I watched The Sting again last night, and was reminded of how much I enjoy well-crafted stories with surprising reversals. In The Sting, the audience is repeatedly led to believe certain stories about what they are seeing. Later on, the audience is given new information and insights which completely reverses what they see as going on.
For us humans, there seems to be a built-in delight in these forms of reversals, especially when they appear in what is clearly just entertainment. In my own life, I see that I either appreciate the reversals as they happen, or at least learn to appreciate them later on.
Reversals in awakening
In the various forms of awakenings, there are also numerous reversals. Here are some variations of just one reversal…
- The reversal from identification as a human being, an object in the world, to that clear space and awareness within which these objects, and this human self, arises within and as.
- The related reversal from seeing myself as an object, as finite in space and time, subject to birth and death, to that clear space and awareness these objects, space and time, and birth and death arises within and as. The clear awake space inherently free from any of these, from any characteristic, which allows any of them to arise.
- The reversal of seeing myself as finite in space and time, to that which space and time happens within and as.
- The reversal of seeing myself as identified by certain characteristics, to inherently being free from characteristics and thus allowing any to come and go on their own.
- The reversal of identification as an I, to realizing that everything is inherently absent of any I.
Dance of emptiness
Seeing existence as lila, as the play of God, as God playing hide-and-seek with itself, we could see this delight in reversals as reflected in both human and divine life. And that seems accurate in a certain way.
Yet, the Ground, the clear awakeness everything arises within and as, is inherently free from any wants, any desires, any delights, any suffering, any polarities. It is free of these, so it allows any and all of them to arise within and as Ground.
And in that way, the delight in reversals found in human life, is indeed God’s delight in reversals. Although it is only a delight at the relative level, temporary, not absolute in any way, not an inherent characteristic of what is. And it exists side-by-side with the resistance to reversals, which is also found in human lives. That too arises within and as Ground, within and as clear awakeness.
Ground forms itself into delights in and resistance to reversals, and is inherently free from either. It sheds both as a teflon pan.
And that Ground is that which reads this.