Radiant - Dalias
Inn Along the Way/Chapman Farm, Damariscotta, ME
Perform all your actions with mind concentrated on [or, aware of] the Divine [i.e., God, Brahma ...], renouncing attachment and looking upon success and failure with an equal eye. Spirituality [lit., yoga; i.e., union, oneness] implies equanimity.
*Bhagavad Gita: Annotated and Explained. Ed. Andrew Harvey. Trans. Shri Purohit Swami. Annot. Kendra Cossen Burroughs.
Whatever you do, work for the Master, not for people... . You are serving the Master Christ.
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She spoke to the Sage, "Sometimes, I feel I'm doing well in my spiritual practice. Sometimes, I think I'm failing." "Either way," he replied, "you're looking out from the cage of the self. To find the self, get out of the self. Then, either way is the play of Nature, while you look on."
*Brian K. Wilcox. "Meetings with an Anonymous Sage."
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The Sage knows the "self" is not the "self"; that is, the self we think we are is not that we are. The self we think we are poses as an imposture. We live under a mistaken identity. Whether seen as good or bad, it is still a mistaken identity. This self is false, whether a spiritual leader or a drug dealer.
We often adopt a spiritual path for the mistaken identity. We want it to feel better, be saved, enlightened, or have paranormal experiences. These motives are okay as a beginning place.
However, we often begin not realizing our suffering is linked with the false self seeking spiritual experience or spiritual identity. Spiritual practices are designed to expose the root source of suffering - alienation. Being alienated from our true self, transpersonal in nature, we are alienated from Pure Presence. The constant personalization of experience as happening to I, me, and mine leads to suffering.
Jesus said, "If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it" (Gospel of Luke 17.33, NLT). When wisdom arises, we see that "my life" as other than "our life" or "life" does not exist. Life does not belong to anyone. We belong to Life. Life is not personal, though it is intimate. Life is present to move through us, not merely as us or for us.
You, as the idea-of-person, must fail in your spiritual aspirations. A good practitioner fails. Such failure is as important, maybe more so than success. Failure in living the Truth humiliates, so disabling, the power of egotism. Hence, an opening occurs at the limits of your capability for success. One, here, is welcomed into a transcendence of the opposites of success or failure, simply for there is no personal identity to succeed or fail; no one is present to possess anything.
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I write these words, for an I is intimate with this experience of creating. The thoughts and words flow through me. The words and the I are being created together. There is no writer opposite or apart from the words. The ego, or lower self, becomes the instrument of the higher self. My writing is a tool of Life Itself. I cannot succeed. I cannot fail. Life creates images of Itself. Life passes through the form called a body. How could I own these words? Does it matter in terms of success or failure, if no one reads this writing or millions do? How could I own the writer? So, be like a flute in which the God-breath passes through, producing music one cannot say of, "I made this music" or "I'm the music maker." Your every breath is the music, and you the breather, too.
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This is a moment of the inbreaking of grace. The mind drops into the heart, and there is peace and rest. You can live in this alert repose even amid activity, for you live from and in and for a Life we all belong to. Life is living you; you do not have a life to live. In Life, your true self and every self, you neither fail nor succeed. But you must think yourself to fail to reach this acquiesence to grace. Christ is another word for this Life; Holy Spirit is a way of alluding to the God-breath moving through us all.
When he [Jesus] had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit [Greek, pneuma, or wind, breath; Ruden, "life-breath"].
*Gospel of John 20.22, NRSV; Sarah Ruden. The Gospels: A New Translation.
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*©Brian K. Wilcox, 2022.
*Use of photography is allowed accompanied by credit given to Brian K. Wilcox, and title and place of photograph.
*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.