Suffering, like sin and death, is an expression of the negative in existence and belongs exclusively to the intellectual consciousness of the self, the reflective idea of the soul in existence. In the spiritual reality of absolute being, as in the immediate relationships with absolute being that characterize the actuality of nature, there can be no intellectual suffering, since there is no idea of the self.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT !
On a tortilla spread a thin straight line of tomato paste cheerfully off center. Over this spread a thicker layer of re-fried beans followed with a small sampling of tomato sauce. Cover this concoction with a layer of chopped onion, preferably leek, and add a clove of chopped garlic. Add spices to taste and blanket the whole with a sprinkling of tasty cheese. Roll up the tortilla, bake for five minutes and, lo and behold, you have one of my quite famous burritos.
A Tibetan lama of my acquaintance, a rinpoche no less, that is to say, a reincarnation of a deceased Lama, scoffed at the idea that the universe is expanding, despite the scientific evidence formulated within the last century. “Where can it expand,” he asked, “there is no where that it can expand, there is nothing beyond it into which it can expand, nothing beyond the universe?” This the exact point, which he was unable to grasp due to his belief in an infinite universe. Yet it is precisely beyond the expanding universe that there is nothing, an infinite void which contains only the finite universe, an eternal void containing the temporal universe, a spiritual void confining the material universe, an absolute void containing a universe in which everything is relative.
This material, finite universe is rushing to expand since time, even thirteen and a half billion years of it, is limited. The spiritual void has no cognizance of time. It is infinite and absolute. It is also, however, the living seed within the universe. Every form of life contains this spiritual seed. If merely one seed blossoms to its absolute potential unswayed by the relativity of existence, the universe must be dissolved, the relative negative consumed by the absolute positive, love and hate overpowered by the spiritual void’s absolute love. Our only task is to ally ourselves with this love by believing in love’s absolute power to overcome hate, in the power of the positive, the true power of the spiritual void within life, to annul the false power of the negative, and then, of course, in living by what we believe.
This, of course is the great paradox, that the void is positive and that the negative only exists within the universe, confined within relativity and soon to be annulled by the void’s absolute power, the material dissolved within the spiritual. Yet, the spiritual appears weak within the rational actuality of relativity since rational thought objectifies the material of the universe and refuses to accept a transcendent reality, the spiritual reality of the void. In this regard, also, relatively few individuals have come to terms with the discovery that the universe is finite, preferring the comfort of Newtonian infinity to the theories of relativity.
On a Mediterranean pita bread spread a thin layer of tomato paste and cover with a layer of tomato sauce followed by a thick layer of sliced zucchini. Add spices to taste, cover with grated cheese and a little pepper, black or cayenne, and bake in a toaster oven for ten minutes. A simple, tasteful, vegetarian pizza.
Existence, the sensually apprehended and intellectually conceived four dimensional space/time continuum, can be defined as a physical universe of relativity while the true vacuum of the absolute void into which this universe is expanding is a spiritually transcendent presence that cannot be sensually apprehended or intellectually known. The human conception of the relative universe of existence is striving to expand into the absolute presence of being, in order to comprehend an ultimate reality in an intellectual, unified theory and become absolute, the finite desiring to become infinite, the temporal to become eternal. This, of course, can never be achieved.
Reality is transcendent to every actuality, as the absolute is transcendent to existence. Reality is spiritual, encompassing the void and the physical universe within the void. The universe is a universe of relativity in which the only presence of the absolute is the presence of the void at the center of each living being. Within the relative actualities there can be no absolutes. These relative actualities are limited by the boundaries of rational thought, and it is precisely faith that introduces the absolute into the actual universe, not as idea but as transcendent reality. Faith instructs us that there is a reality beyond the actuality of intellectual existence. This reality is transcendent and absolute while existence is intellectual and relative.
A common syndrome to people of all faiths is to hide behind physical and devotional attributes of spiritual beings, objectively active instead of subjectively passive, doing rather than just being. “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him” is the advice given by the sages to the unwary, showing that an inwards devotion to the unmanifest as opposed to an outwards devotion toward the manifest is the true path to enlightenment. Don’t hide behind the Buddha!