Wednesday, October 03, 2007
Finger of God, Mystery Lake, Sierra Mountains, CA, October 2007, Nikon D40 with 18-200mm VR lens, Focal length 18mm, Exposure 1/1600 sec @ f20, ISO 200, no flash, circular polarizing filter © Steven Crisp [Click on the photo to enlarge]
There it is again. Do you see it? The circular rainbow around the sun?
You wouldn’t have seen it if you didn’t somehow block out the sun’s intensity. But once done, the rainbow was revealed. That act allowed one to "open ones eyes" and see the inherent beauty that was present.
So why the “Finger of God”?
Well, first of all, you had the power within you to see this rainbow, or not, as you chose. Many people ascribe such wonders of nature to God, and why not? The only question, then, is just who (or what) exactly is this God?
Western cultures, born of the Abrahamic religions, presupposes that this God is “other” than Man; indeed, is outside, apart, and separate from all that we envision. He (and it is always male, isn't it) lives in Heaven, which is a place where we humans might get to go, after we die. We cannot unite with God during this life, but must wait for our Judgment Day, and the hope for Salvation, that we may once again unite with Him.
Interestingly, some Eastern traditions (e.g., Hinduism, Buddhism) recognize God very differently. That which we call God is sometimes referred to as Brahman, Buddha-nature, the Ground of Being, One without a second, and many other traditional names. Rather than the dualistic view that we are separate from God, these traditions teach that we can be one with God — that we all have this Godliness within us, and it is our challenge to “awaken” to this reality.
God lives not elsewhere, up in Heaven. But right here, right now, in this very moment. Not the concept of immortality or eternity, but rather timelessness. Not concept of everywhere or infinity but rather spacelessness.
We humans (and everything else manifest within all that is our universe) are but a expression of God itself. Not separate from a God that is watching over us, judging our behaviors, and being saddened by our sins. But a very part of Creation itself, that which we call God, or Nature, or ... (insert your traditional phrase for the ineffable).
So yes, what you see in the picture above is indeed the “Finger of God”.
We humans are on a long (think eons), inexorable path of evolution from “lesser” to “greater”, from creatures that were once unconscious, to humans who are now conscious and self-aware, and to a future state, illuminated by the leading wave of supra-conscious individuals we have called sages, saints, mystics, mahatmas, enlightened beings, Buddha, and Christ. These awakened beings illustrate the future evolutionary path of our species.
But more importantly, they help us to realize how this “Godliness” is within each of us, right now — if only we awaken to that truth. We all intuit this reality, to a lesser or greater degree. It is that “call” which drives us to look for meaning in our lives, to honor our spirituality, to become “seekers” of truth. They show us how to accept our mortal lives, and transcend both time and space in the here and now. They help us remove the primal fear of mortal death, and not replace that with mythic tales of everlasting life; but instead, realize timelessness right now, and now, and now again, in this very Moment of Life itself. That recognition brings with it a state of peacefulness and calm and wholeness, and replaces the inherent fear and anxiety of a separate self, cut off from the world and others, seeking to postpone an inevitable death.
Take a look. Squint your eyes a bit. Dare to place your hand in front of the Sun and see that Finger of God. Realize your interconnectedness with all that is. It is not our separateness that defines us, but indeed, our Oneness. It is not just your hand which contains the finger of God, but that of the saint, and that of the sinner. Not only the benevolent souls, but the street bums. Can you wrap your mind around that reality? It adds a level of beauty to all that is a part of this world we have manifest.
Namaste, my friend. We are One.