What’s The Most Spiritually Arrogant Thing You Can Do?
What’s the most spiritually arrogant thing you could do?
What is it?
One of the most spiritually arrogant things that people have done in the past was declaring the Absolute as themselves: saying, “I am God.”
Now, think about that. Those who have claimed they’ve been God or are God – many of them we lock up, many we have put to death. They seem mentally unstable; some of them seem like cult leaders who are declaring some type of power over others.
Within society, we have a both an attraction to and a disdain for those who declare themselves as God.
We actually tend to appreciate those who declare themselves furthest away from God. “I am nothing, I am the dirt on the ground, I am absolutely made of the dirt that God put us here within.”
We like the idea that God rolled that dirt up and breathed life into it, and then made us who we are, from some rib, from some stork, from the Earth, from whatever legend that shares our creation stories.
And then, there are some who have deflated their ego and dissolved their sense of identity to such a point that the realization, the tacit knowing, the recognition of the “God-ness”, the divinity they are, emerges.
It’s a very interesting experience.
I remember giving a Zen Koan Intensive Retreat once, and I had a fellow attend from a very fundamentalist religion, who was very new to this type of training.
We were doing this deep dive meditation process called Kensho. Kensho in Japanese means the direct experience of truth.
The process is very simple; asking a question of oneself, which in this case was, “What is God?” and going back and forth between the dualities, between what God is and what God isn’t. The idea is that the answers that come up reveal an aspect of the mind that is then relieved, allowing for more space for the direct experience of truth.
So, his partner in this process asked him, “Feel what God is, here and now.” He had an idea, the idea came up, he shared it with his partner. His partner said “Thank you,” then gave him the second part of the inquiry, “Feel what God is not, here and now.”
Something came up for him, he expressed it, and that part got relieved from his mind.
His partner kept going back and forth with those questions, so that all his ideas on “What God is, what God isn’t, what God is, what God isn’t,” started coming up to be flushed, cleared, transmuted, dissolved, let go of, released.
Ultimately, through this spiralling-down process, one becomes emptier and emptier. In Zen, they call it the Koan. It’s an inquiry; an existential, spiritual inquiry, that is not meant to produce any answers, but meant to burn the Self up, burn up the inquirer, the inquiry itself, allowing for the direct blazing reality, the undeniable realization of the absolute truth that goes beyond any belief systems, beyond any influence we have, born from the knowing inside. From there, any overlays, any of our poetry, any of our smartness, any of our religiousness, become infusions into this peace, into this divine truth.
No one can tell you this truth, no teacher can impart it, no guru can transmit it.
That’s what this fellow experienced. He experienced himself as God, weeping.
And I saw it wasn’t from ego.
He had touched this genuine, eternal space within his being, which transcends time and space.
Now, he had a challenge come up, because within his thought structure, within his religious belief system, no one can ever “be” God – that is sacrilegious. God is always separate, away from humanity, an external energy to be honoured and feared.
But what happened was the God inside him woke up, and he felt it.
And he said to me, “What do I do with this?”
I went, “Well, what’s the truth that you’re experiencing? If you could just set aside your ideology for a moment, what’s your truth, what do you feel is truth?”
The truth he felt was: I am God, you are God, this is all God.
In such moments, a Zen master would sound a gong, the gong of recognition, of the absolute truth that goes beyond any words, any phenomena of auras and emanating lights.
Now, we can be God, know that as our truth, and then come back to our actuality, our humanity, our everyday roles that we play. But once we have a taste of it, we always know the absolute truth somewhere within ourselves. We get to rest in that truth, and stoke its fire, and honour it, and remember it in trying times.
That taste of God, the God within, allows us to dive deeper into our spiritual path, our journey of self-illumination, self-realization, and inner transcendence.
Paradoxically, it allows us to play the game – of the actor, the chess piece, known as, “Your name is Satyen.” We limit this chess piece into small moves, thinking the rook can move one way, and the Queen can move another way. But those are all limitations we put on the game of our God-ness, in order to play with each other.
Yet there are moments like our friend experienced, where we don’t have to play the game of our limitations, and we can come into the recognition that we are the grand players, the divine itself.
All this existence is an emerging, like a chessboard, on which we can reduce our infinity down into limited moves, so that we can play the game of freedom and restriction that life is.
Is there any part of you that intuits even taste of the truth of yourself, prior to subscribing to the matrix of this game?
Foster that part.
It’s the doorway, and the path, to true freedom.