Look through eyes of flesh and you see that I am suddenly ‘nourished by the milk of good fortune’*.
I am offered a place to stay that’s closest to the idea of luxury I sometimes wished for. Dense teak wood doors, king-size bed with pillars to drape frilled curtains, large mirrors reflecting me whichever room I walk into, glistening floors, a swinging bamboo sofa in the living room and toilets where one can comfortably curl up and sleep. If life is a ‘dark saying’, this apartment is an effort to switch on a lightbulb.
For the last three days, I was grappling with my concerns on how to deal with my feelings of worthlessness to receive such a plush accommodation. What brought me this kind of living? The logic of means and ends mismatching leads me to question myself: how did this come about?
As each day passes, I am to bear in mind the weight of this gift versus what I am producing out of it. Am I just enjoying too much for nothing in return to anyone? Guilt uncorks such concerns within us and they float around like slime. Our fears on worthlessness brew out of our deeper guilt of having born in flesh, into the sin of separation. This really brews in our unconscious and to our conscious mind, all of this could be breaking news.
Gift from God?
‘Every good and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the father of the lights, in whom is no change or shadow of turning.’ (James 1:17)
Every offer of comfort is accredited to the ‘father of the lights’. (Not by James or the Apostles, but by the modern Christians) This is a predominantly contemporary traditional Christian take. So this mansion stay is counted as a blessing by many of us. May I ask, so who would we attribute it to when, this very same mansion falls, killing every happy Christian with it? Sounds like a typical Nietzschean question. But isn’t it mere common sense question?
Sometimes awareness blesses us in the early twilight of the day. It dawned on me that God tempts no one. We tempt ourselves. That’s the essence of this game called lack and abundance. We tempt us with both or either so that we are held up in dream, enjoying what we call comfort or longing for it.
Comfort is counted as a blessing. And loss of it, as evil. Human fallacies! Voltaire, I guess, said God created man in his image and man returned the favour. We turn Brahman, the all-that-is, into a mere giver of gifts, when the so-called gifts appear like balm to our broken spirits. We run away from the same Source, when we are unsure of the cause of our miseries. Worse, we blame him for that too.
What is this mansion but a construct of molecules of delusion? What other cause but its own perishing nature takes it down too. Why do not we see that what we lose cannot be true, that why we lose them at all explains that our hopes and salvation are not to be built on these that change like shadows that turn?
Lack and abundance are both manifestations of our dreaming mind. They are both equally unable to withstand the examination of their reality. Like a snowflake, our understanding comes that everything including this experience ought to be forgiven so that we can transcend everything. What I have projected as this, what I have interpreted as what all this means to be, is also a sweet trapping of my judging mind. Should the next half of my life be ensnared by this judgment of abundance as my previous half was caught up in a diametrically opposite kind of judgment?
What am I being truly gifted here?
The true gift
The good and the perfect gift from God cannot be a pillared wooden bed and marble floor and a clean toilet. I like that because I believe salvation lies in such comforts. I longed for it once because I believed salvation lies not in lack. Running for it or away from it are one and same error. We’re missing the trees for the woods here. How can perfection bless us with what that changes or turns like shadows? How can God offer to rearrange the furniture in a dream that’s burning down?
His gift rather, is a new pair of eyes for us.
A pair that helps us now to see for real on what we have built around us and for what purposes are they manifesting. They manifest so that we can heal our perceptions. Such healing happens within our constructs of contrasts where healing is required because we separated everything into duality: rich, poor, luxury, misery etc. All are to be looked at gently and kindly. So that we can transcend this game of shadows of turnings.
Let us reinterpret Kierkegaard here: “Your wish, (all of our desires that come through our perceptions of lack and abundance) even if it could have encompassed everything, could at the most have given you the whole world (with all its dramas) – but instead God gave you a faith (a new pair of eyes to see) whereby you gained God (the truth) and overcame the world (all our projections).”
Having healed, I continue my stay in the mansion, knowing that none of this matters. I forgave my dream to have no more of it.
Thus I whisper from the blessed lightness of my heart: I am free, I am free..