SUNSETS AND TIDAL WAVES

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“Mischief is yours. Sorrow is yours. But virtue also is yours. And purity. You are the source of all purity ad all impurity.”

­—Saying #18 of the Buddha from The Osho Buddha Deck

The key thing to remember is not that you are “good” or “bad” but Who You Are is the source of all things, the potentiality. Most so-called religions focus on the ethical guidelines of being a “good” person. In Buddhism, it tends to involve following certain precepts, such as avoiding intoxicants and at the more extreme levels, avoiding sex. In Christianity, this involves taking Jesus as your Lord and Savior, which basically means that you are giving up your responsibility and accountability to a dead man. In yoga, non-violence, truth, non-stealing are some of the ethical principles that sound just like the Ten Commandments. One difference is that these yamas or “restraints” guide the yogi less to being a good person and more to Self-realization by limiting one’s interaction with the common distractions of the human mind.

But this saying of the Buddha goes beyond all of these. It is not saying, “Do this and be a good person.” Nor is it saying, “Avoid these and be an aware person.” It is telling you Who You Are: the source of all things. This is what God is, not some man with a gray beard in the sky who controls all things and judges everyone with a critical eye, but rather potentiality of the All.

If one can see this as Who You Are, and also as Who Others Are, you will start seeing God everywhere, in everything: from the beautiful sunset that warms lovers’ hearts, to the tidal wave that kills; from the cute puppy that licks your face, to the hippopotamus, the mammal that kills more people in the world only second to humans; and you will see both your joy and your anger as gifts of the all, expressions of God.

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“We are less affected by outside forces the more we practice, the more we are rooted in ourselves. And that presence is who we really are. As you practice, you become more present and less in thoughts.”

—Krishna Das

I write some pieces with humor that is clever but also tasteless at times. In example, I have used the simile, “As dry as a nun’s vagina” in several pieces. Recently, I went through a 10-Day Cleanse and posted each day on Facebook my daily experiences as well as my spiritual reflections. A girl who I knew from an online business course I took who I used to joke with wrote me and told me how she felt the writing was so much more sensitive than what she had received from me before. If she had left it at that that would have been fine but in her admiration of my depth, she dismissed my humorous expressions as a defense mechanism from showing the world Who I Am. And here is where she went astray. She had admitted to just finishing a workshop and it was clear to me she was riding the fumes of the lesson plan and thought, like an annoying Mormon, she would proselytize to me.

In interaction with others, we should focus on each other’s needs and feelings rather than in judging or making statements about how they are and how they should be. How they should be is only your limited worldview, in the same way that a devout Muslim or Christian thinks everyone in the world would be better off if they conformed to their religion.

In example, a better way to communicate is saying, “When you share this kind of writing it touches me deeply, making me feel both vulnerable and open,” versus “Your comic stuff is shallow and a defense mechanism.” We can say, “When you don’t call, I feel anxious as my need for structure and organization gets thrown out of wack,” versus “You’re completely irresponsible and selfish for not calling!” We can say, “That action of yours makes me feel scared to open up to trust” versus “That was a dick thing to do; you are untrustworthy.”

Whether her unsolicited and unwanted psychoanalysis was accurate or not, she is missing the bigger picture: that I am both the sunset and the tidal wave, that I can be both offensive and inspiring. The limitation was less about me and more about her inability to see “God” in all things. God is love—not exclusively love between a man and a woman—and if you see love through this perspective, you don’t see all of God. God is mischief and sorrow, as well as virtue and purity, because God is the source not the expression. Even in the Bible it says that God created all good and all evil. But the people who need a cartoon God changed that to God being responsible for all the good in the world and Satan being responsible for all the evil, not realizing that Satan is God and God is Satan.

So whether I write pretty poetry or ridiculous rantings, whether I rhyme…all the time…while drinking wine…or whether my sentences end in dangling participles or penises, I am always just the vessel that transcribes God’s messages, and am humbled to do so. I like laughing and I like welling up with tears of beauty. I don’t limit my understanding of God to just be an expression of one or the other extreme. Imagine if we could all accept people for their purity and impurity. Then perhaps we’d give those who commit crimes love to feed the inner wounds and fears, which is the source of their crimes, rather than punishments. Then perhaps Retribution would be dethroned and new era of Compassion would reign supreme.

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“The mistake, the greatest mistake a man can commit is to think that the climate is created by outside forces. It is not created by outside forces; it is your inner decision, your inner will. It is your choice. It happens on the outside, but it arises from the deepest core of your being. It needs very alert watchfulness to see this point. Once you have seen it you need not live in hell at all. Why should you choose hell once this is understood, that it is your choice?

—Osho

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