Size matters! (Clarifying ‘a really big man’)

Judging from the comments that got on my previous post, I guess I need to give it more context. I’m not writing about Paul Bunyan, folks, but the Teacher.

I was thinking about how practical people (God love ’em!) tend to warn how important it is to keep “both feet on the ground.” and not to have your “head in the clouds.” They have good points. Too often I really have had my head in the clouds and my feet weren’t on the ground.

But an enlightened person is “big” enough to have his or her head in the clouds and feet on the ground, and strong enough to blow the clouds away. Thomas Traherne (the 17th-century Anglican priest who has been wonderfully treated in some posts by Akilesh on Graceful Presence”, and by Trev on Diesel Musings) wrote:

It is less that I am in the world, than that the world is within me.

Size matters! The teacher knows that the Kingdom of heaven is within him, and all things are as well. He or she sees the spiritual reality, and knows the physical appearances to be only what they are. When this image came to my mind, I saw the BIG man as being like the angel in Rev. 10, who stands with one foot on sea, and one foot on land, and declares “there shall be no more time.” All potential already is. What will be manifested, though, is up to us in the manifest world. It’s like all the lines for all the scripts are already written. It’s up for us to awaken and choose the parts we will play. What will this world be like tomorrow? Will we stay unconscious, and react instinctively to protecting our belief systems and other mental fictions, or will we live as what we really are?

About six weeks ago, I had the opportunity to hear another teacher, Lono Ho’ala. Lono shared the horrific story of the unbearable pain that forced him to awaken. Lono the asked the group: how much pain do you think the world will need for our political, cultural, and religious leaders to awaken? To realize that God is love, and is everything? He urged us to wake up, before nuclear bombs explode over Tehran and New York. Only awakening beyond the reactive nature can spare us the holocaust we’re threatening ourselves with.

That’s putting it dramatically, but these are dramatic times, and the ego is endangering the world with its lust for drama. “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.” Get ready! Find a big person who can reach down, pick you up, and show you the clear sky.

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10 thoughts on “Size matters! (Clarifying ‘a really big man’)

  1. I love this metaphor of the teacher as a Giant! Profound AND imaginative… πŸ™‚

    (The Universe appears to love drama as well… what else IS all this?!) πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™ πŸ™ πŸ™

  2. “Keep your feet on the ground- head out of the clouds”…it seems I’ve been told this most my life and my wife reminds me as well!

    Instead, we should say, “Lift up your eyes! and hearts!” “Unpack all those phantoms-Unshoulder that invisible load!”

    Perhaps the teaching is: “Rejoice and be glad” and we are evolving into this collective spirit even now!

    Great post!

  3. “To see the world in a grain of sand,
    and to see heaven in a wild flower,
    hold infinity in the palm of your hands,
    and eternity in an hour.”

    scale doesn’t matter πŸ˜‰

  4. [Jon, you recently posted a brief comment on my blog and, after I approved it, it disappeared into the cybersphere. Not sure if I mistakenly hit “reject” instead of “approve.”]

    Some of the greatest periods of “awakening” in my own life came after periods of intense pain. I’m thinking of my experience of coming out of the closet about 12 years ago, to which my Pentecostal parents responded by praying for my death; my time in the hospital four years ago, temporarily paralyzed from the waist down; my painful break-up with Michael last year. All were extremely painful, and all brought changes in my life through which I experienced the inner Kingdom of God in deeper and richer ways.

    May we all be big enough to contain the Kingdom within us, yet small enough to recognize that the Kingdom of God is all around us.

  5. Reminds me of what Thoreau wrote in Walden: “If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.”

    It’s not either/or; it’s transcend/include!

  6. You mention putting aside beliefs. Aren’t the ideas that God is love, and is in everything, and that the whole world is in some metaphysical sense inside an enlightened person, beliefs? Or do you mean these statements as metaphors?

    To me they sound like beliefs that don’t stray as far from direct experience as many religious beliefs do; but, still, they seem to me beliefs.

  7. Touch?, Darius!

    Yes, of course life in the world isn’t possible without beliefs of some kind. And, yes, I do mean them as metaphors! I guess what I’m getting at is great attachment made to beliefs. Generally speaking, few beliefs create attachment as much as religious beliefs do.

    There are reasons for this. Reality is not mental, but simply is. It doesn’t require “belief” in it. My teacher once said, “God doesn’t care if you believe in him or not!” The tricky thing is that Reality isn’t physical, either… the senses can only go so far, being limited to narrow ranges in the segment of Reality we call space-time. What’s behind and beyond that isn’t understood by the mind, or perceived by the senses. But it’s there, just as you’re still “there” even in deep sleep, with no awareness of thought or body.

    Beliefs are a bridge for beings who try to understand things mentally (most of us) to apprehend the non-physical aspects of Reality. By believing in God, we can honor and devote ourselves to more than we can know.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it, though it only goes so far. One catch is that because a belief doesn’t change (you might exchange one belief for another, but the belief doesn’t change)–people often hold onto beliefs which don’t suit them. There’s the joke that faith means believing what you know isn’t true.

    Realizing that mental constructs are just that, mental constructs and nothing more, can be very helpful. So can realizing that the word translated as “belief” in the NT, can be better translated as “trust.”

    Man as a mental being will have beliefs, just as a physical being will have mass. But inflexibile attachment to beliefs can hamper growth. We mistake the mental landscape for the spiritual Reality. The finger pointing to the moon is not the moon.

    And when the heart is open, like an empty glass, God rushes in. Whether you believe or not!

  8. head in the clouds? Didn’t Jesus have his head in the clouds? Ascension. πŸ™‚

    Let yourself go into the Mystery.

    Great stuff, bro!

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