Saturday, November 7, 2009

Form and formlessness

Mahayana Buddhists and those who are into Advaita Vedanta sometimes speak of absolute and relative truth. Maybe these concepts can be helpful. Right and wrong doesn’t exist from the eternal point of view and nothing of what is going on here in this world of form matters at all. The eternal world is formless; it has no qualities, and it can thus not be described with words. It can only be experienced, however not through the senses. The body, the mind and the sense perceptions are illusory, Maya.

In the world of form, where I live, things are good or bad, right or wrong, partly right or wrong or partly good or bad. For example, it is wrong to abuse children or to exploit poor people to get rich. It can be partly right to be selfish. Here in this dimension, you shouldn’t do to others what you don’t want others to do to you. However, we all make mistakes.

I can see, I can hear, I can feel and I can think. I can observe my thoughts and feelings. My thoughts and feelings are thus only a part of me. I can be here and now, in pleasure or pain or I can escape into a fog. I can escape in to fantasy worlds, I can get stoned or I can put all my energy into a career. All this is illusory from an absolute point of view.

I live my life here in this world of form. If I am dead drunk or sober, if I am selfish or unselfish, if I have a right wing or a left wing bent, doesn’t matter at all from an eternal point of view.

I like Eckhart’s way of looking at this. It is not one way or the other. The world of form and the formless world are two aspects of the totality, like two sides of a coin. One side cannot exist without the other. What would the formless world be like without observers? Would it exist at all? What would the formless world be like if no one was there to wonder about it?

Well, what would the world of form be like if no one was there to observe it?

We have to find ways to make a living. We have all been thrown into the water to sink or swim. We have to have some fun, a roll in the hay now and then, at least when we are young; we need sunsets and red wine and we need little children to tell fairy tales to. All this takes place in the endless formlessness.

1 comment:

Doreen said...

Form cannot exist without formlessness.
Formlessness exists without form