The word “religion” means religio, linking back. If we say it is the one life in both of us, then my separate life has been linked to the one life, religio, linked back. This has become symbolized in the images of religion, which represent that connecting link.
I look at you now in that sense, and the radiance of the presence of the divine is known to me through you.
The idea of Buddha consciousness is of an immanent, luminous consciousness that informs all things and all lives. We unthinkingly live by fragments of that consciousness, fragments of that energy. But the religious way of life is to live not in terms of the self-interested intentions of this particular body at this particular time but in terms of the insight of that larger consciousness.
But the ultimate mystical goal is to be united with one’s god. With that, duality is transcended and forms disappear. There is nobody there, no god, no you. Your mind, going past all concepts, has dissolved in identification with the ground of your own being, because that to which the metaphorical image of your god refers is the ultimate mystery of your own being, which is the mystery of the being of the world as well. And so this is it.
“When before the beauty of a sunset or of a mountain you pause and exclaim, ‘Ah,’ you are participating in divinity.” Such a moment of participation involves a realization of the wonder and sheer beauty of existence. People living in the world of nature experience such moments every day. They live in the recognition of something there that is much greater than the human dimension.
Love is the burning point of life, and since all life is sorrowful, so is love. The stronger the love, the more the pain. MOYERS: But love bears all things. CAMPBELL: Love itself is a pain, you might say—the pain of being truly alive.
…one of my favorite myths is the story from Persia that Satan was condemned to hell because he loved God so much…when God created the angels, he told them to bow to none but himself. Then he created man, whom he regarded as a higher form than the angels, and he asked the angels to serve man. And Satan would not bow to man.
It says that we’re in two worlds. We’re in our own world, and we’re in the world that has been given us outside, and the problem is to achieve a harmonious relationship between the two. I come into this society, so I’ve got to live in terms of this society. It’s ridiculous not to live in terms of this society because, unless I do, I’m not living. But I mustn’t allow this society to dictate to me how I should live. One has to build up one’s own system that may violate the expectations of the society, and sometimes society doesn’t accept that. But the task of life is to live within the field provided by the society that is really supporting you. A point comes up—for instance, a war, where the young men have to register for the draft. This involves an enormous decision. How far are you going to go in acceding to what the society is asking of you—to kill other people whom you don’t know? For what? For whom? All that kind of thing.
What was it Jung said—that the soul cannot exist in peace until it finds its other, and the other is always a you?
And what is the nature of the wasteland? It is a land where everybody is living an inauthentic life, doing as other people do, doing as you’re told, with no courage for your own life. That is the wasteland. And that is what T. S. Eliot meant in his poem The Waste Land.