Greetings from the Land of Enchantment: Heaven and Earth

Friday, September 06, 2013

Heaven and Earth

It's tough living with a saint. Not because they aren't beautiful and inspiring--they are, of course, they're saints after all! But because simply their presence calls you to become more, to stretch, to drop old patterns, to expand. But if we drop all the old patterns, all the boundaries, all the safe familiar things that make us who we are, then who do we become? There's a line from the Big Book that describes this very identity crisis: "I'll just be the hole in the donut." And yes, perhaps when we drop all the ego identifiers, we become zero. We become shuniya; we do in fact become the "hole in the donut."

Yet even as I write this, I also feel deeply in my bones a call from within: but you are human, too! And this human experience is in large part why we're here in the first place. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about growth. But every once in a while, it's also important to sit back with your popcorn and enjoy the show. Or stand in front of the mirror and just appreciate what you see. Or allow yourself to be late for work because you stayed in bed late making love. These, too, are part of the divine.

When we separate the "saintly" from the "worldly" we create a false division in our own psyches. If I were asked to identify the "devil" in anything, I would suggest it is this false divide. The moment we place creation outside the boundary of heaven, we have reduced both heaven and earth. "God is either everything or God is nothing." "If you can't see God in all you can't see God at all." These aphorisms speak to the essential union of all things.

The moment we separate them is the moment we begin to generate what's been traditionally known as hell--a hell on earth. Because the moment I put saintly outside of myself is the moment I limit my own divine experience as a human being. We are human and we are divine. There's no separating the two sides of that particular coin.

Allow yourself to relish this worldly life; for saints are made more resilient through pleasure. And continue to stretch your boundaries, for humans are made more compassionate through service. And in this way, we can all enjoy this heaven that is earth.


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