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Friday, September 2, 2016

Losing Soul

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? Mark quotes Jesus saying.

The man without soul is concerned with himself. He judges success by how many things he owns or how much land he conquers. He is hooked on grandeur and greatness for himself without others.

A Zen teacher once told me to reduce my ego until it is nothing--or to expand my self until it embraces everything and everyone that is, the universe. "It is the same," he said. The ego is a construct and the self an illusion for great souled ones. And things? The same.

So this is spiritual exercise: It is ego-diminishing by integrating one's self to the point with no dimensions, to the center of space/time, past/future, inside/outside, individual/communal, real/ideal. And it is expanding the soul in all dimensions by transcending all dimensions. This point of all and no dimensions its the Singularity. The true singularity, not the big bang of the universe or of the infinite transhumance future. Or perhaps it is.

It is the point beyond history and prophecy, at the end of history, the end of science, the end of the world, where the one is the many. It is beyond culture, beyond religious belief and ritual. It is found apart from and yet within Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism, Buddhism, Shintoism. It is neither orthodox nor heterodox, neither theistic nor atheistic. It is the before-all and the not-yet--because it is presence, the here and now and with and towards. The point between the expressing and the expressed, inexpressible Consciousness. The point over believing and hoping which is Love--of all, for all, by all.

(But this is all gibberish until embraced.)

The man who expands his ego by diminishing others, who is careful about himself and careless with the world, who retreats to the past or claims the future, is a man who has lost his soul. He makes something of himself by achieving wealth, property, and glory or trying to. And so he becomes some thing without center, without character, without soul.

What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul? The answer called for seems to be "nothing." But I think it is much worse. It is "things, only things, lots and lots of things."

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