it's good to know you. The question you asked is not a simple one to answer.
I'm not sure that I can speak for Buddhists in responding to you, but I'll
try and be as complete and thorough as possible. Having had some direct
contact with a great many religious and philosophical systems/traditions,
it would seem appropriate to start with a basic overview of the major ways
in which the human mind has attempted to formulate "that" which is beyond
its capabilities to express coherently, yet which being implies is one
with itself. There are four major ways in which the inexpressible has been
related to. All these ways of relating correspond to the various aspects
of what constitutes a complete human being. However, because not all humans
have realized conscious completion of their full potential, one component
or another takes a dominant role, not only on an individual basis, but
at the level of entire cultures as well.
first component has to do with our physicality as defined by our senses.
Through them, reality appears to be constituted of separate discrete objects
isolated from one another. At the most basic level, this view projects
division and distinctness as its primary assumption, extending even to
"God". This version of "God" has Creator/creation dichotomy as its basis,
where there is a separation between the "two". Therefore, "God" is the
Object of worship, the Great Other in this approach. Thus, it is the Denial
of "God" in everything. It is a dualism founded in the sensory approach
to what reality is. Conventional Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity
and Islam are prime examples. I say conventional because within every tradition
practiced by the masses, there exists to this day a deeper mystical order,
whose practitioners have gone beyond the outer distinctions imposed by
time, place and culture, and whose work is in integrating the unbroken
unified essence of all teachings into their everyday lives, without the
need to exclude or be in conflict within or without themselves. For these,
there is no real difference between the truth taught by one great teacher
as compared to another. It is all an unfolding of that which ultimately
leads to the same goal.
second component has as its basis what can be termed a feeling center approach
to reality. Within this context, feeling is not the same as emotion. True
feeling is always unified, whereas emotion always has an oppositional aspect
to it. This is due to the fact that the energy of feeling has been filtered
through the divisive distinctive function of intellect, thus creating such
states as like/dislike, pleasure/pain, etc. Real feeling knows the unity
of everything. From this approach flows the assumption of the oneness of
everything, as if from One Self. Thus "God" is the Subject of worship in/of
everything, the Supreme Self. Thus, it is the Affirmation of "God" in everything.
Hinduism is a prime example of this approach.
third component is constituted of the mental faculty, sometimes referred
to as "mind", although not in the sense of mere associative, organizational,
choice-oriented intellect. It has to do with what can be termed impartial
non-attachment to any "thing", even in the mind. It is difficult to attain
such a state of balance. A great deal of practice in meditation and related
disciplines is needed in order to arrive at the gateway to that which is
seen as the ultimate goal of existence, Enlightenment at all levels. Only
through the enlightenment of non-extremes is "God" approachable. Thus,
it is the Reconciliation of "God" as Not Two, neither Self/Other nor Both.
Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism are prime examples of this approach.
of the above are found in the various conventional religious approaches.
There is at least one more approach that has shaped the way in which the
human mind/body/being has related to the inexpressible. This is the way
of integration of all the components into a harmonious unified whole. It
is the way of Conscious Work and Play. Through this Work/Play, as we serve
"God" through Everything, Everything is served through "God". There have
always been individuals and communities that have preserved and carried
on this approach to the inexpressible. In Judaism, check out the work of
the Cabalists. In Christianity, read the works of the mystics Meister
Eckhardt and St. John of the Cross. In Islamic Sufism, look
into the "Bezels Of Wisdom" by Ibn Al Arabi, and "Conference
Of The Birds" by Farid Ud'din Attar. In Taoism, read the writings
of Lao Tsu and Chuang Tsu. In Hinduism there are Meher
Baba and Ramana Maharshi. In Buddhism, Nagarjuna and
And so on.... The point is to go beyond our egoistic notions that "we"
are the only ones who have access to the truth, to the exclusion of everyone
else who doesn't believe or do as we do. It is the beginning of the Way
of Universal Obligation And Responsibility. Many are cold, but few are
frozen. For now.
is one more. It is the way of Transcendence, The One Word. Everything is
by its very nature perfect; allowing the realization of how this is so
confers instantaneous liberation and awakening. Knock and it shall be opened,
ask and you will receive. Only genuine questions receive genuine answers.
I'm sure we wouldn't have it any other way.