Traces of Transcendence in the Tao: The Eternal Tao is the Evolving Tao.
This is an almost unedited and unplugged version of Dr. Gafni’s conversation from the previous weeks of One Mountain, Many Paths broadcast. Thus, the style of the piece is the spoken word and not a formal essay. Dr. Marc Gafni articulates four examples of how we experience the Tao in Traces of Transcendence.
The intrinsic value of Kosmos, is not only eternal. The eternal Tao is the evolving Tao. The Tao is eternal, but eternal does not mean that it never changes throughout time. Eternal means that which is beneath time, that which is beneath place. The eternal is the timeless time and the placeless place.
The eternal Tao doesn’t mean the Tao never changes. The Tao is rooted in eternal structures that are evolving. The eternal Tao is the evolving Tao.
Love evolves, we participate in the Evolution of Love, but it’s always love.
Value is real. Value evolves. Value is in the Tao.
Values like loyalty, and integrity, and, fairness, and goodness are values of Kosmos. But these are not just expressions of the eternal Tao. The eternal Tao is the evolving Tao.
These eternal principles - rooted in different ways in the world of matter, life, and mind - all evolve. So there are universal values, that are intrinsic to Kosmos, but they are not preordained in the sense of being unchanging.
They are evolving and that’s critical because that is the only way you can establish a sense of a shared human story – a universal grammar of value – which is the single most important invitation of this moment in time.
Political will is only activated from a sense of value.
When we yearn to fulfil a value, we activate political will. Political will is motivated by a value that needs to be fulfilled or by a value that has been violated. Take for example the American Revolution. The Americans grew cotton and then the law was to sell that cotton to a monopoly, which was the British West India Company. The British West India Company would buy that cotton and then spin it into cloth and then sell that cotton back to the colonists. The colonists said: "This is a violation of value, why should the goods created by us be forced to be sold to you, moved across the ocean, which you then make into cloth and sell back to us at astronomical profit? That’s a violation of fairness. That’s a violation of goodness. There’s something untrue about it, it’s not beautiful, it's a violation of value" and that was the basis of the American Revolution.
Political will that is genuine comes from an alignment with value and all value lives in the Tao. And all value lives in the Tao. Political will is only activated when we are actually in the Tao. We are in value, and value lives in us.
That value is not a social construction of reality. It’s not a fiction. It’s not an imagined construct, as postmodernity says. Value is real. Value evolves. Value is in the Tao.
The articulation of value as the ground of the New Story
We have articulated a notion of value that can be the ground of the New Story, the ground of a Global Ethos for a Global Civilization.
The Eros of eternal value, which is evolving value, a First Principle and First Value of Kosmos , is the ground for the New Story.
This is the scaffolding of a Global Ethos for a Global Civilization that will allow us to activate global coherence, to overcome the global intimacy disorder, and to move towards a Planetary Awakening in Love through Unique Self Symphonies. Now let’s look at how we can actually experience the Tao.
Traces of Transcendence
Imagine a pottery porcelain jug, that is filled with wine. You empty the wine out. Then you wash the jug thoroughly. Then you put water in that jug and you taste the water. When you taste the water, what else do you taste? You taste traces of the wine and those traces of the wine are called, by the lineage masters, "reshimu." They are “traces,” they’re “impressions” of the wine.
You can’t see the wine. You can’t even speak the wine. You can’t code the wine. You can’t measure the wine, because the Tao that can be measured is not the Tao, and the Tao that can be coded is not the Tao, and the Tao that can be spoken is not the Tao, and yet the wine is there clear and unmistakable and it changes your whole experience. The Tao.
Ways and places that we experience ‘Traces of Transcendence’
These are four examples of how we can experience the Tao. These are the Reshimu, or what we might call 'traces of transcendence.' 1. The value of irreducible uniqueness. Knowing our irreducible value. Knowing that there is an intrinsic loyalty to me in Kosmos.
2. The value of our holy and broken Hallelujah. Knowing that our suffering is never in vain. This is the realization of the dignity of suffering. We hold the dignity of each other’s pain. It is the experience that I never suffer alone, that my suffering is meaningful and not random. It is the dignity, even the holiness, of my holy and broken Hallelujahs. All my broken Hallelujahs are holy.
3. The intrinsic value of play. The sacredness of play. Children enter into play with enormous delight and enormous gravitas and enormous seriousness. When you enter into play, you realize traces of eternity. In laughter and in play is the echo of eternity. We feel the goodness of it all.
4. The gorgeous value of music. When we chant, when we sing. Song and music are the languages of the Intimate Universe. Music itself is a trace of transcendence. The disclosed Intimate Universe appears in the chords of music, that move through us, sweep us and transform us.
We’ve just listed four Reshimu, traces of transcendence. The value of irreducible uniqueness; the value of our holy and broken Hallelujah; the intrinsic value of our play; the gorgeous value of our music. These are rumors of angels. These are the Tao that cannot be spoken, but which is all around us, which suffuses us.
These are but four traces of transcendence. Look all around, drink this week. Drink from the jugs, drink from the urns, drink from the flasks, and feel the traces of wine and the Tao. Always Is. Never Not.
[This blogpost is almost all direct quotes from Dr. Marc Gafni collected from the raw transcript of the featured clip below, which is created from the free weekly broadcast of One Mountain, Many Paths, happening live every Sunday at 10 am PT]
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