Dear Friend,

Hello 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.

The 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.

The 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.

The 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.

All 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 Vimalakirti. 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.

There 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.