Essential Nature

4am, Sunday morning and I am up struggling with thoughts about “what is my essential nature?”  Things I think about before coffee?

Recently discovered that a new group of Gnostic texts exist. The writings are Apocalypses text. Simply put if your are familiar with the book of Revelations, the last book of the New Testament, it was when Roman Emperor Constantine and his team were organizing the first bible back in 300 A.D. They had a collection of at least eight books to pull from before choosing the “Revelation of John” to be the last book in the bible, the only book to represent the rapture.

Finding these new (very old) Apocalyptic literatures is exciting for me.  20 years ago when I first stumbled onto the Gnostic Gospels, they opened up a new world of thinking for me; a new way of seeing the world.  “Stumbled” is exactly what happened to me. I actually stumbled into a lady who was reading the Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels. The universe has a way of smacking you into the right direction.

These lost Gospels represent a discovery of a different perspective on how to see the world.  In studying the different texts, I did not care if they were historical truth or divine word.  I was entranced by the idea that different perspectives helped to shape early Christian thoughts.

Nearly all of these books have been discounted by the organized religions of today. For me, I could care less about the arguments that churches have with one another about what is divine and what is false teaching. I like perspective, different viewpoints and I am completely ok with the idea that these books may have been written by the journalistic fringe hoping to shape a new world.

Zen asks you to see with essential clarity.  Not to be obscured by delusions of duality. Basically we, you, I, all of us including God, the universe and the computer screen that you are reading from are all made of the same essential nature.  No duality, just one big “I”. That is essential nature.

The lost Gospels (apocrypha writing) professes to be the narrative of Jesus and his teaching on the nature of God, the essential nature of us.

What you find out is that if you study Zen, the teachings of Jesus becomes clearer. And If you study the teachings of Jesus, the practice of Zen becomes clearer. One coin, two sides, no matter how many times you flip this coin it will always come up essential nature.

This is where it becomes problematic for me; glimpsing essential nature is not a straightforward path, few get to see it.  History has given us the stories of the prophets, mystics and enlightened who have touched this flickering light of essential nature, only to have a brief moment of this truth. From this brief experience they are to walk a lifetime of deep compassion and wisdom, spreading the “word” for the lack of a better example to all of us, the sheep.

What has me up now at 5am is why is this so hard for all of us to experience if it’s our essential nature? Why so many sheep and so few shepherds?

Turtles all the way up and turtles all the way down....if that means something to you then there is a good chance that you have grasped onto that flickering light of essential nature, so will you please explain it to me.