By Joe Perez
Lama Surya Das, one of our foremost Western Buddhist meditation teachers and scholars, says:
At the heart of every experience and every moment is the timeless and infinite, as the sages throughout the ages sing out in a single chorus. What keeps us, keeps me, from experiencing and singing it out right now? Nothing.
This is an inspirational thought and strictly speaking true, but I want to challenge the notion that there is truly a single chorus sung by sages throughout the ages.
Just as no two individuals have exactly the same voice, no two individuals have the same Unique Perspective. Our Unique Perspective is our own mental framework conceived in thought and expressed through voice or pen. The paradox of the human situation is that it is only through such uniqueness that we encounter that which is wholly without distinction, the suchness or That-ness which is All-That-Is.
As Marc Gafni and Ken Wilber and others have expressed clearly, there is no True Self — the single chorus of which Lama Surya Das speaks — which is not also a Unique Self. And so the chorus keeps changing with each new generation, and the very notion of enlightened Self undergoes revision. There is one chorus and yet there are also many.
Spirit is as accessible right now as opening your mouth to sing. Nothing keeps us from experiencing it from our own mental framework and singing it without own unique voice.