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Today's Saying: The most obvious and near - Spirit - seems the most inaccessible and far - that is true to the mind, not the heart.
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Thich Nhat Hanh, in The Other Shore, shares the story of a king trying to find the essence of beautiful music he had listened to -
There is a story of a king who, upon listening to a musician playing a sixteen-string sitar, was moved to the depths of his soul. The music touched him so deeply that he wanted to discover exactly where it was coming from. When the musician departed, he left his sitar with the king, and the king ordered his servant to chop the instrument into small pieces. No matter how hard they tried, they could not find the source of the beautiful sound, the essence of the music.
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In the realm of matter, we cannot locate the essence of music - of anything. Form is not the Formless.
We, however, can, by a return to the heart, or spirit, become sensitized to sense essence, and, thereby, nature becomes sacramentalized for us. For only spirit discerns Spirit. Hence, the more we are attuned to Spirit, the more we sense the Unseen amid the seen, and, finally, the two are experienced as a unity - for they were already a unity.
Yet, most of us must become exceedingly frustrated with the incapacity for the seen to satisfy the longing of the heart; then, one surrenders to Spirit. Yielded to Spirit, the self is awakened to the heart - Home. At Home, we see the Light everywhere, for the whole world is known not as an end in itself but as the ordained means to communicate to us the Light of Life.
The king could not find the essence of music anywhere in the instrument. Neither can we find the Beautiful solely in the world. What we discover, when we awaken spiritually, is the Beautiful finds us through the world. And we find out we are the means of the Beautiful, also.
As I was taught when a child - my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, which is to say, my bounded flesh is the sanctuary of Boundless Spirit. Awakening to this does not make it so; awakening to this is knowing it has always been so.
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*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2021
*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse. The book is a collection of poems based on wisdom traditions, predominantly Christian, Buddhist, and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.