Wednesday, June 1, 2011
The Fiery Heart of the Cosmos.
At the heart of the Cosmos there is a fire, and it is the discovery of this fire that helped human beings to create cultures. The image of the hearth, but also the furnace in which matter is transformed by fire, has been related to the energy that lies in the pulsating heart. Without this energy there could be no life. But how are we to understand this energy that drives the life stream of the Universe? I would relate this energy to Compassion, which is a concern for the suffering, but also the liberation, of all creatures. In the Buddhist Mahayana tradition, Salvation will only finally come about when the whole of Creation is liberated, right down to the last blade of grass. St. Paul speaks of the whole creation travailing, and groaning for the liberation of the human community. Human suffering is enmeshed with the suffering of the rest of nature. The process of enlightenment is not just an escape from nature, and the world as we know it, but rather a willingness to return to the earth, and work alongside all creatures in the search for a spiritual freedom. This, I feel is the true meaning of the Cosmic Dance. By participating in that rhythm that binds all creatures together in a cosmic movement of life, we begin to realize the meaning of the Word, which is the primordial Sound that underlies all forms of existence. This Word, or Shabda, is what all mystics intuitively recognize as the Unity of Being. It is like the breath that enlivens the body. It is like the bread that we all need in order to nourish the body.