I’m working on yet another book, but I’m painfully aware there are already many wonderful books in the world.
Let me tell you a story about two of those wonderful books, and something that happened to me and my true love, Gabriele, just this afternoon. We sat on Folly Beach near Charleston, SC and read. She read from Sue Monk Kidd’s “Dance Of The Dissident Daughter,” and I read from Jack Kornfield’s “A Path With Heart.”
For the 11 months we have been in love, I have been talking with her about the concept of nothingness or nonexistence, that fact that when you get to the core of the matter, life is an illusion that plays out in divine consciousness and none of us really exist separate from that which basically flows out of the nothingness at the center of the universe.
She has always told me, as only a lover girl can, that makes absolutely makes no sense.
So today, we’re sitting on the beach reading and I come across this passage in Kornfield’s book, and I read it to her, “You live in a illusion and the appearance of things. There is a reality, but you do not know this. When you understand this, you will see that you are nothing, and being nothing you are everything. And that is all.”
Kornfield was quoting a Tibetan teacher, Kalu Rinpoche.
She looked at me as she often does when we speak of nonexistence, then returned to her book. Seconds later she said, “Oh my God.”
She read to me from page 28 of Kidd’s book, “The feminist theologian, Carol P. Christ, states that a woman’s awakening begins with an ‘experience of nothingness.’ It comes as she experiences emptiness, self-negation, disillusionment, a deep-felt recognition of the limitations placed on women’s lives, especially her own.”
While these are radically different views of nothingness, they do have something in common. Both the Tibetan teacher in Kornfield’s book and the feminist theologian in Kidd’s book are dealing with limitation once recognized that leads to oneness with everything. Gabriele still casts a sidelong glance at it, as though it might be snake oil or some concoction of my traveling medicine show, but it is striking to me that we would both be sitting on a beach reading about nothingness.
And here is something even a tad more freaky.
About four years ago, Sue Monk Kidd lead a writing workshop in Charleston. I was waiting on the workshop to start and wrote in my journal, “Jung says synchronicity is a sign you are on the right path.” I have had many synchronistic happenings in my life, and I often think about this Jung idea. Sue Monk Kidd stood up and opened her talk by saying, “Jung says synchronicity is a sign you are on the right path.”
Folks, if I’m lying I’m dying. I turned to the woman sitting next to me and said, “You have got to read what I just wrote in my journal.” She did and smiled and scooted just a little ways away from me.
So, maybe I shouldn’t write another book, but this one keeps knocking at my door, begging me to say to you, “Life will be better if we figure out our connections to each other and everything else.”