the universe arises in your light

The entire world is your eyes;

the entire universe is your complete body;

the entire universe is your luminance;

the entire universe is within your own luminance.




OK.  Let’s take this seriously.  (Sez she to herself.)

The entire world is your eyes; not ‘in’ my eyes, but ‘is’ my eyes. The world in its entirety. Not selected, censored, comfortable bits of the world. Not just the light and lovely bits. All of it.

How can one fully grok this statement? Well, I don’t think it’s possible without accepting that aside from the consciousness / awareness that perceives “the entire world”, we cannot prove that it even exists.  Take away the conscious awareness of every sentient creature. What remains? Who knows? Who’s left to know? The world becomes a metaphysical assumption. (Which it already is, but we don’t acknowledge it.)

This inquiry starts off as an intellectual philosophical game but very soon runs headlong into the proverbial brick wall. It’s actually the simplest and most obvious of understandings, yet it remains in the too hard basket for most of us.

But just suppose you’ve ‘got’ it – intellectually first, then somatically. It’s a body-mind awakening for you: Awareness is all that you can truthfully claim exists. No matter how cunningly you track your thoughts, feelings and experiences, you always end up finding their existence is inseparable from Awareness itself. Try it. You’ll find that the whole world arises within this no-thing called ‘me’, within its capacity for Knowing. Not only the whole world, but the entire universe and all other possible universes. Awesome.

the entire universe is your complete body; complete, mind you. Not just the holy bits, the well-behaved bits, the bits that one approves of. This body is the only body: temporally, historically it enfolds every creature, human and non-human that has ever lived. Jesus is there, Buddha and Allah too, and also the fellows who were mean and ugly and murderous. Spatially it embraces the most distant clusters of star dust in the known cosmos. Your body: how can you claim to know whence it came and how it will evolve and mutate in the deathless dance of the cosmos?

the entire universe is your luminance;  I love statements like this (perhaps you’ve noticed?) because it was one of these pithy mind-benders that shouted itself into this brain years ago and set a terrorist loose among the neurones. Your luminance. Yours, mine, and that of every sentient soul. “Brighter than a thousand suns”, the Vedas tell us. I say brighter than any imaginable number of suns – trillions, mega-trillions. How can I say this? Because, without the light of  Awareness that ‘I’ is, not even one tiny sunbeam could be perceived and known.

But there’s more: the entire universe is within your own luminance. There’s the knock-out bell; you’ll never get up from that curly hit without feeling utterly punch-drunk. Within. That means inside. Not out there, safely out of your control or influence. In here. In this cosmic body, in this unimaginable mind. In one fell swoop all one’s notions of helplessness and blame are obliterated. Responsibility rules. (The ability to respond.) If it’s all within my own luminance, it’s all my responsibility. Except of course, that it’s not mine. It’s the completely impersonal movement of that cosmic, luminous universe that is myself.

I repeat: awesome.

– miriam louisa

Quote from Zen Dust: The History of the Koan and Koan Study in Rinzai (Lin-Chi) Zen by Isshu Miura and Ruth F. Sasaki (Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966).

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