Thursday, June 5, 2008

And thy will be done

I am not going to say who told me this story. It was an old man, with a white beard. Who loved talking, and Oh, did he talk a lot. When someone talks like he did, I like to listen. When the talking comes from a deep understanding, listening follows effortlessly.

'You know how Christ got enlightened, don't you?' he asked me.

'Umm...Not exactly, no.' I said, nibbling at my dinner. We were dining at an ashram, I won't say which.

'It happened on the cross.' he stated.

'On the cross? How?'

'Well, to begin with, it wasn't a good day for Christ.'

'True. He was crucified. They put nails in his hands and feet. Must have been very painful. ' I said.

'Yes, but that part wasn't so bad. He was an ace meditater, so he was aware through the pain. He asked Father to forgive his tormentors.' he said. I gulped.

'What was worse,' he continued, 'was that they did the same to two other thieves. Christ was crucified along with two others. Ok, one of them was innocent, but the other was a common thief.'

'Not good company.' I said.

'Nope. Not good company at all. Christ, after all, was the Son of God, no less. He didn't mind being crucified, he kind of knew it was coming, he could take it. But.' he paused, to see if I got it.


'The point is, my lady, whenever there is a but, complete surrender has not happened. '


'And this but became a question. Jesus looked at the sky and asked, 'Why, Father? Why this bad company?'
Even on the cross, Christ was still a seeker. He sought a question. However, he was a true seeker. Meaning, he waited for the answer. And the answer was, 'Because that is my will.' Christ accepted the answer, and the surrender happened. '

'Oh. And then he said, 'Thy will be done.'

'Yes, then he said, 'Thy will be done.'

'That is so beautiful.' I said to the old man. 'Thank you.'

'You are most welcome.'


Nirali said...

'Thy will be done!' These words pierce with cutting awareness like a knife in the heart.

Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for this!

I never understood all this Jesus business from the local and typically Americanized church-ness until I began study of Advaita just a few years ago. A few days ago I posted an answer to a question online about Christ's transmutation of sorrow to joy - I typed it out spontaneously - didn't even know I knew anything about it untill then. In the answer posted I mildly observed that Jesus' question on the cross (usually quoted here as: "Father, why hast thou forsaken me.") showed that, even then, he thought himself to be a discrete individual in a way that still caused him suffering the loss of Self, as divine Love. I understood that his awakening came in that hour and he transcended his sorrow. My post caused something of an outrage (of course, this IS the US) and was deleted in a few hours.

For a moment I was annoyed by the deletion, but then understood that it had hit the nerve it was destined to. Maybe someday, somewhere, someone will be able to connect the dots, long after I've left the body, and this small comment will have served a fair purpose.

Thanks again for your notes.