Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Trinity, Creation and the Energy of Love [By Brian J. Pierce, O.P]

picture by Alex Grey

...Fr. Bede begins by calling attention to the web of inter - relationships of which we are all part, in and among ourselves, and with God. As he was so fond of doing, Fr. Bede draws on the wisdom of the New Physics to point to a scientific way of talking about the energy fields which hold us all together in an interdependent whole. He then says that the same inter-being (to use Thich Nhat Hanh's phrase) is also at the heart of the fluid process of differentiation in the Godhead. "We all come from the Source, the Absolute, which is an interdependent relationship," he says. God's inter-being and ours is one. Bede points to this interdependence in the Hindu tradition, showing how there is a dynamic interplay between Shiva and Shakti, a vibration of energy and movement, called Spanda. "The whole creation comes into being through that Spanda, through the vibration between Shiva and Shakti," says Fr. Bede. It is, he notes, a transcendent reality, a divine movement, which becomes manifest in the created world.

Moving then to the Buddhist tradition, Bede draws on a quote from a great Zen teacher, Suzuki, in which he said that "Sunyata is not static but dynamic." So even in Buddhism, even in the great emptiness of sunyata, notes Bede, there is a movement, a tendency towards outpouring. "In the void there is a constant urge to differentiate itself. And the whole creation is the differentiation of the void...At the very moment of the differentiation it returns to itself. It is always coming out and returning." The void flows out in differentiation and simultaneously returns to the void. "That is why the Buddhists say that Nirvana and Samsara are the same," says Fr. Bede. "Ultimately they are one."


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