Question – “What is the nature of Life? What is the nature of God?”
Chinaman: These are questions which nobody can really answer, but questions that need to be asked! They need to be held somewhere in consciousness because it affects everything else that a person does.
I have spoken before of the ‘perfect’, the spiritual archetype person, and how that ‘perfect’ is the potential in everyone at all levels of their being. By identification with the ‘perfect’, by being at one with the ‘perfect’ a person enables something of that potential to be fulfilled. This is a striving for perfection and yet not a striving at all. It is more an allowing of it to be – a strange paradox.
There is, in a deep fundamental part of our being, the need to grow, to mature and to fulfil, and this may be expressed in many different ways. On the earthly physical level it might be seen as the need for more comfort or power or sexual fulfilment. On the emotional level it may be more concerned with satisfaction or control. On the spiritual level it might be expressed as an inner desire to become Christ-like or ‘holy’. Eventually, it is hoped over many incarnations, there is a gaining of something of that ‘perfect’, for growth does always take place, progress is made, there is development, evolving, maturing towards perfection.
That maybe something of the reason of living, but it does not answer the question as to what Life is. Let me look at life in a bit more detail.
We can look at things and see at many different levels that there is life. If you look at what you call a dead body, there is life! The personality, the overall personality or soul, has gone on, but the physical body still in one sense in not dead for there are many parts of a physical body which will continue to be active, to be very much alive. Hair continues to grow, as do nails! So where does the individual cell no longer be an individual cell but be thought of as something larger, as a combined corporate being?
What of plant life? If you take it down to its smallest part can you discover where life is? What of the minerals the plant is taking in? It is impossible really to say where a plant stops and just chemical begins. Rather there is an interweaving of all the various components of that plant with the rest of the mineral and vegetable kingdom. You can have a demarcation of some of the cells and say that is a root and that is soil, but what of the minerals that are passing between that particular boundary? Have they suddenly become part of the plant or can they only be considered as still somehow separate?
Let me consider sentience?
Animals are considered sentient. Plants sometimes seem to display a kind of sentience and awareness of environment. Is there any sentience in minerals? Yet as minerals are taken into plants and plants taken into animals is there an exchange of sentience or Life?
Life would seem to be some kind of awareness and that as cells combine and become more complex so there is a greater understanding of self, there is a greater awareness of self and awareness of otherness, there is awareness of something other than self.
What I postulate is that life is really only one. There are not individuals comprising different lives. There is only one life with many parts to it. So the plant is only separate from the animal or the person in the sense of an arbitrary definition or collection of the physical cells, giving order or boundaries to different types of activity. Yet within those boundaries, within those collections, there is a great awareness of individuality or separateness, but I postulate there is only one life.
At the physical level of minerals and elements there does not seem to be much awareness yet even there, there is a progression and growth. There is a slow, slow move of sentience or awareness in different collections within that life.
Therefore I do not like to think of one level as being superior to another level. It is just different, expressing different kinds of awareness. All types of collections within life are necessary for that one life to exist. So if all are essential then one cannot be more superior.
So returning to consideration of an individual or person: the ‘perfect’ is present even at the incarnational level and something of the incarnational level is present even at the most sublime. The extreme example is that of Christ, was he not somehow human even at the point of the beginning and is he still not something of that now? Was he not something divine when incarnate and something human now even though he has returned to the heavens?
So as to the question of the nature of life; life progresses or proceeds towards the unfathomable. In the Eastern philosophies it is often conceptualised that an individual is but a drop in the ocean of God eventually returning to that ocean, while in the West the individual grows but remains quite separate as distinct from God.
So what is the nature of God, or what is the nature of God as compared with the nature of life? Is it that there is a forever progressing, or eventual uniting, until all is united – and that is God?
Even though my incarnation was of the East, I would beg to differ at one level, for if God is infinite then there cannot be a separating because that would be acknowledging that God is not complete – there are differences. Yet God cannot be incomplete, by the nature of being God.
But returning to these two questions, for they are related, and I suggest that the answers are not just for academic mulling over or intellectualising. At the very practical level of day to day living it speaks of how there is respect or lack of respect for everything else in existence. If everything at a most profound level is united anyhow, then there needs to be an acknowledgement of each part with all others. As these parts differ from the least aware and physical to the most aware and spiritual then there is a sense of the sacred in the mundane. There must also be a respect of other parts and a letting them grow as they require. If you hurt one part of life then you hurt yourself. How can you know what is required for that flower if you cannot experience something of that flower and its needs yourself, of it joys and its sadness? How you respect or you do not respect those people who you differ greatly in opinion to you takes on more significance. How you respect your own bodies, your physical bodies, how you regard your ancestors and your descendants, those who will follow after, all become an issue. You cannot dismiss and turn your back just because you disagree or have a dislike, for you are a part of the whole.
To grow to ‘perfection’ is somehow to acknowledge this ‘at-one-ment’ with everything and everyone, to have respect and somehow to find oneself eventually in the other, to acknowledge the sacredness of all but the separateness from God.
That is my understanding of the nature of Life. My understanding of God is a completely different matter – and best left for some other time.
Despite what seemed a good beginning, in the end these are unanswerable questions. However I hope that my answers here will lead you into widening thoughts and a more respectful way of life.