June 17, 2011
Intercross the sun
with rain to raise the rainbow:
union’s brief, bright child.
Hybrids are offspring of mixed parentage, so the rainbow must also be a type of hybrid being the offspring of sun and rain. Hybrids are the key to finding solutions to today’s problems. Consider the world of opposites within which we live: light and dark, hot and cold, male and female, life and death, left and right, black and white, hard and soft, etc. In all cases the extremes are extremely dangerous. One opposite must be tempered and balanced by the other; the two must be joined in union. Neither opposite must be an enemy; they both must be accepted and brought together into balance like the yin-yang symbol. Neither is good or bad. What is good is the union of the two. This is Buddha’s Middle Way. This is Jesus’ request to love your enemies.
It is from these unions of opposites that this world knows balance and beauty. The rainbow is just one example. Take another example from nature: water and land. When we go to extremes, we either get floods or drought. When they are in balance, we get life-sustaining verdure and beautiful seacoasts. As this holds true in nature, it holds true in us who are a part of nature.
March 24, 2011
This ironic month:
the snow is falling again
while the grass turns green.
We live in the in-between: between the past and the future, the sky and the ground, life and death, good and evil, male and female, war and peace, happy and sad…
It isn’t often comfortable; it isn’t ever easy. The key to the game is keeping balance. Choose the Middle Way. We may imagine that there is more stable ground on one end or the other, but that would be mistaken. That would only throw us off balance. The farther we sway one way, the more violently we will be pulled back the other way. It happens in your head, in your heart, in the world: in education, in politics, in religion. For example, when humans took the “Unknowable Is” and created the All-Good God, we had to create the Devil to compensate and, seeing the “Unknowable” was now male, we demonized women. We have been off-balance for so long that we now think the bizarre contortions we find ourselves in to compensate for our imbalance as natural, as the way things were meant to be.
What is true is that we will always live in the in-between and if we wish to live there gracefully, we need to choose balance. That is the law. If you don’t like it, if you don’t want to follow it, that is no nevermind, for this law has a mind of its own. And it will have its way.
January 7, 2011
Snow lightly bestows
itself until the dark world
disappears in day.
“If you want the truth to stand clear before you never be for or against.” - Zen Master Seng Ts’an
Normally we experience the world dualistically, see it as either this or that: right or wrong, left or right, black or white, light or dark, happy or sad. The world asks us to make that choice, to choose either one or the other. I no longer subscribe to this worldview. If something is True, its opposite must also be True. That explains all the paradoxes in sacred texts.
When given a choice between two options, there is always a third choice, and the third choice may be as simple as choosing both. To deny a part of either Truth is to create or perpetuate nothing but the false. Choosing both is not a compromise. Once you know who you are, you must not compromise. While the world cannot be black or white, neither should it be gray. The world was not meant to be dismal. When two opposing forces meet, say sun and rain, they do not compromise to form the rainbow. The sun does not become less than the sun; the rain does not stop being rain. If either stops being what it is, a rainbow is impossible. Sun and rain remain what they are – remain true to themselves – and thus together they create beauty. Yet at the same time something is sacrificed: their will to live apart. And that sacrifice takes love.