Last night I was fortunate enough to listen in on a conversation with a wise person. They were being asked a series of questions about a building they had constructed and how, even though it was designed as a centre for any and all to come to for a place of Peace on their journey, there appeared, to the interviewer a series of contradictions to the owners ideals of a non-denominational or discriminatory edifice.
She began by highlighting that even though the owner claimed to be of no particular faith, it was clear they were very heavily influenced by Christianity and specifically Christ, owing to the near twelve-foot high statue of him in the foyer of the building. 'Wouldn't you say that there are not only clear dominant religious influences within this building but some might say they are in direct opposition to each other? Subtracting from, rather than creating the feeling of neutrality you claim to want to establish at this site?'
The owner serenely smiled and asked, 'to what specifically do you refer to as being in contradiction?'
'Well, obviously the Christ statue as the main centrepiece, yet just passed it is almost synagogue-style seating in the main Peace Core, with incense burning alluding to a Buddhic presence. How can all these influences converged together bring about a feeling of peace when each carry with them specific connotations pertaining to their own form of religious worship?'
'Interesting' is all the owner first replies, then pauses. The interviewer moves a little in their seat but remains silent.
'I think, that is I believe, that what is happening here is a perfect demonstration of how we keep ourselves from peace,' they went on to say.
'The mishmash of religious objects and paraphernalia?' the interviewer asks.
'No, your need to see it as such,' they smile conclusively. The interviewer looks perplexed.
'You want me to answer your questions but really you seek confirmation from me of your own belief in separation. When I look around me I see no Christ statue or arranged seating or smell a Buddhist smoke, no, I see oneness and feel peace.'
The interviewer seems a little irritated now.
'Are you saying that these heavily religionised objects, such as this statue of Jesus, holds no cultural relevance and specific religious connotations?'
'I am saying you see that, and only that, causing you to need to categorise and understand them solely from the intellect, giving it all authority to interrupt for you. You place those ideas around that object and that is what it becomes to you. To me, well, it is just a pleasant face upon which I can smile at every day and feel a sense of peace emanate from. And when I sit in the peace core on the curved benching I find comfort from its grain and smoothness, so too with the smell of the incense, they relax my outward bodily senses and allow me to go inward gently without need to question their origin or historic connections, I see oneness and I feel peace.'
'Alright, what if a satanic worshipper were to come into your peace sanctum, how would you feel then?' the clearly frustrated interviewer asks.
'perhaps it is more important for you to ask yourself why you need to know? To what benefit has an answer? And to Whom? Can I know who or what any one other believes in? No, is often impossible to make such claims, and definitely unnecessary in the pursuit of peace. Yet, and to use your logic of historical and religious relevance, you may note that the entry figure you are met with is not one usually consorted with by those of whom you speak.'
'But you would let them in, that is what you are saying?'
'I let you in didn't I' they said with a wry smile. 'And without any need for your own personal belief structure to be laid out before me, although you make it known.'
'I do? How?'
'Your questions, evidence of a mind that is never silent and is in servitude to its little self, the part which arrogantly demands that questions must be the earmark of an eminent intelligence and to catch up one's interviewee with worded trickery shows aptitude at their profession.'
'Yet you do not know peace, is that right?'
'I do not need to, I have come here to interview you about your peace core, building, that is all.'
'Yes, yet I find that I am unable to answer in the way that you want, you see I want peace, not answers. I do not need to know or be certain of any of these items you have questioned me about today. They are like these bodies, prescribed upon only, in and of themselves they are nothing, would you not agree?'
'Well, no, not really, I mean this is a statue of Christ, obviously, this is a tangible example Christian symbolism.'
'Yet what if some who walked through that door did not know of Christ? What does this statue become then?'
'Yes, ok, but most know who this is.'
'Perhaps the idea that this is Christ is merely a thought repeated and handed down, perhaps this is just a statue standing in a place it has no control over. It is quite possible and probable that many who enter here do not necessarily hold a belief in Christ yet could still appreciate this stature for its artistic beauty, and that even less would know that the shape of the wooden seating is similar to some synagogues, and again some may not even smell the incense as I do, letting it become nothing more than a passing waft.'
'your questions, however logical they present themselves, are your own blocks to your inner peace right now, at this moment.'
The interviewer looks like they are weighing up whether they will continue on with their line of questioning.
'And even now I can see the struggle taking place, registering on your face. Your resistance to letting go and allowing this moment to not be defined or prescribed by the need to question it or where it is happening. It is hard for the intellect to give up control, we truly believe it is who we are, that our mind is located in the thing we call a brain.'
'Come, come with me and we will simply sit in a seat and breath in some air and think no more about it than that. Come with me now and we will not ponder separation any longer but sit together momentarily and let all that is be, with us taking our proper and rightful place in it.'
They get up and the owner takes the interviewer's hand and leads them into the peace core, concluding with,
'Do you want to know peace or have questions demanding answers that never fulfil or silent the mind? The questioner may believe he is clever but really he is filling space and making time because he cannot sit in either unquestionably. That is why the only way to stop the frantic noise is to stop asking and begin admitting we do not know. Full stop. We do not know and need to sit in peace to learn from a Source that does.'