Many Truths, One Consciousness

A recent Op-Ed piece by Tenzin Gyasto (the Dalai Lama), “Many Faiths, One Truth,” is well worth living (it’s also worth reading, but it’s in the living, together, of what he says that we find freedom and true well-being).

My one and only TV Show that I directed was called “Tales From The Dark Side,” and it was built upon a joke hinging on the Dalai Lama (ultimately all jokes are on us, however).  The episode was titled “Seymourlama” and was about a ridiculously spoiled child in suburban New Jersey being inadvertently selected as the next Dalai Lama.  It was profane, I suppose, and so I cast Divine as a Tibetan holy man.  (for more on that see Divine Tears)

When I look back at myself I realize how much I had to learn (and better understand just how destined things were to be a bump ride).  Yet out of clueless, albeit well founded, cynicism here I am today, sincerely seconding both Tenzin, Michael Franti & Spearhead, who sings, “We need to heed the words of Dalai Lama… or at least the words of ya Mama.”

Kristen recently posted on Starbucks as it relates to choices, she riffing off of Gale at Ten Dollar Thoughts’ blog on New York City (and her, and many of us fellow-bloggers’, adoration of that place, that particular life… and our ongoing inner dialogues about where we all really want to live, how we all really want to be).

I thought I would add another layer to the more-choice/less-choice framework to suggest another confluence of opposites:  spirit/matter.

Given that life is a mystery, and that our world contains vast differences (i.e. economic, religious, climatic, world-view, etc.) and at the same time is unified by earth-transcendent forces such as sun, moon, cosmos, it seems worth our while to marvel at our human condition with all its oppositeness.  Some say there is no God; some say there is this God or that God.  Rumi says that those who love God sniff each other out like horses.

What intrigues and inspires me here is love.  E.B. White (Charlotte’s Web) said that all he ever wanted to do with his writing was to love the world.  Jesus implores us to love each other.  Buddhism espouses tolerance for all religions and the cultivation of compassion.

Old Testament myths such as the Tower of Babel tell us that God deliberately created multiple languages in order to keep humans from building a tower all the way to God.  That same God who kicks Adam and Eve out of paradise in order to prevent them from eating of the Tree of Knowledge and gaining immortality.  Doesn’t this beg the question of why, if there is a God, it’s such a problem if humans get in contact?

Perhaps our understanding of God evolves right along with our own consciousness; and perhaps the Old Father God was the unconscious version of our collective consciousness—closer to nature, but further from “psychological mindedness.”

Just as we individuate from our parents along the lines of Mark Twain’s, “When I left home at eighteen my father was an idiot.  When I returned four years later I could not believe how much he had learned,” maybe the human idea of God is growing more universal as we humans evolve toward learning to speak a common language.  In my view we have all already learned this language:  the language of love and of parenting as an attitude of caring.

Maybe we have projected our own duality (good/bad; spirit/matter) into God, and as we take it back and grow up, we wrestle with the task of reconciling our own opposites.  We are spirit, or so it feels (at least when we are in love, and when we love our children, who so clearly embody something more than just robotic machine-like behaviors), and we are also matter, which does carry life but for a span of days.  Thus we are both eternal in some ineffable sense, and we are transient in yet another; if we’re too ethereal we’re drinking poison Kool-Aid and catching comets out of the realm of shared reality; but if we’re nothing but Darwinian survivors we never come fully into life as transcendent beings.

My evolving belief is in radical synchronicity and complete interconnectedness:  a world in which everything in all its oppositeness is all true at the same time.  “God” would then belong to the consciousness that holds the opposites, and if we can widen our consciousness to include each other, then we humans (in concert with nature), constellate God (or at least the concept of God as something complete and beyond all individual consciousness) in the here and now—encompassing all our love and our wars, all our creating and destroying, all our joy and anguish.

The idea that humans are created in God’s image makes poetic sense, not in terms of fingers and toes necessarily, but in terms of a consciousness that looks both inward and outward.  Religions such as Judaism and Islam prohibit representations of God.  This is interesting because it reminds us that God is beyond what we can depict.  Christianity goes ahead and makes Christ THE SYMBOL, and this worked for a lot of humans—they could picture it, and thus relate to it (this made it more “real” and at the same time reduced the power of that symbol until Nietzsche had to declare it dead).

The Hindu approach is to have many Gods, but ultimately the intention is to get past them all through contemplation, to arrive at the same place the Jews and Muslims begin.  The irrational mystery of the trinity is where the Catholics lose many of their own followers, but in the mystery might be where, at least poetically, we actually pick up the thread; our normal consciousness cannot have three things be one thing, but our expanded consciousness, our heart-minds, might experience such mystery like a Koan.

When we argue about what is true and what is not true, we lose the impossible but all-important place where everything is true, not true, both true and not true and neither true nor not true.

I write my soul’s truth as accurately as I can put it down.  My soul then is nice to me.  And I like it that way, since I’ve felt the pain and despair of ignoring the muses, yet find that they are satisfied with blog posts.  As Michael Franti & Spearhead sing:  “every flower gotta a right to be bloomin’..  Stay human..” (in the service of all our collective children, I cannot help but add).

Namaste, Bruce

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8 Responses to “Many Truths, One Consciousness”

  1. BigLittleWolf Says:

    I imagine your muses are just fine with blog posts, for now at least. Thing of all of us you reach, all of us you challenge to think differently. Not bad for disciplined daily a-muse-ment. For all involved – internally (you) and externally (us).

  2. Larry Says:

    I have a philosophical conundrum to think about in reference to what is true. Is what’s true relative or absolute? You say both 😉 can it be? I read this and want to put it into the forum.

    Salvation is the recognition that the truth is true, and nothing else is true. This you have heard before, but may not yet accept both parts of it. Without the first, the second has no meaning. But without the second, is the first no longer true. Truth cannot have an opposite. This can not be too often said and thought about. For if what is not true is true as well as what is true, then part of truth is false. And truth has lost its meaning. Nothing but the truth is true, and what is false is false.

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Perhaps another way to think about “Truth” is that it would be akin to “God” or “Tao”—something mysterious and all-encompassing which cannot be contained within our limited consciousness much less within words.

      In this sense I mean to say that whatever humans can assert is true in all of it’s oppositeness, and that “Truth” simply is—it is what just is (and since, at the very least, death and life both exist, but not in the same person at the same time, then Truth would be both alive and not alive; people cannot do this, at least not singularly, but Truth includes this).

      I have no real idea about Truth, but I do intuit that it contains all of the opposites (and thus only Truth can reconcile the very opposites that make life as we know it, and time as we know it, possible).

      I’d love to hear what other people who come across our thoughts might say about this. I’m less interested in being correct than in connecting across diverse opinions.

      Namaste

  3. Randy Says:

    I am intrigued and confused by this topic. I feel my head swimming a bit as I type this. I used to be in serch of what I called “big T” truth. I meant absolute truth. I ultimately gave up on that. Not because I came to any conclusions, I just couldn’t seem to find it. Probably I just got tired. I hope it’s not because I just find relative truth easier to deal with.

    Bruce, I was really happy with your thinking about truth as containing all the opposites. If God is Truth then how could it be any other way? I can’t keep it all in my head, but it feels right to me like the calm eye in the middle of a raging storm. I am out in the raging storm, but it’s nice to think about that quiet place I sometimes get a glimpse of, but quickly disappears. I may not rest there until I change forms.

    Is truth a concept or an action? Is one truer than the other? I don’t where these came from but they leapt from my fingers before I was aware. I can play inside my head all day (I like it there) but I sometimes wonder if that’s where the best road lies. Thanks for the soul exercise!

    Randy

    • privilegeofparenting Says:

      Thanks for bouncing back to me with your thoughts, with which I resonate. I am increasingly intrigued by the notion that things too big for any of us individually help point us not just toward Truth, but toward each other and the need to connect in order to contain more of what none of us can contain in our limited consciousness—the Truth we can love, but cannot contain, the mystery in which we dwell.

      Namaste

  4. bg Says:

    Love the last paragraph– thank you!

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