The only cost is your life.

Friendships are so precious. People we can talk to, unreservedly, and be openly accepted, even in disagreement. With such people, we are ourselves, completely. All of the pretenses and even hopes and fears fall away, for genuine connection with a kindred friend. We talked of intimacy today, and such intimacy is beyond conditioned or unconditioned loving- it is perhaps the most deeply respectful and simultaneously open interrelating with another person.

Nothing to hide, nowhere to hide, only a celebration and playful exploration of the deeps. Wondering about a mutual identity, wondering about how we find ourselves were we happen to show up in the moment, in our respective communities. Wondering of our purpose, yet somehow certain, in all of the space we have been allowed, we learn to make the most compassionate space for those we know and for strangers.

How did we show up, other than as strangers, on the doorstep of the divine, only to be taken in as family, as are those we hold most dear? Who are these people who wander the streets of cognition, hanging out on street corners, begging for change? Do we all not know the hells of stagnation? And the blessings and sometimes seemingly unwelcome shattering of the old and familiar?

What remains? Or rather Who remains?

I talked at length this afternoon with a new friend of what it was like to die to the larger pattern. All my aspirations as a conceptually involved person were lost in a moment. And I was torn open, and died. Yet the human envelope continued, for the time being. What is it that continues? When we let go of everything, including our image and concept of ourselves-

That which endures beyond our capability to conceive it brings joy.

I talked with my friend this morning about trouble-making and active struggle to know the truth. Transparency was mentioned, though not by that word. To probe and probe and probe, endlessly seeking. Or so it seems. We can endlessly seek, for that is the nature of our being.

Yet what is it like to release any reified idea, and suddenly find ourselves embracing and embraced by the whole? Whose eyes are we actually looking out of?

So, I said to my friend, just give a knowing glance to the one you know has been aware all along, that their humility doesn’t completely cover the divinity that is peeking through. Not to say that any hubris would be welcomed. The idea is to be playful.

You have invited me into your heart, your most intimate space. How do I tell you that I love you in this intimate dance and keep (embrace) the space between us (all) that connects us, without frightening anyone? I suppose it is to disclaim the notion of “I.” Again and again I find that I am other than who I thought. Yes the power of thought is significant. Yet there is this other understanding that I also talked about today.

That all the enlightened teachers became skillful with language. They enfolded, to an infinite degree, deep meanings that transcend language, knowing full well that people might get trapped by surface meanings, and all the suffering that would cause. Yet in each verse, when we look for it, the experience of transcendence is there, unfailingly. We cannot miss it, when we have the proper orientation to inhabit the requisite presuppositions.

The words fall apart like a clam shell, tapped in just the right way.

And what are these presuppositions of transcendence?

Bit by bit we collect them. Some are hard-won, by combat or grief. Some come so easily, it is easy to undervalue them. And all of them are freely given. The only cost is your life.

©2011 Anthony S. Wright, Ph.D., All Rights Reserved.

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