Webster defines discernment as
the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure
Please stop for a moment and take a breath. This quality is needed for what comes next. Spiritual truth is not something to be understood intellectually or on a psychological level, though it does affect us on every level of awareness. There are things that must be “felt” and understood in the very fiber of our being. In the early years of Christianity, this type of knowing was called gnosis. It is a knowing, a comprehending that transcends what we can learn with our minds, our intellect. We just know. Then comes the journey from knowing something as Truth and then allowing that Truth to manifest in the way we think, live, and love.
Daniel Levin’s Zen Cards present me with one of these Truths:
Treat everyone and
everything with loving
When you see no difference
between the SACRED
and the profane, the saint
or the sinner, that is the
The world today challenges this Truth every moment. Watching the news makes this Truth seem impossible. If you were raised with good vs. evil, God vs. Satan, etc. everything in you says there is a difference. I could argue this with semantics and say that, technically, there is a difference in how people behave but this goes way beyond semantics. This is cosmic reality contrasted with third dimensional reality, which exists because of opposites and contrasts like the north and south poles. Contrast need not be judged good or bad; it is about balance while in form.
Sometimes my brain seems to pulse inside my head until I remember this is not to be reasoned out. Many years ago, a film titled “Cocoon” was released. In it a group of elderly people encountered alien beings and were frightened and defensive. Then, these beings took off their disguises, their “skin” and revealed their true forms. They were amazingly beautiful beings of light who came with love and concern for these sweet old people striving for the last ounce of love this life could give them. I sat watching the scene and something inside me wept with joy. Before my eyes, on a huge outdoor screen, was displayed a Truth of cosmic proportions:
Under the skin, we are ALL the SAME.
Now, when I see the news, my mental/emotional reaction is different. Mostly I am saddened that we have not evolved more collectively. Then I am reminded that we are still evolving and more and more beings are waking up, getting it. We aren’t very newsworthy but there are a lot of us! The contrast or balance of what I see in the news are the millions waking up! And the Truth has been preserved for generations in every culture and every belief system. I am profoundly grateful for those who have faithfully taught anyone who would listen, even at the cost of their lives.
When I read Levin’s quote this morning, I thought of Joan of Arc. Some saw her as a saint, the embodiment of the Sacred. Others saw her as demon-possessed, the embodiment of the Profane. It isn’t easy to find what she actually said or wrote; she carried Truth beyond what the educated minds of her day could comprehend or discern. She was seen as a threat to the status quo so they killed her. Much the same as what we see reported today, yes?
So, dear hearts, we are all the same under the skin, under the beliefs that birth our actions, under our fears and judgements and inability to see one another as our relations. Everyone is trying to find their way; some are more mired down in adversarial belief systems but everyone wants the light. Enlightened beings are called to have compassion for the beings searching within minds and bodies that are acting out of fear and lack of understanding. THIS is a true spiritual practice and it begins with gnosis, that knowing that allows me to discern Truth beyond my human ability to understand what is right in front of me. That same knowing will fuel my practice and turn me inward to my Truth: I am light and love in form. I see you all as my relations. May my life provide the contrast needed for all of my relations to live in the light.
Love and Light All Ways.