The title says it all. I often contemplate things such as this. What is 500 feet below the surface of Venus? 50 feet below the surface of Mercury? 1000 miles deep inside Jupiter’s gas?
Below Mercury’s surface, it is probably solid rock. Well, at least at 50 feet down. Perhaps further down there is liquid metal. My mind, my brain thinks of these remote locations, buried, hidden deep inside the Universe. I think my mind does this to affirm that there is ‘truth’ out there. Just because we can’t see 50 feet down into Mercury, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It is there. No one ever thinks about it, well most people don’t. I also think these things because, well, I have a deep faith that all the answers are indeed in the Universe. Sure, they aren’t hidden in some chest buried on Venus or something, but they exist. So, with our minds, we can travel… in our minds-eye, we can visualize the depths inside distant planets. What is happening there right now? Then we can start to bring our minds-eye’s spaceship back closer to home… What is happening in the dark craters on the moon? Is water sublimating? Then coming closer still, what is happening 1000 feet below our feet right this second? Solid rock? Air? Water? Magma? Bring it closer still, and closer, what is happening to the bottom of our toes? Are they touching socks? What about inside ours toes? blood flows… bones stay strong, muscles flex and relax… and closer again.. up our bodies to our hearts and mind…. where are they? what are they doing? When did Mercury’s core become separate from our heart-mind? Is it separate? You know, every single atom that exists once was only one thing.. back at the Big Bang. Then there was no separation, all truly was One! Is is different now? If so, in what ways? Can we feel how close it all still really is?
People have always talked about clairvoyance and about prophets from the beginning of time. Why? Sure, many people have taken advantage of this and a thriving market exists to exploit people’s beliefs and ignorance. Classic ‘fortune tellers’. But do these crooks give something that may be genuine a bad name? Perhaps.
One time when I saw the Dali Lama give a talk, he was discussing how he become the Dali Lama. About how he was the rebirth of a previous Buddhist master. But he said many people, many Buddhists talk about their past lives, with such clarity, but he never had such visions, such memories. He said he didn’t know if past lives exist. He, personally, had no proof!
This makes me think about the Buddha’s dying words.. Be a lamp onto yourself. No-one besides your own self knows the Truth. This does not mean not to trust people, to not believe people, but it means that even if other people’s views, beliefs and experiences are true and correct, only you yourself can realize them to be true. This is where faith is born. I personally have deep faith the Buddha was pretty clued up! And so far my experiences of realising truth have confirmed the Buddha’s teachings. It is not that his teachings have confirmed my views. There is a key difference. It is like this: The Buddha has a flashlight and he is shining it all around, and it shines straight into my heart. Wonderful! It is very beautiful, but how do I know if it is Truth? Only by using my flashlight can I illuminate the Buddha. I see the Buddha with his flashlight because I am looking all around too, with my flashlight. (Imagine a pitch-dark night and someone shines a flashlight at you. You can not see them at all, only their light… Only if you shine your own flashlight back at them, can you see who they are).
Never relinquish the power of your heart’s lamp, never give it to anyone, no matter how correct they are. This is why in Zen, they say if you see the Buddha, you must kill him. It sounds horribly evil and demented. But it is a symbolic phrase. Do not live in someone’s else light, no matter how beautiful… Learn from it, yes, use it, yes, but only to help spark your own light into an inferno of blazing light and love. Anyhow, it is always far more beautiful than anybody’s else’s!!