appearances recognized as divine
A nothing that is as yet an appearing. A something that is as yet a nothing. This realization awakens the HeartMind to the Always of what is meant by the word divine.
In order to drive from Spain to Italy you must pass through France. If someone were to talk about driving from Spain to Italy, describing in detail their experience of the journey, and never mention having passed through France it would be reasonable to assume they had not really made that journey. If, in addition, they only spoke of Italy in a somewhat charicatured way never mentioning the chief characteristics of Italy, its food, its culture, its sights one might suspect they in fact were not speaking from Italy.
There is a good bit of anemic talk about non-dual awareness these days. There is conversation by people who supposedly have made the journey from confusion to pure awareness but their conversation never speaks of France. These conversations often seem as if there is ordinary confused life and a somewhat sterile, untouched, aloof awareness without “me”. There is the absence of “me” in the conversation but there is not talk of what there actually is. What is missing is the divine.
In the Buddhist tradition there is a lower sort of realization called the realization of an Arhat. An Arhat realizes the lack of a self but does not realize the emptiness of appearances and also of mind. In not realizing these it also misses out on the actual nature of things and mind – which is not simply a mere absence. The first turning of the wheel of teachings embraces the emnptiness of self and the second turning realizes the emptiness of things and mind and it is then in the third turning that what is the case, instead of what is not the case, is realized.
What is the case? Not a mere emptiness. If I have a bowl full of keys and I take them out one by one till they are all gone then the bowl is a mere emptiness. When self, things and mind are all realized to be empty there is a most astounding discovery! What is left when untruth is removed is not a mere emptiness but a seething roiling pure poentia of love and freedom in expression as appearance.
Not only is the divine discovered but appearances come to be recognized as divine as well. Call it divinity or Buddha Nature it is anything but ordinary in a human sense. Why do I call it divine? Because when body, mind, feeling encounter this mysterious paradoxical reality of perfect openness and luminous wonder manifesting as appearance it is felt, everything is felt, as if, for the first toime, one knew what the word divine meant.