Feathers And All
All types of art hold the possibility of mirroring our interior
ideas, deeper insights and personal philosophies. As
well, they can be symbols or vehicles of spiritual truth. This is so with
this image by André Jolicoeur (click
here for his website) which I call "Pigeons,
Feathers And All" or "Lies My
Teachers Told Me." Our teachers are parents, professors,
relatives, wisdom figures, church leaders, social institutions, etc., any
persons or organizations that hand down traditions and precepts about life.
All teachers inevitably feed us feathers, bones and all. However,
it is only as we move through life, do we begin to access the real meat
under the feathers and around the bones. This becomes possible with an
approach of respectful openness. With such an attitude we are able to discover
the real meat: "My meat is to do the will of him who sent me," Jn 4:34.
What follows are various explanations of how we can develop such a stance.
Choose To Travel
Respond To Life . . .
...... We can be afraid of life and go along with laws, norms, expectations
of others, using them as our excuse not to take responsibility, not to
take risks. We do not trust ourselves and have a general feeling
that we can't do things right, that we are guilty whenever we do not conform.
This response does not allow the good in us to emerge for fear of the evil
that might surface. It keeps us from realizing that God is calling
us to birth, to life in every situation.
We can strike out against the law, the norm, the standards, the expectations
of others, and refuse to deal with question of whether there is something
of worth, dignity, beauty to be found in them.
We can say "yes" to the situation by respectfully looking at the norms,
the laws, the expectations of others, and by dealing with our own personal
response to reality. In this case we must be willing to deal with
what is born in us as the result of the choice. Some of what is born
will be incredibly beautiful. Some of what is born will appear to
be sin, contradictions, ugliness. We have to take responsibility
for and celebrate both the beauty that evolves and the ugliness, contradiction,
sin which evolve. These latter are healed and become occasions of
when we expose them to the light and warmth of other people's love.
from a program called Guilt and Trust, TABOR PUBLISHING
He who treads
the Path in earnest
Sees not the
mistakes of the world;
If we find
fault with others
are also in the wrong.
Sutra of Hui Neng
sir, did you cross the flood?"
"By not halting
friend, and by not straining I crossed the flood."
"But how is
it, dear sir, that by not halting and by not straining you crossed the
"When I came
to a standstill, friend, then I sank; but when I struggled, then I got
swept away. It is in this way, friend, that by not halting and by not straining
I crossed the flood."
Buddha, "The Connected Discourses of the Buddha"
There are three
ways of seeing life. In one people stick fast. In another they go to excess.
In the third they see correctly.
In the first
way, people take pleasure in all the things of life --in possessions and
happenings, in families and continuation. When a teaching is proclaimed
that advises non attachment and going beyond the dictates of the self,
their heart does not leap up and they are not drawn to it. In the second
way, people are afflicted by hatred of life. Just as attached to life,
they nonetheless revile it and make a bad thing of it to excess.
In the third
way, people see life as it is -- forever being and ceasing to be. They
accept it willingly but are not attached and do not despair. It is they
who begin to know the unconditioned.
Blends With West Before The Holy One