There is a solitary brightness, without fixed shape or form, that is able to listen, is able to understand and is able to teach the Dharma. That solitary brightness, is you."-Linji
You are the light of the world....-Jesus
It happens every once in awhile. The alarm rings, I wake up an in those first few moments between sleep and wakefulness I wonder, "Who am I?" Yes, I know this is a deep philosophical question, pondered over the centuries by far better minds than my own.
There are bookshelves...But my earliest morning mumurings are far less articulate than any of that. It is more like this: I forgot who I am! Like, I can't remember. Not my name, my family, the roles I play in life. I have, if only for that moment, forgotten David. A profound not knowing has visited me and before I have a chance to think things over, I wonder, "Who?" My bet is that I am not alone, most of us have had such an experience. AND, what if that is not a problem? What if this is an invitation to something beyond conception or imagination, something closer, more immediate than my self image, role or identity?
Now we've entered the realm of koans, these short invitations to find freedom in the vast mystery of your life.The two koans above, one from Linji and the other from Jesus, lead us into this experience of "who?" Each answers in his own way, "You are that solitary brightness," says Linji. "You are the light of the world," echoes Jesus. These phrases ring through the years because they have shone themselves to have something fundamental to do with our human lives. These koans are for you and about you. What would you say to Linji? or Jesus as he says, "You are the light of the world."
A blog post I did a few years back on "you are the light of the world...please click here.