seemingly so it ain't so, it just seems to be

God is a Rug


I was standing with bare feet pointing a finger at the golden Persian rug underneath me when I asked the question: ”Is there a rug?” They all looked suspiciously at me. It was an early afternoon and we had gathered in the studio I had in town. Normally we would sit quietly in a circle on the rug and I would share the instructions for meditation in a calm voice. Now this particular afternoon it seemed like lightning had struck me and my otherwise calm appearance had turned into an excited thunder. Maybe I wanted to shake some life into these people, I can’t say, it all happened very fast.

”Of course there is a rug”, the group eventually answered me.
I removed a tussle (a collection of a few threads) from it and held it in the air and asked again:
”Is this a rug?”
”No, that’s a tussle.”
Once again I removed a tussle and held it in the air.
”Is this a rug?”
”No, that’s a tussle.”
Once again I did it.
”Is this a rug?”
”No, that’s a tussle.”
Then I pretended to remove as many tussles as it would take to remove all of the rug and I made it clear that I had removed the whole rug.
”Now, is there a rug?”
”No, there is no rug”, they answered me.
”I have only removed tussles, never a rug, but there is no rug left. How come?”
Someone answered:
”The rug consisted of tussles and when you removed them you also removed the rug.”
With natural excitement I said:
”Exactly! This is how we understand ’the rug’, as a concept describing a collection of something else than a rug.”
Then I pointed again at the golden rug and asked:
”Is there a rug?”
The group hesitated this time and didn’t answer me. I continued.
”Is there a tussle?”
Silence fell in the room.

After this occasion the rug-example became a recurring sermon in all of my groups and I discovered that it had two simultaneous effects on the participants: The inherent excitement in my sharing gave them all a boost and a feeling that we were all on a great journey of discovery. Another effect I could see was that it bended their minds to the breaking point. For some members it was a new experience to hear this, that what they perceive as real is only something which is ’perceived as real’, nothing else.

Some minds were of course provoked by the sermon and they would soon show their skepticism by asking: ”What’s the use of this?” To them the sermon was experienced only as a philosophical or semantic game. I would sometimes answer them:

”If things are dividable and possible to experience as nothing but a collection of other non-existent things, then how about your boyfriend or girlfriend? Wouldn’t also they be dividable? That’s rhetorical question, I know, but let me answer it for you: Your boyfriend exists as much as the rug exists.” This way of putting it into words were more intriguing to most participants, even to those that had been skeptical at first.

Words like these started to arise more and more in my groups and perplexed faces changed into soft ones as it was slowly realized that not only is there no rug, no tussle, no floor, no wall or door, but there is also no boyfriend or girlfriend. How could there be? Everything is like the rug. Even love is a rug. Hate is a rug. The world is a rug. And then God of course, God is certainly a rug.


seemingly so it ain't so, it just seems to be



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