“All these Zen mondo may sound nonsensical and the reader may come to the conclusion that when the subject is ‘living in the light of eternity’ they are altogether irrelevant. It is quite a natural criticism from the point of view of an ordinary man of the world. But let us listen to what Eckhart, one of the greatest mystics in the Christian world, states about the ‘now-moment’ which is no other than Eternity itself:
‘The now-moment in which God mad the first man and the now-moment in which the last man will disappear, and the now-moment in which I am speaking are all one in God, in whom there is only one Now.’
“I have been reading all day, confined to my room, and feel tired. I raise the screen and face the broad daylight. I draw a long breath, fill my lungs with fresh air and feel entirely refreshed. … Who would say that I am not living in the light of eternity? I quote again from Eckhart:
‘In eternity, the Father begets the Son in His own likeness. “the Word was with God and the Word was God.” like God, it had his nature. Furthermore I say that God has begotten him in my soul. Not only is the soul like him, and he like it, but he is in it, For the Father begets His Son in the soul exactly as He does in eternity and not otherwise. … What is more, He begets me not only as His Son, but as Himself, and Himself as myself, begetting me in His own nature, His own being. At that inmost source, I spring from the Holy Spirit and there is one life, one being, one action. All God’s works are one and therefore He begets me as he does His Son and without distinction.’” ~D. T. Suzuki
Light of Eternity
There is only one Light of Eternity and that is the Light that emanates from God Himself. It is the Light of Eternity because it always existed and always will. Any physical light is temporary. Even the stars and the sun die, as do all things physical, but not the Light of Eternity because it isn’t physical, it is spiritual. Like all things that are part of the spiritual worlds, this Light exists outside of any of the limitations of time and space.
What Suzuki is calling the “now-moment” is a way of saying an eternal now. In other words, there is no before, no after, no yesterday, no tomorrow, there is only an eternal now. This is definitely true on a spiritual level, but it may not be true on the physical, material level. At the very least, we have to admit that for the sake of human sanity, it is best for us to look at time as linear rather than an eternal now-moment in which all things are happening simultaneously.
The now-moment does make it easier to understand some things, though. Many people say that if the material world is not the creation of God, but of the Demiurge, why doesn’t the true God fix it? The answer is that God did fix it in the Light of Eternity and the now-moment, but for those still living with linear time, that correction hasn’t happened yet. Others say why doesn’t God end disease, hunger, death, greed, etc. Again, the answer is that He did in the eternal now-moment and in the Light of Eternity, but to those of us dealing with linear time, it is in the future. So it isn’t God that is failing us in these matters, it is those of us trapped in and promoting linear time that keeps such things alive.
One of the expressions you hear a lot in New-Age Spirituality is “I am an old soul,” or “he/she is an old soul.” Yet quite often, those same people will promote the idea that time is an illusion. This is the spiritual equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. If there is no linear time in the spiritual realms—and there isn’t—then no soul is any older than any other soul, no soul is more experienced than any other soul. All souls are part of the one, all souls exist in the Light of Eternity and the now-moment.
In His Likeness
I have covered this in older posts, but I will mention it again. The statement found in the Bible that God created us “In his likeness” does not mean that we look like God. For starters, God didn’t create us as physical beings. He did not create our physical bodies so the appearance of those bodies is not at all like that of God. We might say that our souls look like God, but that is not really relevant. What the saying really means is that God created “us” in his mind, in his thoughts. He thought about us, and we came into existence. It doesn’t refer to appearance at all. And when we say God created “us”, it means our spirits and souls, not our bodies. He created us in the now-moment using Light of Eternity. And he wants us to, in a responsible way, use that Light of Eternity to be co-creators with Him.