Illumination: Free and Easy Wandering

Everywhere you turn, there is the face of God.  –  The Holy Koran

For years I struggled with the conclusion of this short work.  How ought it to end?  What is left unsaid?  The answer has finally come to me in a form which has tantalized these weary hands for decades; that cannot be the measure by which such a treatise ends, for there is no end to what might be said.  Words discern and divide, making finite representations which are wholly incapable of self-termination.  In younger days I thought surely there would be a conclusion to debate, an end to disagreement.  Years of painful struggle have finally been released, not in awareness, but in confident faith, that it is a source other than words, other than thought, which serves as this conclusion.

And it needs no proof or defense from this author, for it pervades, underlies, and transcends all of creation.

The field of boundless emptiness is what exists from the very beginning.  You must purify, cure, grind down, or brush away all the tendencies you have fabricated into apparent habits.  Then you can reside in the clear circle of brightness.  –  Hongzhi

Life is the ultimate lesson.  To live with the confidence and courage that the power which drives that life is divine, that the subject which lives is none other than the Divine Self, this is all that is left to experience.  No words are necessary, no particular proposition must be understood.  There is no accomplishment to be had, nor grand finale to be sought, but only that confidence in faith through which moves the illimitable reaches of God.  Mystics of every religious tradition have come to this conclusion, and yet mankind persists in its incessant speech.

When the stains from old habits are exhausted, the original light appears, blazing through your skull, not admitting any other matters.  Vast and spacious, like sky and water merging during autumn, like snow and moon having the same color, this field is without boundary, beyond direction, magnificently one entity without edge or seam.  Further, when you turn within and drop off everything completely, realization occurs.  –  Hongzhi

And this is not to reject words; in fact, this is not to reject anything at all.  Rather, it is to let reason unfold as it may, to remain impartial in Light of the faith in that Divine Mind whom we know by experience itself.  To accept it all, the entirety of reality, it is in this and this alone that enlightenment shall be found.  To ease into virtuous effort, to cease worrisome, tiresome, joyless drudgery, and to bask solely in the peace of righteousness, this is the Way.  It is not to cease one’s labors, but to let all of creation grow and fall from these lives as so many leaves from a tree.  It is to achieve effortless effort, the spontaneous, uncontrived wu wei expounded by those wonderful Daoist sages of so many years ago.

In reading the thought of Ibn Al ‘Arabi, in encountering yet another human being enraptured by that very same Celestial Mind which moves this author’s heart, I jumped from my seat and raced to author this conclusion, for today I can no longer accept the doubt to which I long held fast as a symbol of my rationality.  There is a premise which we cannot doubt, and though I have explained it here in this very treatise, it is its acceptance, and not its understanding, which brings the perfection of wisdom.

If nothing else, take confidence from these words that the Mind by which you move, I move.  Take confidence that you and I are but words, that these bodies are but things, and it is the Mind of God from which all has arisen, and to which all shall return.  Slough off these limbs and live free from delusion.

Love your neighbor as yourself, for there is but One, and to Him we shall return.

My father, yesterday you promised me you would take my mind to the eigth stage and after that you would take me to the ninth.  You said this is the sequence of the tradition…

Father, you have spoken every word rightly to me, but I am amazed at what you say.  You said, ‘The power in me.’  –  The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth

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