Tuesday, February 16, 2010

When past assumptions veil the present

"All humanity is one undivided and indivisible family, and each one of us is responsible for the misdeeds of all the others. I cannot detach myself from the wickedest soul."
-- Mohandas K. Gandhi

This image was built from a simple reflection of a metal chairleg in a polished floor; I suspect the reason it calls to me today is as a reminder that even the humblest sources have potential for beauty -- which is what my readings on Wabi-Sabi have to tell me today.

Taken in context of this quote from Mahatma Gandhi, which appeared in my inbox this morning, the image shares a broader truth: that nothing is irredeemable, and everything contains within it the seeds both of evil and of transformation.

Going a step further, and venturing into today's reading from the Gospel of Thomas, I am reminded also that whatever we see as truth is necessarily limited by our own perceptions and limitations, and may eventually endure transformation. Which means we may be forced to lose even our fondest visions and our boldest insights on this walk toward wholeness: We have to be prepared to release everything, even our most cherished beliefs about what is good or bad, right or wrong, if we are to give ourselves wholly to the Divine Path.

Perhaps that's why the ego is so reluctant to commit to living in the now. Because by doing so we take the risk that everything that went before may be lost; that all our hard-won insights and experience become mere pre-conceived notions: unfortunate filters through which we cannot fully see what is here and what is now, and which must therefore be discarded if we are to fully take in Presence. And, because each of us has labored mightily to bring those individual truths into being, letting them go can become supremely painful.

So perhaps as we move into Lent, the time has come to release some cherished notion that is blocking our access to Now, that is keeping us separate, divided and detached from some segment of humanity that we've been systematically judging?

Oh, wait: what if that cherished notion is not of someone ELSE's irredeemability, but our own? Can we release our tendency to judge and condemn ourselves?

Hmmm. Now THAT's a challenge!

1 comment:

Joyce Wycoff said...

Diane ... incredible image and inspiring thoughts!