I was inspired by Emma Gonzales for this talk, the Imitation of Christ. You don’t imitate Christ by acting like Christ, looking like Christ, quoting Christ, worshiping Christ, believing in Christ or preaching Christ. You had to die like Christ and cry like Christ and enter the silence of death like Christ. Christ is not something. Christ is not in time. Silence is not in time. Silence is a hole in Time because thinking (which is mental time) cannot go there. Through thought you cannot enter the silence of Christ and the tears of Christ.
But Emma did on stage in front of 800,000 people, the largest march in American history I hear the media say. She held the silence even thought he mind of the audience tried to get her to break her silence, even though they trip to clap and end it, even though they tried to chant and end it…the silence held. Mind grew quiet…the tears began to flow out of the eye of the audience. The tears began to flow out of Christ.
Christ, Buddha, what’s in a name. Silence has no name. Tears have no name. God has no name..and neither do you in silence. In that six minutes of silence everyone lost their name and died….and death was defeated.
We believe Christ is in the past or in the church or in the Bible, or not at all. In that silence where the tears flowed from the strong heart, Christ was resurrected in that moment. Not a thing or an idea or doctrine, but a surrender to the silence of God which is compassion. She held the pain of death and didn’t run from it or avoid it with noise. The crowd tried to unseat her from her silence like Mara tried to unseat t the Buddha or Jesus, but it failed. She gave six minutes of silence…she gave death back to death.
In reading Joseph Campbell (again) I came across a term that seized me: Symbolic realization. A term he quotes James Joyce using is Esthetic Arrest. But we are talking about a seizure of the mind when the mind is opened to Shock and Awe, but not in the way Bush used it. Awe is the opening of the mind to THAT which is beyond the mind, and this Beyond is communicated through metaphor. The fact of Emma Gonzales, the historical fact of her speech in time and place suddenly opens up and you say AWESOME. How does a fact becomes AWESOME, which is the word we use for the experience of the transcendent, whether is a good cake or an epiphany with God. We do tend to water every word for AWE doesn’t to the trivial so the word is diluted and has no taste or value o power.
Emma Gonzales was transparent to the transcendent, a most often quote by Joseph Campbell. And she made herself transparent through silence.
Many will poo poo my elevation of Emma Gonzales to a spiritual level, and even she would I hope. This is the mystery of metaphor, or the two way mirror of seeing reality. When there is just form, whatever are looking at is just this, and what it is you define. So Emma is a saint or she is a sinner, depending on your political persuasion. She is a leader of a cause or a destroyer of a cause. Emma is ambiguous. But neither of these views make her transparent to the transcendent, which is YOU, your heart, your seizure, your rapture when anything becomes transcendent to. your own transcendence.
You see we are all trapped in form and our definition of form. Whether positive or negative we are trapped. When that form becomes transparent to the transcendent, it opens like a window and light pours through, and there is only one light..and that light is you. Our nature is transcendence. We are made to transcend form and the world our minds make out of form. And when we deny the transcendence, we suffer like a prisoner in a cell.