What is the positive core at the heart of who I am? My response: “You are I, recognizing the fiery force that sparkles in everything.”
What does this mean in practice? When we recognize the fiery force that sparkles in everything, we can experience our non-separation from everything that “is.” The story of Indra’s Net affirms what I believe to be true – that we are all vibrating and we are the fiery force that is sparkling in everything. The net with a jewel at each intersection comes from the Buddhist Avatamsaka Sutra.
Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra is a wonderful net, hung by some cunning artificer to stretch out indefinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer hung a single glittering jewel at the net's every node. Since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars of the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that the process of reflection is infinite. 1
Similarly, the indigenous cosmology of my people, the Maya, speaks about our non-separation, our interdependence, about how everything participates in the creation and evolution of its neighbors.
I believe that there are no unaffected outsides. No one system dictates conditions to another. All participate together in creating the conditions of their interdependence. When we greet each other, our expression is, In Pax in Alle Ake, meaning I am in you and you are in me. And our greeting to each other is also given to absolutely everything we encounter. We recognize living in a vast ocean of fiery energy. Central in our tradition is believing we need to be in harmony with all.
Experiencing ourselves in relationship
Sitting next to each other, we can stop for one moment and suspend all judgment of what appears. Through a momentary shift of our emotions and attitudes, we have the ability to dissolve our fixed boundaries and expand and merge with those things that we normally see as other by deliberately generating feelings of love, gratitude, and universal oneness with one another.
The brilliant work of theoretical physicist David Bohm offers a framework to explain dissolving the perceived boundaries of matter. His central thesis is that the world and everything in it is a vast ocean of energy. What we perceive as separate parts — you and me, the chair, the dog, the trees, everything surrounding the planet and the stars, are all part of a seamless whole that is pulsating with life and intelligence. This life force can be measured mathematically. In this sea of pure energy, there are no particles, no space or time, properties of a three-dimensional world. According to Bohm, ours is a multidimensional world, non-hierarchical, where everything consists of a teeming, vibrating system of conscious energy, all around, between, and through everything. Even a rock is perceived as being alive in this system, not self-aware, the way human beings are, but with its own inclinations and tendencies.
As an indigenous Mayan, I grew up with this knowledge. However, the world has not readily accepted the indigenous peoples’ Cosmovision, based on the continuous search for finding equilibrium between people’s actions and the cycles of Mother Nature, and being in harmony with the laws that guide the life force. These laws are not man made, existing before humans appeared.
Our ancestors developed cultures based on connecting to the benefits of Mother Nature, Pachamama. This relationship allowed us to generate societies integrated and connected to the cosmic rhythms and cycles. For indigenous people, it is always vital to remember our interdependence. From birth, elders teach indigenous children the values needed to live in harmony with Pachamama. We have ancient traditions and live with rhythms of nature. Now science has the technology to prove that the concepts of indigenous people were based on a sound alignment with the whole cosmos.
In closing, since all beings are non-separate with each other and all that exists, can we then experience our true nature every living moment? Can we see that we are in each other? Can we be sparkling mirrors and experience that fiery force that sparkles in all? We are all vibrating in space ship earth, and it seems to me that we’ve got the essence of any religion.
In Pax in Alle Ake. I am in you and you are in me, forever in gratitude.
1 Taken from Francis H. Cook, Hua-yen Buddhism : The Jewel Net of Indra (1977).