just be it It’s about the work involved in establishing a dedicated practice to feelings of a bigger belonging through practices aimed at increasing feelings of compassion, gratitude and forgiveness

The Mystery in Circle…Just ‘Be’ It

Published on 01/01/09
by randy


Just 'be' it.

Just Be It




Live long enough and you’ll observe the cyclical nature of everything.  We’re raised from a linear perspective, under the illusion there’s a beginning and ending.  We’re drawn to the allure of a fixed answer, a defined destination, a relief from the reality of constant change.  Yet, our modern scientific research and ancient spiritual wisdom clearly shows the bottomless depth of our search into the mystery.  A Catholic nun once put it geometrically into the following phrase: “God is a circle whose center is everywhere, whose circumference is nowhere.”  This captures the notion of harmonic alignment.  As a pebble falls into water, the ripple spreads infinitely.  As we experience the Divine, it no longer makes sense to intellectually conceive of God “out there” or “up there”.  There’s a “felt sense” of God that drives from the heart, a pull to the mystery of our interconnection.  In breaking third dimension theology notions of subject/object, of me here/God out there, we come more and more to see there’s only subject.


The experience of God everywhere, much like the circle, breaks all notions of us vs. them.  Rather than personifying an evil object out there, we come to accept the felt sense of stewarding thoughts, emotions and actions vs. destructive thoughts, emotions and actions.  In honoring the Divine which knows no boundaries, just as the circle has no sides, we come to a deeper experience of loving one another as ourselves.  Further, we carry a deeper sense of stewardship to all animate and inanimate gifts, all needing gentle care and acceptance as though feeding our very hearts.  In effect, we experience our brother as ourselves, our enemy as ourselves, the mountain as us, and the ocean as us, etc.  The illusion of separation is broken much like the illusion of a wave’s separate form is broken when it crashes on the shore. The wave may have just forgotten that it was always water.


The circle has no sides and continually asks us to drill deeper into the mystery.  The root of “communication” is “communion”.  As Christ ritualized in Holy Communion, we become one in the felt tasting of one another outside our addictions to fighting and difference.  As such, we find our curiosity may be what feeds us most in pursuing a deeper life.  Our practice would be a deeper listening, without judgment and fixed belief systems.  In effect, our deeper theology would always seek the deeper question rather than ending the learning process with a fixed answer.


Uncle Les, a kahuna living on Maui, once said he’d like to start a school with the name “No BS”.   The “BS” would designate “Belief Systems”.  The very root of theology, theos, designates a continuous drilling deeper into our understanding of the mystery, of the Divine.  Once we settle into a fixed belief system, thinking we have the answer, we create the opportunity for violence.  The famous linguist, Noam Chomsky, has said that violence is behind all our attempts to persuade or change others to what we think is “right”.  The famous artist, Robert Rauschenberg, was memorialized with the following statement that drove him to revolutionize modern art, saying, “There are so many more interesting ways to be than ‘right.”  In summarizing the key to the success of the infamous Motown Funk Brothers, Joe Messina said the key to their success was that “they listened to each other and liked each other”.  Albert Einstein, in The World as I See It, wrote the following:


The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. He who knows it not and can no longer wonder, no longer feel amazement, is as good as dead, a snuffed-out candle. It was the experience of mystery — even if mixed with fear — that engendered religion. A knowledge of the existence of something we cannot penetrate, of the manifestations of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which are only accessible to our reason in their most elementary forms — it is this knowledge and this emotion that constitute the truly religious attitude; in this sense, and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the type of which we are conscious in ourselves. An individual who should survive his physical death is also beyond my comprehension, nor do I wish it otherwise; such notions are for the fears or absurd egoism of feeble souls.


Einstein recognized the absurdity in stunting our growth with the dangerous words, “I know that”.  The entire format of debate, aimed to compete against another, to break another down for a judgment of who’s “right” pales to the more spiritual notion of dialogue, where we actively listen to one another until we get the felt sense of being in the other’s shoes.  Almost all military leaders finally come to this realization after years of service in fighting “evil doers” without first going deeper into understanding of their enemy.  The former Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, realized this is the number one insight from all his years in public service when he released the Academy Award winning documentary The Fog of War.


Our head continually draws us to subject vs. object.  Our notions of “doing” and “having” feed the illusion that we are separate when our heart leads us to the harmonic, circular notion of “subject”, of the Divine, of our enemy as us, our surroundings as us, as Thich Knat Hahn labels our “inter Being”, as Paul Tillich labels the very “ground of Being”.  Rumi’s famous line, “Somewhere there’s a field beyond notions of right knowing and wrong knowing, let’s meet there”, captures the need to dig deeper, to explore the mystery further, to surrender our defense, and to forever honor the never ending nature of the circle and cycles of life.


Entering what seems to be an accelerating circle of change in 2009, may we forever honor the mystery?  Curiosity, wonder, and mystery….just ‘be’ it.



Being correct is never the point. I have an almost fanatically correct assistant, and by the time she re-spells my words and corrects my punctuation, I can’t read what I wrote. Being right can stop all the momentum of a very interesting idea.” 

Robert Rauchenberg from NY Times obituary, May 14, 2008




….help us to calm our emotions and to see our “interbeing”—to see there is no separation between you and me, between you and any other person, to see that we all “inter-are.”  As my friend Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “All life is interrelated.  We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied into a single garment of destiny.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, Creating True Peace


Best words to master in true inquiry from love.  “What do you want?”, followed by the loving willingness to stand in silence and love until a response is given.  The real work is in quieting our mind from solutions and judgment to prepare the ground for the other to honestly respond.

Best words to end a conversation and perhaps the most damaging words one can speak are, “I know that”.

Randy Johnson from an insight delivered June, 2006, after a marital dispute


The ultimate reason to create, teach, speak or write is to dissolve the veil of separation and reveal the intimate union of all existence…to awaken a recognition of ourselves as One with all that is.  Stacy Lawson blog,  http://www.staceylawson.com/blog.htm

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