Coming toward them was another man who, upon noticing a paper lying on the ground, picked it up, read it, and gleefully tucked it into his pocket.
The first man asked the devil what on that paper was so compelling. The devil replied, “Oh, it was the Truth.”
“Well, doesn’t that concern you?” he queried. “If he finds the Truth won’t that put you out of business?”
“Oh no, he’ll just make a concept out of it,” the devil replied.
I’ve lived with this story, observing how often I’ve taken a great truth such as found in 1st John 4:8, “God is love,” and made a concept matching what I think love is. Turned out not to be so loving.
Our families, society and our culture teach many concepts, especially about love, that are just not so.
Remember all those co-dependent love songs? And all the fairy tales about the princess being saved by the prince? Or we are taught that worry is love—or knowing what another should do.
All just concepts—not the real thing, and they can be very devilish.
The measure of what love is and what is isn’t is in the results. Real love always transforms whatever it touches into something more beautiful and harmonious.
What do we do with the high powered energy of love or God? Most likely we try to make it manageable—rather than surrender to it and allow ourselves to be guided by it.
We often try to fit Love into some concept we have been taught, when all the time it needs freedom to become whatever is most appropriate in each situation.
At a lecture I attended Ram Dass answered the question of what his concept of God was by saying, “First of all, God is not a concept.”
Concepts hide the truth. They need to be investigated deeply to find the belief that supports them.
The nature of Truth is always formless, beyond anything we can ever imagine. The minute we try to give it a specific shape, or articulate it, we put it into a form, a concept.
It is then at least one layer away from Truth—maybe many layers.
Putting the formless into words and thoughts always reduces it into something that cannot include the All, for none of us is capable of that. We all see through our human perceptions.
Truth is absolute, ultimate; concepts are relative.
How many concepts have we created about love, country and loyalty?
So much suffering has resulted in these ideals and beliefs. Anything that divides us cannot be truth.
We take a divine idea, the truth, and weave it into something that makes sense to us, or we accept what others have taught us. It often does not resemble the original idea at all.
Things are not what they appear. Upon closer investigation what seemed so apparent falls apart. Not always so.
Quantum physics has proved that matter is really empty, spacious, free. As the Nobel Prize winning physicist Max Planck stated:
“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear-headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as the result of my research about the atoms: “There is no matter as such!”
He goes on to say that “the mind is the matrix of all matter.” Quotes from The Isaiah Effect, Gregg Braden, pages 109, 110.
The concepts we weave together in our minds create the matter we see. And they can be uncreated by recognizing they are just concepts, not Truth.
Interpretations, analyzing and explaining are just concepts, not to be held as the “gospel truth.”
Examples of concepts are:
I am who/what I think I am.
I can figure out what needs to be done.
I’m more/lesser advanced than………………………(fill in person’s name)
This person is a ……………………….(fill in adjective)
I know myself.
This shouldn’t have happened.
If I hurry I can get more done.
When I make $...............................I’ll be on easy street.
I know what ………………………….(fill in blank) is thinking.
Concepts mix truth and fiction. The result may be interesting, but if believed, will result in some sort of suffering.
As we question each interpretation, and open ourselves to the emptiness of not knowing, our lives will unfold in ever more beautiful and fulfilling ways.
The Truth is always here. Any one of us has access to it. But it is unknowable by the ego. This is a great paradox!
This Numinous Essence is everywhere present. Let us give our attention to this invisible energy, and let ourselves be taught Truth, rather than make concepts about it.
Let us do our best to bring love into every condition, knowing our hearts and minds have the power to form and re-form this invisible energy.
Paying attention to how our words and actions affect others requires setting our hearts to this task and never giving up!
We are NOT who/what we think we are, but much more!
We are not “a person who…..” but a being that is free to love in any circumstance, no matter how tightly the cords bind, for love and forgiveness frees everything!
In mindfulness, Rev. Billie