Thanks, Aurora. As usual, you’ve kicked it up a notch! I agree that one’s separation from God–whether as an individual or part of a community–when viewed from the top, implies separation, which is not real.
It’s hard for me to take–and hold onto–a God’s-eye view. But I will try. I had a start of recognition when I read your words: “When you have woken up from the dream of multitude/separation, you are free of all the crazyness that causes turbulence- you are no longer afraid, no longer angry or jealous, you have no cravings and addictions, you are no longer functioning that way, because you are not dreaming of being a fragment anymore.”
In human form, this remembering “who am I” is a process. (And I define “re-membering” in the sense of putting together the whole) – This is a much needed awakening for me, as I am finding myself stuck in a cycle of not-enoughness and separation at the moment. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.
To your greater/more holistic/healing question:
“I wonder, Robin, if your question is more about how one behaves after realization, if there is any characteristic of action in community/society (I am not using the term responsibility as it is not relevant anymore, as I tried to explain before). Does the awakened consciousness behave differently?”
I don’t recollect that we have touched on these characteristics that might apply from the mountaintop:
– Generosity, or the act of giving freely, without need for recognition and without attachment to outcome (this is also Maimonides’ highest level of charity)
– Empathy, or the ability to recognize and stand in the shoes of the other (although I’m not sure if, as you say, there is no “other” from God’s view, would this still apply?)
– Compassion, which may be more apt than empathy as it implies taking action to ameliorate the suffering of another (and see above about God’s view and “other”)
– Truth, or “what is”
– Freedom from need
All of these strengths, I suppose, are subsets of love, which we’ve agreed on is the One Reality.
I read a wonderful poem by Susan Browne yesterday that really made me laugh. I think it is apt here:
I’m at a day-long meditation retreat, eight hours of watching
my mind with my mind,
and I already fell asleep twice and nearly fell out of my chair,
and it’s not even noon yet.
In the morning session, I learned to count my thoughts, ten in
on minute, and the longest
was to leave and go to San Anselmo and shop, then find an outdoor cafe and order a glass
of Sancerre, smoked trout with roasted potatoes and baby
carrots and a bowl of gazpacho.
But I stayed and learned to name my thoughts, so far they are:
wanting, wanting, wanting,
wanting, wanting, wanting, wanting, wanting, judgment,
sadness. Don’t identify with your
thoughts, the teacher says, you are not your personality, not your
then he bangs the gong for lunch. Whoever, whatever I am is
in the walking meditation and the eating meditation and walks
outside with the other
meditators, and we wobble across the lake like The Night of the
I meditate slowly, falling over a few times because I kept my
foot in the air too long,
towards a bench, sit slowly down, and slowly eat my sandwich,
noticing the bread,
(sourdough), noticing the taste, (tuna, sourdough), noticing
the smell, (sourdough, tuna),
thanking the sourdough, the tuna, the ocean, the boat, the
fisherman, the field, the grain,
the farmer, the Saran Wrap that kept this food fresh for this
body made of food and desire
and the hope of getting through the rest of this day without
dying of boredom.
Sun then cloud then sun. I notice a maple leaf on my sandwich.
It seems awfully large.
Slowly brushing it away, I feel so sad I can hardly stand it, so I
name my thoughts; they are:
sadness about my mother, judgment about my father, wanting
the child I never had.
I notice I’ve been chasing the same thoughts like dogs around
the same park most of my life,
notice the leaf tumbling gold to the grass. The gong sounds,
and back in the hall.
I decide to try lying down meditation, and let myself sleep. The
Buddha in my dream is me,
surrounded by dogs wagging their tails, licking my hands.
I wake up
for the forgiveness meditation, the teacher saying, never put
anyone out of your heart,
and the heart opens and knows it won’t last and will have to
open again and again,
chasing those dogs around and around in the sun then cloud
~ Susan Browne ~
“Wanting, wanting, wanting…noticing…judgment…forgiving…and the heart opens again and again…chasing those dogs around and around.”
I am ever awakening (taking steps up that mountain!) to glean greater glimpses into ultimate reality. I want to meditate on your beautiful message a bit more to see what greater insights it contains, but I would love to hear from all our friends what this deepening opens for them.