This Is It

There is something more.

What a fraught statement that is!

There is something more.

Really? That perilous thought has seduced so many down dark paths -- indeed, all of us, I dare say, to some extent.

When you hear that inner voice whispering to you, “There is something more,” be careful. And when you don’t hear it, be more careful, because it may be an assumption so buried you don’t even hear it, but it’s at work in your life. “There is something more” is a truth that is in so many ways false.

Something more? More than what? Is not the path of wisdom, of peace, taken step by step in each moment, nothing but this. As the poet James Broughton says:
This is It
and I am It
and You are It
and so is That
and He is It
and She is It
and It is It
and That is That

O it is This
and it is Thus
and it is Them
and it is Us
and it is Now
and Here It is
and Here We are
so This is It
This is it, the whole thing, right here – there’s not some “more” to come later, right? Everything is given, nothing is lacking. Later, James Broughton wrote ‘This is It #2” to say it even more explicitly:
“This is It
This is really It.
This is all there is.
And it’s perfect as It is.
There is nowhere to go
but Here.
There is nothing here
but Now.
There is nothing now
but This.
And this is It.
This is really It.
This is all there is.
And It’s perfect as It is.”
The world's religious teachings agree, saying it in various ways. When Moses asks the burning bush, “who is this I'm speaking to?” the answer is, "I am who am." (Exodus 3:14) -- I am what is. God is what is. There's nothing more than that.

Later, Jesus teaches, "the kingdom [or kindom] of god is within (or among) you" (Luke 17:21). It's all right here.

“All the verities and realities of your existence,” as Kalidasa said, are now -- not yesterday, which is a dream -- not tomorrow, which is only a vision -- not any other time but now.

This “something more” talk is a trap. That voice that whispers there is something more has lured people down the theological paths that say this world, this life in relatively unimportant. There’s something more than this life, some theologians have said – there’s the eternity of hell or of heaven, for which this life is merely a testing ground. Our history as Unitarian Universalists is one of emphasizing this life.

Listening to that seductive whisper, we may be lured into consumerism. "Something more? Well, let me buy it. What’s it called? I’ll Google it right now and order it online."

But the voice keeps whispering, “There is something more.” So you buy more and more stuff, and, what happens? Either you use it or you don’t. If you don’t use it, well, that was a waste. I’ve got stuff I haven’t touched in years, except to pack it up for moving. What good is that?

And if you do use it, then it’s a convenience. But conveniences are double-edged swords. The fact that something can be done quicker is a convenience only if you want to do it quicker -- and the more you want things to be done quicker the more you find yourself living as though the purpose of life is to get as many things done as possible.

A dishwasher, for example, saves a little bit of time over washing dishes by hand – but it’s harder to enjoy loading a dishwasher than to enjoy hand washing them. And that’s only partly because you’re distracted by all the other tasks you’re rushing to get to.

* * *
This is part 1 of 3 of "Direct Experience of Transcending Mystery and Wonder"
Part 2: Is There Nothing But Matter?
Part 3: What To Transcend

1 comment:

  1. When I hear this:

    When you hear that inner voice whispering to you, “There is something more,”

    I think of situations like this:

    -a woman has tolerated an emotionally abusive marriage for years because she loves her husband, and the voice says There is something more waiting for you if you will ask for what you need

    -a man works in a job that not only doesn't promote his values, it contradicts them, and the voice says There is something more to work than paying the bills

    -a teenager is under constant stress from school, homework, two sports per season, extra extracurriculars, all to fill out the resume, and the voice says There is something more to life than getting into an elite college

    so I'm afraid I come to this blog entry with a strong, strong bias in favor of heeding that voice.