Peace be the journey (the practice of a lifetime)

15 04 2010

(pre-script: i write this post as a Universal Traveler, observing (as unbiasedly as i can) one culture of one species of one planet of one solar system etc. etc. don’t call me a christian or a jew, just call me an admirer of a good story and all life.)

I grok a beautiful reason why Christianity utilizes the symbol of a lovely, joyful rabbi (teacher), bleeding and bodily beaten, strung from a t-shaped wooden plank.

I understand two ways to live life (which isn’t to say these are the only ways, but these two fit my current understanding fully):

  1. With suffering.
    or
  2. Without suffering

When I say suffering, I don’t mean pain: you stub your toe, you experience pain; a friend dies, you can feel sad; food has been kept from you for many days, hunger doesn’t feel good. But in all these discomforts, one need not feel the anguish of suffering—one can choose to be at peace, recognizing “a painful feeling is in my toe”, “i miss my friend and i am sad”, or “this body is hungry”, but never-the-less, “I am okay. At the deepest level of my Self, I am okay”.

The first way to live, (with suffering), is how most people live. Here, happiness does exist, but this happiness is temporary. After temporary relief, a person suffers again about any thing from deaths to stress to feelin’ a little jealous.

The second way to live, (without suffering), can include sadness or pain, but is constant peace and contentment, even during sadness or pain. I estimate 0.02% of Earth’s current population lives this way consistently (consistently meaning at least one consecutive year of not suffering).

The reason I have in mind that Christianity shows the symbol of their favorite brother in an agonizing picture is to inspire folks to live without suffering. “How?” you ask? Well…

One’s perspective generally determines how one experiences the events of their life. I see three fundamental perspectives:

  1. Tragedy (this is bad),
    or
  2. Comedy (this is good),
    or
  3. Fullness (this is).

Now think of the most likeable and loveable person you know, the cat’s meow, the illest of the illest… Jesus was 100 x more than that. While he lived, Jesus was (excuse the patriarchical dominated sexism) the man. He was also the woman. He was every thing wonderful.

His personality fills the  comedy perspective.

As the story goes, Jesus, this super-suave, miraculous lover-man, knew he was going to be tortured and brutally murdered. He let it happen willingly. The whipping, the beating, the humiliating march, the nailing, the starving and multi-day slow death… he accepted it with the calmest appreciation; “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Death fills the tragedy perspective.

However, because Jesus willingly allowed it to happen, the crucifixion doesn’t represent a tragedy or a comedy—it represents a fullness. Death is almost always viewed as a “bad” thing in our culture, a tragedy. But Jesus’ death can be viewed with a sense of wholeness: Death is not good or bad, death is. The crucifixion represents all of our ability to transcend the perspectives of comedy and tragedy, both of which are limited to EITHER happiness OR sadness, and realize a ‘middle path’, re-cognizing a judgment-free fullness: the isness of change. This fullness is acceptance, a simultaneous ecstasy and sorrow, a feeling of wholeness that can only be known by experience—no words do it justice.

Huwan family, i tell you now, if we cannot accept death, we cannot accept life, for life is the eternal dance of birth and death. We need not rejoice in death, but we need not suffer from it either. Indeed, we need never suffer.

Peace be the journey. Let the light shine through, whatever form it takes.

whisper words of wisdom, let it be

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