Love and emptiness, Christ and Zen, east and west: the Tree of Life
excerpted from OM, baby! a pilgrimage to the eternal self, by Jack Haas
To arrive upon this enigmatic earth without a flaming sword and a bleeding heart is to become compost for the weeds instead of fertilizer for the garden.
But to plant your tender sapling self into the cold moan of this hard world, and to water it with tears and shine upon it with faith, is to grow roots downward that smash apart the dead cohesion, and also to grow limbs upward that bear the fruit of love.
For there is no fruit but that of love. Without love there remains only worn husks, sharp thorns, withered branches, and hollow stumps.
There is no fruit from the Tree of Life but love. Love is the only fruit that falls from a life lived in this aching realm, which does not rot in time. For love is timeless. Love is the absence of time. Love is an eternal home that has no walls, no roof, no lock, and no location.
And to live upon this earth without growing into a tree that bears the fruit of love, is to have not lived at all, but only to have dreamt a nightmare of loneliness and separation.
To have lived without creating love, is to have spawned death and decay into an illusionary life that is as meaningless as it is evanescent, because only love endures. Everything else is a dream whose only awakening is the agony of another chance to love. For that is why we are here.
When you attain to the great space, you realize that the immense vacuity can be filled with either love or hate, fear or faith, and that the only thing to do is to learn how to love and how to have faith. That is the only thing to do. But what a thing it is indeed.
Love and emptiness. Emptiness and love. We must live within multiple levels at once; in the soul level of love, and in the freedom level of emptiness.
The Zen of Christ is this union of emptiness and love, of East and West, of non-being and being.
I have entered that great space which extends beyond the limits of this realm, and I can say that it is a great event, a blessed transformation, an essential stage of development which liberates us from a limited view of our unlimited selves.
However, I also feel compelled to make it clear that the one and only most important force in the universe is love.
I state this at a time when I continue to learn the power and beauty as well as the agony and ardor of that same love.
I am speaking of real love- the love that exists between souls. I know of this love, one so painful to experience that most of us cannot help but shy away from it, inventing a life of restless activity or ‘higher’ pursuits which we believe to be necessary, but are often only detours around the pain and joy that comes from true love- the love of others as we love ourselves.
It is this love which I continue to learn from Christ, and from my own soul. It is this love which is the only true glue which holds this crumbling world together.
To go into this love, which is to go into all lonely and agonizing souls around you, and in fact the whole world, is perhaps the only true heroic act ever undertaken.
It is this love which at one stage of my journey turned me into a broken man, and at another stage mended me back together, so that I might once again cherish the gift of holding close to my heart my brothers and sisters scattered everywhere.
When spirit and flesh merge in the eternal vessel of love, both of them are transformed and transfigured into an unexpected living alloy, Avalon. Neither spirit nor flesh, mind nor matter, male nor female, emptiness nor love exist now as separate realities, but only a wholly new oneness. This is our return to Eden. Here we no longer distinguish between good and evil, for we no longer eat from that Tree of Duality. Now we eat only the fruit of eternity, for we are now the Tree of Life.
The awoken Buddha mind in the body of Christ is the union of east and west, of the void and the not-void, of non-being and being, of indifference and care.
When the volatile, opposite energies coalesce into a molten homogeneity, a transfiguration takes place; all distinction evaporates in the nuclear fusion, and out of this emerges the ever-present stillness of the genderless Christ Buddha.
To enter this reality is to be self and not self. To know and to be. The One. Om mani padme hum.
Christ is the manifest core. Buddha is the infinite space. Christ is full. Buddha is empty. To be that empty fullness is to be One. Both are one Self- the form and the emptiness.
Passion and dispassion meet as the Buddha in the Godself of the non-dual Christ.
After the crucifixion comes the kingdom. After you are lowered down from the cross of action and duality, then comes the aristocracy of the divine Presence, the advaita avatar.
In the new synthesis lies the stillness of the awakened one, the Buddha. Buddha is the Christ within you come to peace.
I am a Buddha, because of the Christ, my Godself. I am detached into infinity because of Christ’s intimacy with the finite.
All that I receive, all that I do, all that I am, is within the body of Christ, the Dharma-Kaya. All is Christ. I am not-being and being, east and west. I am one; Buddha in the om of the Christ.
The eagle has landed, the snake has risen. I have arrived into the great Buddha emptiness of the Goddess flesh.
This union into stillness is no longer immanent nor transcendent, no longer male nor female, good nor bad, east nor west, inside nor out, empty nor full. In this non-dual Buddha state there is nothing but the Buddha state which is the nothing that is everything, for there is no difference between anything because in that still oneness everything is everything else. In the great space which is all, there is neither self nor not self. This is the advaita of the Cosmic Christ, Motherly Buddha, the one and only stillness that we are.
Within this realm love and emptiness finally coexist. Love exists in this realm, for this realm- a deep, caring, and all-ensconcing love. And emptiness exists within this realm- a transcendent, liberated, detached, subtle emptiness reaching beyond space and time.
This is the holistic self, contiguous with both emptiness and form- the Zen of the Cosmic Christ.
This is God. All of it. One.
Male and female, light and dark, Christ and Buddha, being and non-being, love and emptiness, all of these exist within the incredible peace in the continuity of spirit and flesh.
I am the gardener, the garden, the ground, and the glory.
In every moment of expansive non-identification, I disperse into everything that is now. I become galactic.
Having been an obvious solid ingredient, I am now a ubiquitous broth.
I am in and of the living, temporal flow of my eternal, mercurial, shifting being.
Finally to elsewhere I depart, as the dream shifts and I am now that I which is thick in the fecund of the intertwined loving empty cosmos that I am.
The river has run its course. I am the ocean.
by Jack Haas