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Bigness Through Smallness

I always feel that it is somewhat futile to articulate in words things which should be lived and experienced. But I feel so alive and enriched with what I have been feeling lately that I cannot help myself.

I am realising more and more, layer by layer, that the self I identify as 'me' is so very flimsy, so intriguingly insubstantial. In the broadest sense, it is really nothing - a hollow shell, a vehicle of this world. The further I settle into this appreciation, the less I feel like claiming to 'be' anything. I realise breathlessly that the less I allow myself to be, the more I can become. It is a paradox that continues to unfold from underneath me. I am beginning to see that in being 'nothing', I can become everything; the duality between myself and the universe dissolves. I find that if I stop embracing my ego, I am embraced instead by the universe around me. The Tao Te Ching expresses this so elegantly when it says:

If you want to become full,
let yourself be empty.


The beautiful simplicity of this strikes me anew again and again.
I think this is why world religions all emphasize the value of humility. The Bible for example says:“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
And the Bhagavad Gita urges: “Be humble, be harmless, Have no pretension, Be upright, forebearing...”
We tend to think of humility as something we should endeavor to practice because it is a 'good' thing to do - a pleasant, moral attribute. But I see now that it is far more profound, far more elemental. True humility is not something one can put on like a garment. Rather, I think it is an expression of intrinsic harmony with the universe. A truly humble person is humble because they are not laboring to uphold the demands of their ego, their created 'self'. They have nothing they need to claim or be.

I think I have always felt an intuitive sense for this – this paradox of bigness through smallness, fullness through emptiness. I wonder if we all do at some level. I have long sensed a connection between the very small and the very vast. The smallest of things like ants, atoms and grains of sand have always seemed to speak in poetry of the bigness of the universe. But I never related this to myself; I felt it only as a sense of wonder beyond words. Recently, though, I have begun to relate it to myself. There are moments when my appreciation for all this seems to bloom within me. I will feel my heart swell in my chest and suddenly I cannot hold in a smile. Today I found myself in a swoon over the play of light on the yellow flowers of a tree. I liked it not just because it was beautiful, but because I suddenly felt a connection with what I was seeing. I caught myself feeling and thinking: there is no separation between myself and this tree. In the fullness of reality there is no separation between the observer and observed. There are small windows in time when my heart touches ever so lightly on this truth, and I am filled with the simplest kind of happiness. Such moments move me, light and transitory as they are.

I am aware, though, that it is not enough to simply feel good. I might have these beautiful moments, but I do not live or breathe them in their wholeness. Tomorrow I will probably feel very differently. My boat is easily rocked by the most mundane of life challenges. It is my desire to feel these moments of connection in every experience I meet. I feel that it should be expressed in all things: the times of depression and the times of joy. The times when life is light and the times when life is heavy. It should be there when I wash the dishes, when I catch the bus, when I study hard to meet an assignment deadline, when I am placed in conflict with another person. It should be at the heart of all things I do, because it is the heart of all things.
Roselette Roselette 18-21, F 7 Responses Dec 29, 2012

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When, or how did your journey begin?

You have a gift for expression, use it well :)

Thank you so much! :)

it's like getting rid of all the toxins in life and getting back to the essence.

Yes, I like this analogy. And I like that you say 'getting back.' I am finding more and more that all of this is not about moving forwards to something external. It seems much more about about returning to what we already are, to what is already within us.
Thank you for your comment.

AH, you again. Didn't recognize you without the picture at first. Nice experience.

Ha ha, yes, me again! I liked the leaf so much I couldn't resist it :)
Thank you :)

Now that you mention it, I see you in the leaf after all. :)

I'll take that as a compliment! :)

Wow that was quite uplifting and thought provoking to read. Brilliant self-expression!

Thank you so much, I'm very pleased to hear you enjoyed it.

Stringing hearts float thru the universe...simply moving piece u hav expressed.

Thank you :)

This post is just too remarkable for words, your perceptions and your way of expressing them remind me of the never-ending creativity of a caleidoscope, forming the loveliest images of totality/Tao... :D Before I saw it, I spent a few hours working on that letter--- and there are so many coincidences, that I am dizzy and fascinated :D