From the Archives: Closer Than Breathing
|Buddahbrot by Jon Starr|
Reader RA writes:
August and Tim: The Risen continues to be a great read for me. Thank you. I have finished Chapter 16 and am on another short break to let it all sink in. I managed to listen to a couple of your radio interviews from the web site and enjoyed them very much.
Last night I had a wonderful dream that indicated to me one of the major impressions that I have received from the information received through The Risen.
This impression is around end-of-life euthanasia and suicide, which I know the book is not endorsing, nor am I personally considering - so don't worry. That which has impressed me is the understanding that there really is no punishment, or damnation, or negative values based judgements against those who have elected to pursue end-of-life measures.
I have felt for some time now that we seem to be more humane with our pets who we have assisted with end-of-life euthanasia than we are with our fellow human beings who are having a terrible quality of life near their end of life, but we are unable to assist them to transition sooner than when we do nothing. (our family dog Daisy who was 14 really hurt her leg and the vet advised us of either amputating her back leg or euthanizing her - due to Daisy's age and the difficulty she was having we chose to all be with her when we assisted her to transition).
Another observation I have noticed as I both read The Risen and converse with you via email is that I feel like I have this cheshire cat sense of "I know something" (not in a conceited way - but in a knowing way) and it's around life here and now and the continuation of life in a wonderful place after death of the physical body. I am more than willing to talk to people about my current understandings if the opportunity arises - the sense of knowing grows stronger within me as I continue on.
I'm also coming to the realization that I won't be able to "figure it all out" using words - and that as you've referenced in The Risen - the first few verses in the Tao Te Ching; "The Tao that can be told is not the Eternal Tao ..." I am realizing that I need to be more patient with the unfoldings of understanding as they occur, that there is no rush to figure it all out and that as I mature in this new knowledge - I will learn.
As always, thanks for being there.
Thank you, RA, for sharing your valuable insights and letting us share them with others here. And wonderful insights they are — your special dream indicates that things are changing and moving for you on very deep levels, indeed. Understanding on such deeper levels about the truth of there being no judgment toward those who choose to end their material existence is freeing. The realization that we are this free — so free that there is nothing to oppose it other than our own minds, and so there is nothing that is not freedom — is startling, scary, awe-ful, serious, hilarious, awakening, mind-blowing — this direct contact with this truth is also direct contact with Creator Source, which has gifted us with total freedom to do and be as it pleases us. This direct contact is also the entryway to a greater realization. Many people and systems like to suggest in many ways that one might say, "I am God." As often happens with ideas generated by the ego-mind, it's backwards. The realization of total and unlimited, uninhibited freedom brings us so close to Creator Source that perhaps we can finally understand the phrase "closer than breathing, and nearer than hands and feet" that Alfred Tennyson uses to convey the unspeakable in a poem. Creator Source breathes us, moves our hand and feet: Creator Source is me. Not, "I am God" but "God is who I am." This is why there is no judgment other than the judgment we inflict upon ourselves; if we expect to be judged, than we have already made the judgment.
This backwards way of comprehending truth — which is an effect of the ego-mind's attempts to obtain something it cannot have, by reflecting back to us its own misperceptions as truth, in hopes we'll believe it — is seen in the mass conception of what joy is. Most think we should be getting joy out of something, and become depressed and disheartened when something no longer gives us joy. The unmirrored truth, however, is that we are the ones responsible for how much joy is in our lives, for we are then channels through which joy, which is Creator Source, flows. We are responsible for bringing joy into the world, to enliven and enlighten it, and dissolve all traces of shadow and gloom. We can also withhold the joy.
Helping our furry children, so hard to think about or even discuss, and we devoted an entire chapter to this, which we hope has been helpful.
You're right, you'll never be able to figure it all out; if there's any consistent meaning to anything, it's that it's mysterious. One often sees the smallest baby whose face is constantly showing surprise, delight, awe, and then curiosity. Losing our sense of curiosity is to lose the sense of our reason for being. It's quite simple, yet so complex that we can never speak of it. Perhaps the "cheshire cat" feeling is your sense of curiosity returning, which is also the feeling of knowing-yet-unknowing that arises and falls, and arises again, bearing us as if on never ending waves towards unknown shores.
As for patience - as you read on, you will come to see that the Risen meet the "unfolding of understanding" in a very different way — waiting.