Double Back Again
How wonderful! I received three questions and thought I would respond to them in PART III of III.
- …is there higher and lower? Or could we just say different.
- Or is the material realm and transcendence also one?
- One growing out of the other like a flower growing from a seed?
- The simple answer is yes there is higher and lower, and we usually add different. We, however, focus on the lower, worldly realm. Clay pots are clay, but we focus on the function, look, size, color, utility, and workmanship rather than realize clay pots all come from the same source, called clay. A spoon is a spoon, but we want to have a certain spoon shaped in a certain way. All this desire keeps us focused on the material realm.
- Yes, the material realm and the transcendent are one, however, we focus on the material realm. Very few want to transcend the material realm of wanting, having, getting, keeping, owning, knowing and so forth.
- And finally, yes, a flower growing from a seed is one as is everything else. We do not, however, focus on the oneness. We tend to focus on the conditioned material realm of difference, likes, dislikes, picking, choosing and much more.
The questions are useful and offer us an opportunity to clarify and make another effort to understand how to practice. In this case, the stories ask us to understand admonishment and realization of our true-original nature. To follow this thread, please read the first two parts.
The essential distinguishing part is that the two girls in the stories offered an admonishment to those doing harm. The boys in the first story were drowning and killing ladybugs and the father in the second story was using language that upset his daughter to an intolerable degree. Both girls warned the offenders that doing what they were doing would result in their going to hell.
The first question is: “…is there higher and lower?” I take this to refer to the comment of higher knowledge in part II. The first response is a simple “yes.” Let us look at the action of the girls.
Both girls responded on a mundane or material level with admonishment that infers a higher ground of existence. Inference is a part of logic and is a reasonable truth as in where there is smoke there is fire. Both girls had an internal understanding that there is something truer than a tendency to ‘swear and curse’ or a tendency to ‘kill for fun.’ “Higher” is a teaching instruction of going beyond the material realm; to leap clear of the conditions of the ego-self altogether. A more precise word would be valid. Valid knowledge as opposed to invalid or delusional (not true).
The word higher refers to going beyond the material realm; to look beyond this delusion of existence. Delusion refers to the qualities of impermanence; not lasting. The practice is to study the conditions of the ego-self which are all impermanent. Delusion refers to a misconception of reality. The boys did not know their true nature and saw what they were doing as “killing for fun.” The father did not know his true nature and was stuck in a “habit of cursing.” Both admonishments were a reference towards these activities as unruly behavior which is the material way of conditioning behavior. This conditioning refers to behavior in the realm of birth, aging, sickness, and death without any assistance in discovering our true nature. The higher realm is a reference to that which does not change: the unborn, undying, and immutable. It is a referential teaching device. As in, put your mind above, not on earthly things.” The youngest child heard the true knowledge when he heard that he and the ladybug are ONE.
The next question asks, “…is the material realm and transcendence realm also one? Like a flower growing out of a seed.” The simple answer is there is ONE existence, not two. Everything continues from the One. But we tend to divide things up again and again. As the girls corrected the other with a fear and trembling intimidation. They offered a do this or else which is dualistic. There is heaven and there is hell, there is good and there is bad. Dividing things leads to judgment, discrimination, and splitting. The girls condemned the boys along the lines of ‘good and bad.’ Saying to the boys that you and ladybug are one is an offering of going beyond the material realm of this and that and seeing the ONE existence. Not easy to see, but possible. It is possible to go beyond the delusion of the material realm of things.
Again, the youngest child heard the true nature of things when he stopped hurting the ladybugs and covered his face in dismay. He on one level, saw himself and the ladybug as One existence. He cried out, “It’s true!”
There is no condemnation for the girls’ admonishments. They were offering what they knew to offer. They offered a material world response of “good and bad.” And it is here where I repeat, “there is a higher knowledge that goes beyond the “good and bad” construction of the world.”
It requires effort, determination, discipline, and teachings. We must be willing to let go of the worldly habits and go beyond to our true nature. This practice requires leaping clear of the world which attracts and tricks us into thinking the world provides lasting satisfaction. We all know this truth, but we ignore it.
May we with all beings realize the emptiness of the three worlds, giver, receiver, and gift.