I met a lot of "gurus" in India and America that had a big staff to promote them through a stream of books, photos, recordings and whatnot, but they were lumps of coal. Yet I also met simple-appearing, unassuming people whose initial glimpse thrilled my soul and I knew they were God's light in this world. I never even learned the name of some of them. They came, they shone, and they went leaving my heart aglow. This is not poetic exaggeration. In my memory I have a gallery of blessed visages to which I can put no name, but they are living in me at this moment. I also met many whose name I did learn and whose greatness is as present to me as then.
*Abbot George Burke (Swami Nirmalananda Giri). The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening: A Commentary on Jesus' Sayings as Recorded by the Apostle Thomas.
The experience of Love leads us to the realization of Love as a non-experience.
Through the personal of persons we can come to know the non-personal of persons.
Through the tributaries we arrive back at the Source.
One thing true said - these body-vessels can't contain the Oceans.
Yes... the Oceans contain the body-vessel Yes
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It was 2017, and I was serving as a hospice chaplain in Florida. I wrote the following as part of a more extensive writing after the passing of Linda, a friend (I initially wrote "patient," but now "friend" arises as the more true, or the presently only true) who had become dear to me, heart-with-heart -
This was somewhat like a recent Sharing with someone the night before she moved on from the body. We had sensed and enjoyed a sacred Intimacy for many months. We had spoken of the Love that allows deathless communion.
The night before she 'died,' I had, thankfully, released her bodily. I had promised to rejoice in her passing. That she asked of me, my last time visiting her, sitting on the side of her bed caressing her hand.
Alone this night, I slept. Yet, whether a moment or all night - it seemed to go on for hours - there was an unspeakable sharing I can call "soul-with-soul," she physically miles away. This sharing together, however one may speak of it, I realized when I awoke but could remember little content.
This was her last day. What happened that night before? Did she know as I knew - for I was fully aware of the sharing, though physically asleep? Did she choose to visit me with this purpose? We each other? Was she saying "Goodbye"?
I do know, however one would try to explain this or explain it away, what happened was a continuance of Intimacy shared over many months prior. I had, indeed, not been able to normalize the sharing; so, finally, I simply allowed it to remain and be. I could not deny it, nor did I want to normalize it in some way - and I still do not want to - It lives on, we do. This, to me, was the Intimacy untouched by death, made possible by the prior sharing and likeness of depth of being.
As far as Intimacy is concerned, persons have a potential for Intimacy, some little, some much. She had much, more than she knew and appeared able to know, though I kept trying to get her to see. Possibly, we were both being shown. ... I still Love you. I miss you, but respect your Journey continues not here, but where Love cannot part us and has not parted us.... So... to you, I say, with Love...
The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along.
*Jalaluddin Rumi. The Illuminated Rumi. Trans. Coleman Barks.
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When Jesus spoke to his disciples in the Gospel of John about being one with him and the Source he called "Father," this mirrors the potential within us all. The oneness is already within us. When oneness and oneness meet in time and space, communion arises. This communion is spirit meeting spirit.
Though already within, for oneness to manifest in time and space requires conditions to be met for the arising. The conditions will often entail two persons living from the Source. While they meet physically in time and space, a now and a where, the sharing proceeds elsewhere.
Hence, one might share at different 'levels' with other persons and to varying qualities of communion with the same person. This occurs partly, again, due to the conditions in the body and environment shifts or we move in and out of varying conditions in environment.
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I do not live so to enjoy such communion as I did with the friend above. On varied occasions, such deep sharing does arise. I do not cling to the experience. It passes, as every experience does in this embodied realm.
Hence, the experience is an experience. It points to a deeper oneness that is not the experience of oneness. What is that? It is unspeakable. The experience is a reminder. So, we do not cling to the experience, including not clinging to the form - person or other being - with which it arose, no matter how profound.
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Remember, the Sun's rays point us to the Sun. To love the Sunlight is to love the Sun, and to love the Sun is to love the Sunlight. What is personal is the ground of sharing oneness as experience. Touch any part of the Tree of Life, you touch Life.
The innate oneness is shared; sometimes, we are aware of it. We can grow into a continuous awareness, yet the manifestation will continue to vary, as it should, seeing we are in a body subject to conditions of this embodied realm.
We begin with a sense that our communion with another human is separate from our connection with Spirit. In time, we realize that oneness is oneness, period. To experience oneness with any being, including nonhuman or unseen, is to realize oneness with Source, and vice versa. The mind divides up Truth; the heart knows only Unity.
We grow into knowing by experience that the deeper our connection with anything, the less emotion is present. Emotion may arise, which is okay, but it finds no place for grounding. It passes soon. Hence, deeply spiritual connections may appear somewhat unemotional to others - they are. Also, a person who is more prepared than most for this openness may appear aloof - he, she is. He or she is, when the egocentric being is outgoing to collect energy from others, to validate its worth and existence. Yet, the aloofness of a spiritualized being is not antisocial; it is merely an expression of the nonpersonal, so it is nonemotional. This consciousness grounds itself but is not sourced in the body. It is not limited by the body, while fully embracing the body, his or her body, the body of heaven-and-earth, the ten-thousand-things.
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*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2024. Permission is given to use photographs and writings with credit given to the copyright owner.
*Brian's book is An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love. The book is a collection of poems Brian wrote based on wisdom traditions, predominantly Christian, Buddhist, and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.