Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Number Nine

We are here to learn.  Beyond love, all we can give each other is the truth.

We live alone inside our perceptions, deluded by the need to see only the good.  The mind arranges our memories so the flaw is hidden, so it becomes "not me."  The mind covers the mirror of events.

There is nothing to know but what happened, nothing to keep but the verity of what we've done.  The witness holds a looking glass -- one version of the truth of us.

It sears and heals, a reminder of what we wanted to become.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Number Eight

In Plato's cave we are afraid of the light.  In truth, we have entered the cave precisely for what can be learned in the dark.  In the life between lives there is no fear.  And so nothing can be learned that requires fear.

In the cave each step is uncertain; we can't see the wall or the precipice.  We live not knowing where each footfall takes us, and that is the cave's purpose.

In the dark, we make up our own images.  We create god, ourselves, each other.  This is necessary because we cannot see.  But what we invent starts to become true.  In the cave we take the first steps to making a universe.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Number Seven

Nothing on earth is more important than pain.  We come here knowing how to love.  What we need to learn is how to love because of -- and despite -- pain.

The great task of life is learning to maintain an I-Thou (see Martin Buber) relationship in the face of pain.  Pain demands that we cope, do something.  And that something is to make relationship I-It, to make the other something to manipulate, coerce, or destroy.  In I-It, the other is not human, with human fear, longing, hope, and hurt.  The other is a commodity -- something to be used.  Or discarded.  Pain transforms the other into It.

The central task of life is to resist the impulse to dehumanize, and to see the Thou while being hurt, frustrated, or profoundly disappointed.

I-It is the source of all evil.  Whether it be small emotional shivs, or a terrorist bombing.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Number Six

If we come here to learn and the pain teaches us, we come also to see through the pain -- to know that what hurts us all, holds us all; that what we individually suffer, we all share.  The night surrounds us, at the same time holding all the light.  Just as the dark emptiness of the universe holds all the stars.

We do anything to rid ourselves of pain, but it is our only source of knowledge.