If I look, not as I almost always look, but if I look at anything, anything at all, and if I hold that real look, mind quiet, just allowing the impression of the object to come forward into my consciousness, something hidden within the object may arise. This may take many weeks or months of contemplation. What may then be seen is what the Buddhists call the suchness of every object, not different with each object, as the underlying suchness of every created thing is the same. As it is underlying the smallest particles of the object, it is, in a sense, nothing. But that the object exists in time and space is a result of the fact that underlying the object’s form is this quality of no form, of no thing. 

The mystics say that this base level without form is Divine. When one comes to understand this aspect of the Divine one sees that the manifestations of everything are equally holy, for all manifestations are, at base, permeated with Godness. The Christian fathers called this base level beneath everything Holy the Firm.

A knowledge of Holy the Firm helps us to understand the error of our ways when we disparage matter, holding spirit to be holy and matter to be profane. It is the downfall of many religious peoples, creating great misunderstandings, leading to much sorrow. Because one purports to be on a spiritual path, one looks down on the material world. One then becomes, not a steward of creation, but a tyrant, whose spiritual worldview allows for the wasteful destruction of the material world, the eradication of other species, and the murders of those who hold to a different religion. 

And if one turns one’s attention inside it is the same situation. The basic needs of the body are seen as unholy, even filthy, and, in satisfying them one feels guilt and is repulsed by one’s most natural tendencies. The antidote to all of this is a deepening connection with Holy the Firm. But it can only come through direct insight, arising from sustained contemplation. Words alone are not enough.

“Holy God, Holy the Firm, Holy the Immortal.”

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