Watts on Vedanta
It has been refreshing to read Watts from 1966 speaking about society. I love that he is blunt even as I find myself in contrast with some of his tone. He says of Vedanta philosophy: “Nothing exists except God. But Vedanta is much more than the belief that this is so. It is centrally and above all the experience, the immediate knowledge of its being so, and for this reason such a complete subversion of our ordinary way of seeing things. It turns the whole world inside out and outside in.”
My curiosity has consistently found me traversing the realms of ‘God’. The Bal Shem Tov says “Everything contains sparks of the Divine”….Jesus said “When you make the two one, and when you make the inner as the outer and the outer as the inner and the above as the below…then you shall enter the Kingdom……cleave a piece of wood, I am there; lift up the stone and you will find me there.”
‘God’ has become in many ways for me another name for this vast field of Love that I experience and believe exists in each of us. ‘God’ is not something separate from me….something outside of me to find or be ‘accountable to’. ‘God’ is every breath, action, thought and emotion. “I profess the religion of love wherever its caravan turns, along the way that is the faith, the belief that I keep.” ~Ibn Arabi
I do profess the religion of Love and in so doing I am responsible and accountable for loving this being called me with a love that is more expansive than the conditioned experience of Love most of us only know. To constantly worship in this temple of me with all the many aspects of me as equal ‘parishioners’. Every day I know I will meet some aspect of myself in my ‘church’….an aspect that might challenge me. My ‘religion’ teaches me to meet this part of myself with expansive Love. That there is no part of myself that does not deserve this expansive Love. And when I am able to practice this for myself I can then ‘love my neighbor as myself’. I can bring that Love to everyone I meet, each situation and connect it all through this vast field of Love. It is in this field that all hierarchies fall away. It is in this Love that nobody is greater than or lesser than anyone else…….everyone is equal and yet diverse and unique in their ‘skills’ or ‘talents’. But these skills and talents are not a contest against one another….to hold to comparative judgements. They are a testament to the diversity of life and the uniqueness of being human. Each of us brilliant and wise with all our personal maps of blessings and challenge.
It’s amazing the power of words……even using ‘church’, ‘God’ and ‘religion’…….these words are so loaded with meaning on a wide spectrum. I am more interested in letting go of the words these days and living in the ‘essence’……or the experience (and yet all these words I type to find communication and dialogue) To let myself play in this vast field and experiment. To discover the wisdom text that is within me (and you) through this. And in all of this finding a deepening of balance with my connection to self, others and the world. Ideas of ‘right and wrong’ as they are used to serve hierarchies of human ‘worth’ or group status no longer take root. I am God and all are God…everything is God……everything is Love. Why not?
Why does it seem this is a radical idea for many? Why do so many right this off as 60/70s ‘flower power’ idealism or ignorance? What if we ‘turned the inside out and outside in’ and tried living from the other end of the spectrum? The ‘end’ that begins with Love ……knows that Love, brilliance and blessing is the place where you stand….where we all stand. How would the world feel and act differently?
My mind can collect the many possible reasons and conditions that might serve as ‘answers’ to these questions. And it is as it is….unfolding. And for me, right now…….I choose to begin with Love….compassion fed by Love. It never feels idealistic to me. It is the most natural state of being now (after years and continual practice) and the first thing to meet me when I fall short or am rough around my edges. It is through my humanity I come to know my innate divinity…….my unconditioned field of Love.