Personal & Universal

I remember that during the initial awakening, I had the impression that Buddhism was more impersonal and Christianity was more personal. I experienced a deep connection with both, and the relationship between the two was not quite resolved for me.

Now, that is almost hard to imagine. It seems so clear that they are both there, in the traditions and in my immediate experience as well – and they are intimately intertwined in a myriad of ways, and ultimately one and the same. (At the same time, it still seems to me that Buddhism is a good way to experience the universal, and Christianity the personal.)

Anything we experience is universal and impersonal in several ways. It is all Big Mind – an aspect of that which is beyond and including all polarities. It arises from the ground, from formless awareness, the Unborn – as the whole world of form does. It is universally human – anything we experience is something shared by so many others.

And at the same time, it is completely unique and personal. It is a completely unique expression of Big Mind, experienced right now through this particular human self. It is universal, and yet arising intimately, in a completely new and fresh way. It is experienced and expressed intimately through this alive, pulsing, warm, sensual, flesh and blood human self.

It seems that when we deepen our experience of one, it allows us to deepen the experience of the other. The universal & impersonal and the unique & personal deepen together.

Of course, the separation of the two comes from an added layer of abstractions. It is more accurate to say that it is just the universal/personal happening right now. And even more so that it is just what is happening, as it is.

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