Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Really Real

a tree in the desert blooms in the springtime


I look forward to beginning my day with a cup of coffee and the newspaper.  Today, as I was reading the many stories  reporting local and world events, I realized just how much we all live in a world that is "interpreted" for us.

Newspapers and TV reports always contain a section for editorials, personal comments and opinions. But, the truth is that every news story is somewhat of an interpretation of what is being reported. You can read about an event in the Wall Street Journal and then read about the same event in the New York Times and you get two different stories.  You can watch FOX news reporting a story and then go to MSNBC and it hardly seems like the same event. 

The same is true about our everyday life-- everything is seen through interpretive lenses.  Our conversations and interactions with one another are always filtered through our interpretations. The way in which I personally view who I am, my view about others with whom I interact,  my ideas and understandings about what is happening in my world are always influenced by many filters of perception based upon how I have learned to interpret the world. 

There are many who say that it is impossible to arrive at what is really true or "really real" because you just can't escape human interpretation. 

 But I don't agree. 

I think that, at the heart of all reality there is a universal Truth- a Universal Abiding Holy Presence common to all humankind. Some call this abiding presence, GOD. This abiding presence is at the core of all existence. This abiding presence is what is "really real," and I think at some deep level of our awareness, humankind can "tap into" what is "really real."

We will never be able to define or accurately describe this Holy Presence with words or formulae or doctrine. We can only be immersed in an experience of this Presence - sometimes in poetry or song or music. Sometimes in silence and reflection.  

And yet, this "really real" presence is available to us at some deep level of awareness, beyond our interpretations.  

This is what the spiritual journey is all about--seeking out and being open to what is "really real." 

I came across a wisdom teaching of Rumi, the Sufi mystic poet, that beautifully expresses today's reflection about the "really real:"

Thinking gives off smoke to prove the existence 
of fire. A mystic sits in the burning.
There are wonderful shapes in rising smoke
that imagination loves to watch. But it's a mistake
to leave the fire for that filmy sight.
Stay here at the flame's core.


So I put down my newspaper and turn off the TV. I walk out into the desert and silently stand before a desert tree flowering in the springtime -  and it's "really real."


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