We know the Way of Jesus: the Truth and Life; we know the Path of the Buddha. Reality dwells in a space within our bodily temples protected from the clamor of the world. It does not participate in the illusions of the world. It merely observes the noise and allows us to function quietly in fullness of spirit. When challenged by the incessant demands of the noise, our inner self needs only withdraw to the place we know as truth, the place where we will find solace.
And what is that truth? It is knowing that this life is impermanent; it is knowing that this life is suffering; it is knowing that our suffering is a result of the work of the ego; it is knowing that we can ascend to a place of non-suffering through dying to that ego. When we can become self-less we can become free. That is the journey, the Quest.
For a few, enlightenment occurs, but for me, it is a continuing trek through the disappointment, the disillusionment, the sadness, the intolerance, the hatred which defines today’s society. I’m still a work in progress. Thankfully, I also know that it is my choice to participate in a conflicted way within the world’s reality or to merely observe and conduct my life according to my conscience. I will speak as a brother to all humanity, I will think as one who is merely a grain of sand in the sea of humanity, I will uphold the rights of all my brothers and sisters to a life of equality and justice. The truth which I perceive tells me there is no separation of mankind for we are all one within the greatness, the magnificence, the brilliance of the universal One.
The state of being conflicted is counterproductive to the journey. Or is it? When we stand in for a victim of oppression and hatred, when we speak out for those who are being persecuted, when we uphold the laws of our country as prescribed by the Constitution by counter-demonstrating, are we not also subscribing to that which we know to be Truth?
Although I seek quiet and solitude, I cannot be voiceless and uninvolved. Even when I cannot successfully search my memory banks for sound bytes, video clips, and quotes which support my convictions regarding today’s political turmoil, I have an intelligence and awareness which continues to discern right from wrong. For that I am grateful else my state of confliction would be without value or purpose.
I wonder if Gandhi was conflicted, or Martin Luther King, Jr., or Jesus, or the Buddha. Maybe it’s OK. You think?