Monday, March 19, 2007

Peeling Back the Veil

1Corinthians 13:12 "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."
Matthew 6:22, 23 "The light of the body is the eye: if therefore your eye be single, your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye be evil, your whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you be darkness, how great is that darkness."

On our journey through the existential plane our inner eye is in many ways covered by very thin layers of flesh that need to be peeled back to reveal the true nature of what can be seen. When enough of these layers have been removed our sight becomes clearer and we begin to see with greater maturity, better able to understand the relative importance of all the things that we have experienced and have held dear in our lives and better able to weigh them according to their true value. For example, we learn on this plane that the bodies that hold the essence of who we are is subject to degradation as they age but paradoxically our inner selves also unfold toward greater awareness of the preciousness and wonder of life. Time takes on new importance and we begin to understand that all we think, say and do have eternal ramifications due to the laws of cause and effect and the interrelatedness of all that is. We are able to realize that though we are very small in the context of the entire universe, we also have an important part to play in its unfolding.

When we are young we tend to want to have everything all at once, not that we always feel that it is owed to us, but rather that we become flushed with the pleasure of sense stimuli and often become addicted to those feelings. These intense longings act as a kind of blinder, and sometimes we take dangerous detours to reach them and run into a good deal of pain and suffering as a result, but as we grow, hopefully we become more cogniscent of these detours that promise happiness but fail to deliver. These detours can be likened to the unclear mirrors described by the apostle Paul. With age comes wisdom and though it may sound cliché, it is nevertheless true. The aging process through the attainment of wisdom can help clear the film of debris from our eyes, opening up a whole new panorama of what was once an unseen world for us to enjoy in abundance. Aging likewise can also cloud our vision and can make us bitter if we've been unable to find the satisfaction in life that others have found and we can feel cheated, worthless and discarded, but by diligently trusting the Eternal that watches over all of us and dwells within us, regardless of what our senses tell us is real, we are better able to stay on a more sure path that leads to ultimate peace and joy. It is in learning to trust what we cannot see with our physical eyes that helps us do this and ironically, it is the same unseen world that which allows us to truly enjoy sense pleasures here on earth. All the great teachers that have learned from their teachers going all the way back to ancient times emphatically combine to attract our attention and bring us to an understanding of where to look for things that have true worth. It may not be an easy path to take because it takes time and some patience to become aware of the unseen and even then we only can attain it in part. Even the most diligent seeker often only sees reality through an earthbound haze but true life is nevertheless a birthright that we all have a share in if we are intent enough to search for it from both within and without. So each day it is important to allow time for our spirits to rest in the arms of the Compassionate One and not let the dross of the world's impermanence block our way to what we are ultimately and inevitably destined for. We should endeavor to enjoy our lives, laugh, give, take and just be who we are but we also should try to practice moderation. That which is shiny and desirable often turns to rust and ashes, only offering disillusionment and dissatisfaction, so it is important to seek with a true heart and learn to balance that which is of the seen and the unseen. This leads to real contentment.

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