In pursuit of Awareness -
Concepts are ‘frozen’ whereas reality is always in flux,constantly changing, in motion. A wave is essentially a movement, action, but the moment I put it into a concept it stops moving, ‘frozen’, static, dead. A frozen wave is not a wave anymore. The Niagara Falls, a body of water that is constantly changing. We’ve got the word river, but the water there is constantly flowing. We’ve got the word ‘body’ but the cells in the body are constantly being renewed. Concepts are always frozen, reality flows. Reality is hole but words and concepts fragment reality. The English word ‘Home’ is impossible to translate into Spanish or French. ‘Casa’ is not quite ‘home’ Sit on the beach this week end, watch the flow. Examine the properties of water, H2O, two parts of Hydrogen one part of Oxygen, consider bringing these together, will this make water? No. It needs a catalyst – Electricity. Water is. This IS water. The form changes, Water-Ice, You, Me-Dust, but the IS-ness remains – the essence. Words cannot give you reality, they only point, indicate. You use them as pointers to get to reality.
The philosopher told the priest that the final barrier to God was the word ‘God’, the concept ‘God’. The priest was shocked, but the philosopher said: ‘The horse that you ride on to travel to your house/temple is not the means by which you enter the house/temple. You use the concept to get there, then you dismount and go beyond it.’ To know reality you have to know beyond knowing.
Karl Rahner, in one of his last letters, wrote to a young German drug addict who had asked hin for help. The drug addict in his letter had said: “You theologians talk about God, but how could this God be relevant in my life? How could this God get me off drugs?” Here’s Rahner’s reply: “Son, I must confess to you in all honesty that for me God is and has always been absolute mystery. I do not understand what God is, no one can. We have intimations, inklings; we make faltering inadequate attempts to put mystery into words. But there is no word for it, no sentence for it.”
Once in London he also told a group of young theologians,: “The task of the theologian is to explain everything through God, and to explain God as unexplainable” Mystery!
Words, they’re only pointers, not descriptions.
What I’m leading you to is : awareness of reality around you. Awareness means to watch, to observe what is going on within you and around you. “Going on” is pretty accurate: Trees, grass, flowers, animals, rock, all of reality is moving. One observes it, one watches it. How essential it is for the human being not just to observe himself or herself, but to watch all of reality. Are you imprisoned by your concepts? Do you want to break out of your prison? Then look; observe; spend hours observing. Watching what? Anything. The faces of people, the shapes of trees, a bird in flight, a pile of stones, watch the grass grow. Get in touch with things, look at them. Hopefully you will then break out of these rigid patterns we have all developed, out of what our thoughts and our words have imposed on us. Hopefully we will see. What will we see? Things, things that we choose to call reality, whatever is beyond words and concepts.
This is a spiritual exercise—connected with spirituality –connected with breaking out of your cage, out of the imprisonment of the concepts and words. How sad if we pass though life and never see it with the eye of a child. This doesn’t mean you should drop your concepts totally; they’re very precious. Though we begin without them, concepts have a very positive function. Thanks to them we develop our intelligence. We’re invited, not to become children, but to become like children. We have to fall from a stage of innocence (O necessary sin of Adam) and be thrown out of paradise; we do have to develop an “I” and a “me” through these concepts. But then we need to put off the old man, the old nature, the conditioned self, and return to the state of the child but without being a child.
This is a good read:
The danger of what religion can do is very nicely brought out in a story told by Cardinal Martini, the Archbishop of Milan. The story has to do with an Italian couple that's getting married. They have an arrangement with the parish priest to have a little reception in the parish courtyard outside the church. But it rained, and they couldn't have the reciption, so they said to the priest, "Would it be all right if we had the celebration in the church"?
Now Father wasn't one bit happy about having a reception in the church, but they said, "We will eat a little cake, sing a little song, drink a litttle wine, and then go home." So Father was persuaded. But being good life-loving Italians they drank a little wine, sang a little song, then drank a little more wine, and sang some more songs, and within a half hour there was a great celebration going on in the church. And everybody was having a great time, lots of fun and frolic. But Father was all tense, pacing up and down in the sacristy, all upset about the noise they were making. The assistant pastor comes in and says, "I see you are quite tense".
"Of course, I'm tense. Listen to all the noise they are making, and in the House of God!, for heaven's sake!"
"Well, we mustn't forget, must we, Father, that Jesus himself was once present at a wedding!"
Father says, "I know Jesus Christ was present at a wedding banquet, YOU don't have to tell me Jesus Christ was present at a wedding banquet! But they didn't have the Blessed Sacrament there!!!"
Life is a banquet, and the tragedy is that most people are starving to death.
Enjoy a wonder-filled week.
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