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There is One
By Gutman Locks
SONG OF RETURN
My ship had gone down under me. I was left clinging to
rubble, bobbing in a raging sea. It was dark and there was no
hope. Even the morning light brought no relief. There was no
water to drink nor food to eat. I held on as long as I could,
expecting at any moment to become a stringy morsel for some
giant, angry fish. The salt water stung my eyes and my tongue
began to swell. I screamed inside, but only echoes yelled back.
Then a hard bump, and I lay flat upon a beach.
and found next to me an ancient chest. I sat up and opened
the lid. I was surprised how easily it opened. I had imagined
something so old would have been rusted shut. I pushed, and
it gave. Inside was every precious gift the mind could imagine.
I went first for the cool, clear water. I drank and my parched
lips and swollen tongue were soothed. "God", I thought,
"What could be more wondefful than a bottle of clear water."
Once my thirst was satisfied, I could look at the other treasures. There was food that satisfied my bones and spices that
revived my soul. There were aloes and oils that healed my
wounds and there were glorious garments and crowns fit only
for a king. I tried them on and they fit well. A peaceful feeling
came over me as I dressed as a king adorned with the many
jewels I had found; jewels so rare I did not even know their
names. They shone beautifully in the light and the more I
handled them, the more their glitter increased. I went
through the chest slowly, examining each treasure.
I did not
understand what many were, but all intrigued me. As I would
study a particular piece, I found myself taking on the characteristics of that particular item. Light rushed into my soul and
I felt as if I had lost much weight. Strength filled my body and
my mind cleared. It felt good to be alive. I began to sing,
"How wonderful is this day!"
"THERE IS ONE and no second." The most obvious
sometimes seems to be the most elusive. The simplest concept can appear unfathomable and the mind can seem to be
but a useless tool. Do not give in to such thinking. The mind
can quickly cut through its quandary, and clear thinking can
emerge as easily as the sun can burn away a fog. One cannot
be commanded to do something that is impossible, so the
proof of one's ability to know God lies in the command,
"Know this day and take it to your heart that the Lord is God;
in the heaven above and upon the earth below there is
When the water lies still and the sunlight
rests upon it, a single globe will reflect from the water. But
when the wind stirs the water, making waves, the sun's light
will bounce off the water forming a thousand reflections. Each
reflection seems to be saying, "I am an individual reflection. I
am here in my own location, and I am my own shape, while
you, over there, are another reflection, not in the same place
as I am, and not the same size as I am." And so it is with each
of the myriad of reflections, each attesting to its individuality
and its separateness.
When these reflections are viewed upon
the water, there appears to the mind to be a thousand lights,
but when the eye is lifted up from the agitated water onto the
smooth sky, it is seen that there is but one. A single sun is
laying its glorious light upon an agitated body of water. Even
after the light touches the water, it still remains a single light.
It is only because the water is agitated that the reflection
seems to break up and form into many lights, but in actuality,
there is always just a single light. And so it is with us.
Although we appear with good reason to be many, we are in
The little finger says to the thumb: "I am a
little finger and not so strong. You are thicker and sturdier
than I. Alas, we come from the same place and we are indeed
related, but I am a little finger over here on this side of the
hand, and you, a distant cousin, are over there. I have my life
to live and you have yours. I feel my pain and you feel your
pain. We are two separate lives."
The fact is that the little
finger and sturdy thumb are both really me! It is my hand. It
is my life that fills these fingers and no matter how distinct
they are, they are not separate lives. Distinction appears for a
holy purpose, but does not constitute an actual severing from
the whole. It is still one creation; one being. Even after the
sunlight bends and many reflections begin to appear, the light
is still one. So it is with all of creation. No matter how
distinct an object appears, the distinction does not entail an
actual separation. The creation is a simple, constant, one.
The table is an actual table and the chair is
an actual chair. However, when viewed with a microscope,
the distinction of table and chair falls away and small dots or
squiggles can be seen. Also, these will disappear as we look
deeper and come to atoms. The atoms will also give way to
the sub-atomic and the sub-atomic will give way to this, and
this will give way to that until at last, we will come to the
Place itself, which is indisputably, one.
Gutman Locks lives in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. He teaches mystical concepts in Judaism. He has published several books and you can order direct from him. The book "There is One" costs $17, "The Raging Mind" costs also $17, a CD of meditative music is available for $15. The authors mail address is 24 Chabad Street, Jerusalem, Israel.
See his web site at www.ThereIsOne.com
from the October 1998 Edition of the Jewish Magazine
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