Monday, May 19, 2008

Picturing the divine

"Consciousness by its very nature tends to make the divine into its own image and likeness; the only problem is, the divine has no image or likeness. hence consciousness, of itself, cannot truly apprehend the divine. Christians (Catholics especially) are often blamed for being the great image makers, yet their images are so obviously naive and easy to see through, we often miss the more subtle, formless images by which consciousness fashions the divine. For example, because the divine is a subjective experience, we think the divine is a subject; because we experience the divine through the faculties of consciousness, will, and intellect, we think the divne is equally consciousness, will and intellect; because we experience ourselves as a being or entity, we experience the divine as a being or entity; because we judge others, we think the divine judges others; and so on. Carrying a holy card in our pockets is tame compared to the formless notions we carry around in our minds; it is easy to let go of an image, but almost impossible to uproot our intelletual convictions based on the experiences of consciousness. Still, if we actually knew the unbridgeable chasm that lies between the true nature of consciousness or self and the true nature of the divine, we would despair of ever making the journey. So consciousness is the marvelous divine invention by which human beings make the journey in subjective companionship with the divine; and, like every divine invention, it works. Consciousness both hides the chasm and bridges it - and when we have crossed over, of course, we do not need the bridge any more."
- interview with Bernadette Roberts

Update: it is very remarkable, that BR, in this quote:
"Four years later, however, I came across two lines attributed to Buddha describing his enlightenment experience. Referring to self as a house, he said, "All thy rafters are broken now, the ridgepole is destroyed". and there it was - the disappearance of the center, the ridgepole; without it, there can be no house, no self. When I read these lines, it was as if an arrow launched at the beginning of time had suddenly hit a bulls-eye."

... Talks about an arrow from the beginning of time, hitting a bulls-eye. Several years ago I had a perception that Our Path is "endeth", we are done, we are free, only we just need to shake off the residual pain to realize it. And I got a vision: A huge crystal arrow sitting in a big target, a perfect hit. I was mightily struck with the perfection of this hit, and with the finality of it. And also of the knowledge that it had been launched with such precision from the beginning of time.

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