The perennial question from the perennial philosophy. Who are we?

Image by @james_r_eads

As I pen a new story the protagonist, Adam a wizarding neophyte asks his mentor what is it he is referring to when he speaks of a person’s essence and why would his expectations affect his experience of it. The old magus answers him in a most unusual manner.

“In our insistence on maintaining the illusion of being separate individuals we are not able to see the wholeness of who we are. In our preferred illusion that everything is separate from everything else, human from human, human from animals or the flora of the forest, or being not of Heaven or the Earth we have limited our power.

All beings possess the potential to access the infinite wisdom of the Spirit and that the individual has the ability to know the whole by becoming like the whole.

I can tell you the secret of who we are, but it will mean nothing to you until you have become it. We are not the body it is only a tool to do a certain job while in this level of existence. We are not the body’s mind, senses, feelings, pains, griefs and joys, thoughts, desires, scars, or memories those are just aspects of the tool that the essence of what we are uses to experience and work in the current manifestation of existence.

But without knowing who and what we are we become vulnerable to the adversities of life and become bound and restricted by our limited knowledge of Self and thus cannot be magic.

These expectations of yours actually affect what you see and do not see. Some folks call them cognitive biases. They will determine your reality.  They actually affect your interpretation of reality. I bet that you think that you have no role in reality that there is reality and then there is what you make of it. Not so! You are making it with every observance, every interpretation, decision, and every action.

“I don’t have the experience that I’m creating reality. Things happen and then I have to deal with them.”

“That is part of the illusion, but ask yourself to what degree do you create the reality that you see? To what degree do you create the reality of pain and grief and separation? Better yet, to what degree will you take responsibility for reality? And responsibility is not just for the darker aspects of reality. Are you not responsible for creating a reality of inclusiveness, communion, wholeness, and happiness as well?

At the moment of communion is not the illusion of the reality of separation banished? And in that moment what is it that you feel?”

Adam stood silent trying to recall a time when he felt deeply connected with someone and he remembered Jenny, beautiful redhaired Jenny and his heart leaped.

“Love!” he declared. This was what he felt, as though he had found himself in her and she in him. But with that connection there was also profound grief when he lost her, when the connection was broken. Communion and loss always seemed to come hand in hand. It was as though connection and separation lived within each other.

“Exactly! Love, the machina mentis what we are essentially at our core” responded the old wizard. “It is what ties everything together and raises everything on high. When only connected to yourself you are inclined to be responsible only for yourself and family but when connected to everything, when you see that in essence you are everything what then?”

Sensing that the magus was waiting for an answer he blurted, “Then I’m responsible for everything?”

Listen to the Sophia her wisdom will save you

 

 

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Sophia–The divine feminine or the female aspect of God. If God is a wholeness then he is not just masculine in nature. If we wish to be whole ourselves then we also need to embrace our opposites.

I’ve been visited by the image of the Sophia again. What do I mean by that? There is an aspect of compassion and caring and nurturing in all of us male or female that reflects a deeper wisdom than is expressed by the every day ego-self of fear, greed, anger, aggression, self-interest, and hatred. This wisdom comes from that part of our psychology that some call the Sophia, the feminine aspect in us all. Sophia is the feminine counterpart to a patriarchal God. It’s the expression of love not only for ourselves and a limited number of people around us but for our neighbors near and far here or in another part of the world.

Sophia is that part of us that urges unification and wholeness and is the mother of and to us all. She has shown up in my life in the form of my mother and grandmothers, my wife, daughters and granddaughters. She has shown up in my dreams to help lead me toward a new way of being and is showing up everywhere in the #MeToo movement and in politics as politicians and political operatives.

What they all have in common is the desire to stand up to the bullying of the overly aggressive masculine aspect that all too often thinks only in the binary language of win or lose, dominate or be dominated, control or be controlled, and deal-closers and patsies. The Sophia aspects also encourage the desire for inclusiveness and the integration of all voices and ideas. In a rabidly divided world the power of the Sophia is sorely needed for without her we will surely fall into another abyss of our own making. The abyss of which I speak is the dark night of our soul a soul that cannot be salvaged or enlivened through the building of walls or by demeaning others. These are the actions of fearful people consumed by their small and frightened minds. Actions within a context of fear cannot build new ideas or new ways of being because fear separates and doesn’t unite it isolates us from others and also from our deeper more meaningful selves.

Fear causes us to crawl back into our box and causes all our creative energy to be used toward self-protection. But the energy used to build the walls of our box to keep that which we fear at bay eventually becomes less than the creative energy to grow and be free of the box’s limits and that’s when the Sophia comes into our lives to show us the way to a greater and more balanced way of being.

Listen to all her forms because they are urging us into a new world a new world in how we think of ourselves and how we can be with each other. It’s a world that transcends the traditional world of us/them or we/they and is so much more powerful and richer than the world we’ve created thus far.

To hold tight to the traditional world is death let it go and live what we were intended to live.

The all knowing knows nothing until he knows he knows nothing and becomes all knowing.

coffee_spilling_out_of_a_cup_ie357-008.jpgWe all act as though we know what is real and what is not real. We act as though we know what is fantasy from what is real but are we right? Many think that to be knowledgeable is to be wise, but is this so? If we acquire enough knowledge will we then gain enlightenment and wisdom?

Fantasy, illusion, myth, intuition, the subjective, imaginal, real, sensory, rational, or objective are always seen as opposites of what is considered reality when in all possibility they are just aspects of the whole. There’s an objective reality that each of us interact with subjectively i.e. the subjective creates the objective that in turn creates the subjective. We project onto everything our image of it. Basically the reality that we see is imaginal even what we call ‘rational’ is imaginal and subjective. Yes, it’s all real, but what real and whose real?

All the so-called opposites i.e. the real and not real things are actually compliments that support each other. They are facets of the whole each contributing to the whole and without them there is no whole and without the whole we do not exist.

Get it? No?

Let me try a few quotes from people who are smarter than I am.

“The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge”

–Daniel Boorstin (also attributed to Stephen Hawking)

So you think you know? In short,

“It’s hard to fill a cup that is already full”

–Tao Te Ching– Lao Tzu

“Your cup is only useful when it’s empty”

–RJ Cole

Have you emptied your cup today?

“If you want to become full, let yourself be empty”

–Tao Te Ching

They all seem to be saying, ‘Be less so as to be more’. But aren’t these opposites? Try living that for a while and you’ll see the truth in it. Maybe more and less define and complement one another and are not in opposition.

So if being more knowledgeable or ‘all knowing’ doesn’t gain wisdom, how do we gain wisdom? In order to find wisdom we might need to open our hearts and minds. Perhaps knowing a lot or thinking that we know cannot help because they fill us up and close us off, but an innocent and curious mind might open us to see what’s really there. This is what Buddhists call the “Beginners Mind”. It’s the mind of a child that is open until we fill it with all kinds of sense and nonsense.

“Verily I say unto you, except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

–Jesus of Nazereth

So whadda ya think? Is being empty of yourself being full of yourself?