Eckhart Tolle’s quote for Father’s Day: “The energy field of old but still very-much-alive emotion that lives in almost every human being is the pain-body. The pain-body, however, is not just individual in nature. it also partakes of the pain suffered by countless humans throughout the history of humanity.”
Since it’s Father’s Day, I want to use this primary relationship as the context for our talk this morning. Jesus was all about the Father/Son relationship, and he resolved the pain of the relationship with the statement or affirmation: “I and the Father are One.” The end of separation is the end of pain or suffering. Buddha says the same thing in the Four Noble Truths. The Third Truth is that there is a cessation of suffering or separation. There is Atonement.
In the Hero Journey that Joseph Campbell mapped out, Atonement with the Father is one of the accomplishments of the hero on his journey to Oneness with the world. Ah…that’s it. We use a limited definition when we say Father and Son. We need a bigger boat, a bigger metaphor. Father is a metaphor for the external world, the world outside the mother/childhood that the Father both is and is a guide to. So when Jesus says I and the Father are one, he is affirming or speaking from an awareness that is one with the world (God as the All).
Tolle is speaking of the Pain-body as a living energy field in the unconscious—we are not conscious of it because we are in it. Buddha said life is suffering as the field in which we feel separated from the world, as if we are outside of it.
So the primary relationship of the Son and the Father is fundamentally about the evolution of a separate sense of self that is separate from the Father/World. Hence the conflict between father and son on a physical level—which is really a metaphor for the basic conflict of self-reflective consciousness itself. Consciousness evolves out of unity awareness of the child who as an infant does not differentiate itself from the world/mother. But then, slowly, consciousness as self rises. The child gets a name and, like Adam in the Garden, learns and names his world. We always remember the Childs creative names for the world. My son called Dandelions, dancing lions.
A sense of separate self appears, separate from the Father/world. But there are two contradictory commandments in this separate I consciousness: Let there be One; Let there be Two. In other words, their is a yearning to be separate, a unique self, a Son; there is a yearning to be one with the Father/world. These two yearnings cannot be satisfied simultaneously at the same time. One cannot be aware of the world as a subject aware of objects, and at the same time be aware-as the world without differentiation. You can’t return to be that infant that was one with the world/mother.
What we are looking at here, perhaps, is a middle stage in the evolution of consciousness. First we are one with the mother/world, then we are separate from the father/world (as son); we yearn to be one with the Father, yet at the same time to be separate from the father as a unique One…
We can see how the Christ as metaphor achieves this for us for Christ is claimed to be One with the Father and yet the Unique and only Son. So Christ is both one with the father and separate from the father..This is why we save only through Christ can we solve this double-bind of self-reflective consciousness.
But this is not Zen. Buddhism is saying that this is a middle stage in the evolution of your consciousness, and that you have to make the leap to solve the dilemma yourself. No one can save you. No one can do it for you, not even Jesus. You have to do it. Just do it! You have to. transcend the stage of separation from the world, as either the good or bad son, the obedient son or the rebel son…But, as J. Krishnamurti says: Truth is a pathless land. You have to create your own path to atonement. So creativity is the key here.
“Night and day, you are the One….” Cole Porter