Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.
Food For Thought: One Suchness, April 10, 2019

Food For Thought: One Suchness, April 10, 2019

Notes composed and discussion facilitated by Pastor Bryan Hackett.

Our mid-week services are designed for open discussion among a group of people with diverse philosophies and beliefs. These are the notes from those meetings, and reflect the desire to explore thought within and outside the Christian tradition. They do not represent official doctrine, but a willingness to explore our shared humanity. As such, they are somewhat incomplete without the experience of actual discussions. We post them here for the sake of those who would like to have them but cannot always make it out to a mid-week service.

One “Suchness”

And perhaps a little about death.

 VIDEO: Alan Watts, You’re It. (Link to the video is at the bottom of the post)

Some of the same idea I think is being conveyed with the Universal Christ, from a Buddhist perspective.   Alan Watts grew up Christian (“Muscular Christian”—yes, sadly, a very real thing), became an Episcopal Priest, and then left to study in Eastern schools of philosophy and theology.  

“In this universe, there is one great energy, and we have no name for it.”  If you are willing and able, resist the initial urge to say, “YES WE DO!” (Or, perhaps, “what a bunch of crap!”)  

And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush. He looked, and behold, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed. And Moses said, “I will turn aside to see this great sight, why the bush is not burned.”  Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I am who I am.

From this came the deeply Hebrew tradition of not speaking the name of God.  Some of the mystics have said that the “YHWH” spelling is the sound of breathing—something we all “speak” continually. A nameless, inherent energy of life.  SO, even when we give a name to it or a part of it, we are supposed to remember the nameless-ness.

The Tao which can be defined is not the real Tao  

“When people say ‘God the Father Almighty’, most people feel funny inside”. Do you think the entity in the burning bush is aware of the pitfalls that come with the name that Moses asks for?  

One “suchness”: Ten thousand functions, ten thousand things, one suchness.  I will leave the rest of the video for our community discussion. I hesitate to direct further.

Preview YouTube video You’re It – Alan Watts

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