If you prefer to watch a video, here is an earlier version of the blog, a talk given as an introduction to an online spiritual support group.
There is a space that can be both within ourselves and between us and others that’s open and welcoming, that is our divine selves and welcoming of our very human selves. Human and divine are ultimately no different, it’s all part of the divine as it manifests in us. When we open our hearts to our humanity, there can be a deep appreciation and even celebration of how this manifests so very individually, moment to moment.
And this IS true. Who and what we truly are is not to be found in anything that arises and passes. What we are is the awareness of all of that, the space in which all arises and passes. It’s a space that has no judgment, and that meets suffering with compassion and love. In this space, our humanity is welcome.
If it is welcome, though, it can become confusing as to what really happens in this space.
The confusion happens because this space is most needed when painful or difficult states arise. It’s always our humanity that faces us with suffering. When we rest in Being we simply are in this space, we are this space. It’s the particular combination of our conditioning, our current preoccupations and events that have caused certain states to be triggered in us, that causes the problems. It’s that that makes us suffer.
The easy, and often repeated, spiritual answer is: well, that’s just thought, that’s just feelings, just let that go. But as we all know, it isn’t that easy to let go. And what’s even worse: if you are a spiritual seeker who follows this advice, you turn against yourself. You reject your own humanity, the very thing that makes you you in this particular way, in this very individual way. You judge what arose instead of receiving or even welcoming it.
When the distinction between human and divine is used in this way, against our humanity, it becomes pernicious. It creates a hardness in us, and an unbridgeable division between what’s spiritual and what isn’t. It recreates those two categories in a way that makes us lose touch with the divinity of all of who we are. We lose touch with the sacredness of that, the beauty of it. We can’t be open to that anymore because it gets rejected. And in that rejection, there is a hardening and a closing of the heart, to ourselves, and to others.
That’s why the opening of the heart to absolutely everything is so important. Why it is a true and sacred path to awakening. Because that’s where we come home to ourselves as both divine and capable of a love that’s totally unlimited and open to everything. Not disturbed by anything that may arise, and yet also disturbed in the very human ways that we have.
For me, the ultimate realization is that our humanity does not stand in the way of our divinity. It can be a path to that when it’s an opportunity to open and to include, to welcome. In this gesture of opening it brings us right back to our divinity because divine love is that: it’s an opening, a receiving, a welcoming of everything just as it is. And a devotion to include that in the spaciousness, and the appreciation of the beauty of whatever is.
That‘s how the human and the divine come together. They may be distinct, yes. But they are also one. The distinction between them has had way too much weight in the history of spiritual teachings, compared with the sacred merging of them when the human is received by the divine. Let your heart open to your humanity, and let that be your path to awakening. Let the peace and the love in that opening take you all the way home to yourself, because that IS your true home, your true self.