Does beauty work? The Buddha’s “flower sermon” was wordlessly eloquent on this question. Jesus pointed to field lilies. “Notice,” he said, “how they don’t work.” From what is perhaps the greatest spiritual book ever written: “When nothing is done, nothing remains undone.” Epigraphically, “He worked hard” evokes a sense of limitation and sadness. Conscious doing and hard work? Call it the distance between here and Pluto.
“The quality of mercy is not strained.” There’s no ‘try’ in the virtues, no effort in love, no sweat in forgiveness, no freedom in laboured relationships. Consciousness is unconstrained and beauty is free.
The only way to defeat anger is by surrendering to it. Anger resisted is anger invigorated and prolonged. We resist anger when we rationalize it or apportion blame. This empowers anger, turning it into a marauding perma-guest, an entirely negative entity whose sole aim is the complete destruction of our inner peace. Surrender is accomplished by accepting how awful anger feels and then by consciously sinking straight into it, breathing right into its roiling, viral center, doing that for as long as it takes. There’s an alchemical gift at the end of this. The gift isn’t received. It’s revealed.
The mind naturally turns outward. So when someone comes along and says, “The kingdom of heaven is within you,” the mind is, like, “What?” But there it sits: You are not in the universe; the universe is in you.
We are all individual expressions of the one consciousness. Our companionship is built in, deeper than blood, more real than the frill of genealogy. In the West, we hear, “Love one another.” This strikes me as a bit mushy. In the East, where they prefer to state great truths in the negative, it is ahimsa, meaning ‘do not hurt’. It’s not about helping people. It’s about ceasing to hurt them.