, Religion, Truth, Word | No Comments »

The Word versus words

The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the Word of God stands forever.”
Isaiah 40:8

There is the Word of God — and then there are words. But human words, however poetic or beautiful, have limits. They are not forever.

Words are abstractions, symbols of symbols. New words are added to dictionaries and old words fall out of style. Languages begin and end.  Books aew written and published but they do not endure. Neither words, nor languages nor books are forever.

And yet, with all their limitations, the lovely words that sing to us of the glorious divine presence, caress our hearts and something within us begins to yearn for the powerful, loving Forever scriptures speak of.  Something in us begins to stir. We want to find the wonder we forgot, to reclaim the secret we have lost.  Something in us begins to long for the Word that is forever, the Word that we were created by and in the likeness of… before we had a body.

People, places, things, words, concepts, philosophies — all things physical, mental and emotional — are temporary. They come and go. Anything that had a beginning will have an end. Even this planet will disappear in time.

For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
Genesis 3:19

So tell me. please.. Is it possible that a thimble can hold the ocean? Can our minds hold the Infinite? Can finite words deliver to us the omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, eternal… the Word that was in the beginning… before there was a world… before language even began?  Or do we need to go further, to our hearts, to find what we are looking for? Is it as all the scriptures promise — within us?  Our birthright is to know for ourselves, the Forever, to not settle for mere words.

The Word that can be spoken is not the eternal Word.
Tao te Ching

What Word could that be?  Let’s ask that question from our heart of hearts leave all words behind.  Let us determine to know and enjoy daily the Word which is forever.

Posted: July 20th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Poetry, Tao, Word | No Comments »