Separation and Unification
I walk the beach yet again. It is the day after I felt
separated from Beauty by my own doubts and confusions.
I want to imagine the scene again in search of some
understanding of my image of the caged beings on the
I sense my rational mind taking its well-trained scientific
approach. I ask how questions such as these: If there is
one Light of Beauty always present, how can there be
confinement in the midst of freedom or suffering in the
midst of joy? How could Beauty seem to come and go—to be
present and then not? How can there ever be a “no”
answer to the presence of Beauty?
I wonder if my perspective is distorted by being too
close to or too far from what I view. I recall when I thought
the whole idea of a viewpoint was very limited and should
be replaced by a viewspace in which one could see in more
dimensions. Perhaps then I could see how beautiful and
ugly could coexist, how they might be actually connected.
I want a diagram or a chart or a set of data of probabilities
I pause and decide that asking how questions, though
they may lead to some interesting speculation, is the wrong
approach for me right now. So I sit awhile on a beached log,
my eyes on the ocean waves, and ask different questions,
questions from my heart: What does my heart feel like
when I imagine the prisoners in the cage on the beach?
Why is a wordless experience more revealing of the truth?
I can ask no more, for I am overwhelmed with emotional
intensity. I start to sob, tentatively hold it back. Inside my
head, I scream in agony, No! No cage! No cage anywhere!
I feel compassion, abundant compassion, filling my
whole body and all the space around me. It is compassion
both for myself and for all other living beings. The
compassion is connecting me with them! Compassion
arose because of cages. It is because of all those cages
seen and unseen, cages within myself, cages inside
others, cages made by those who mistakenly believe they
own what they can confine. I sense one huge sphere
of cages scattered across the Earth, holding individuals,
groups, any life or what is needed for life! I weep gentle
tears of compassion for all of us in such cages, regardless
of their size, strength, reason, or time spent.
My rational mind speaks to me with a thought: Beauty
is everywhere connections are freely made. In places
where such connections are prevented by confinement,
then compassion is required to create the connections.
Compassion becomes the Beautiful within those situations
that are ugly otherwise. When the answer to “Is it Beautiful?”
seems to be “no”, one must offer one’s gift of compassion
I then wonder if being a more aware human means
realizing my responsibility to offer compassion whenever
or wherever I sense the absence of the Light of Beauty.
Such speculations swirl in my head and heart! Why? Why
now? I wonder if I might be breaking out of one of my own
cages right at this very moment. Am I birthing my own
liberation as I watch the ocean that birthed life itself?
I breathe. I breathe again. I breathe in the ocean mist
and exhale to all. I allow myself to be vulnerable, open.
I am less fearful. Something confining me is dissolving
away, washing back into the waters.
I don’t feel so separated by my own cages any more.
Answering the question “Is it Beautiful?” has led me along
an evolving pathway to this new awareness of unification
with the Light of Beauty. I realize that the process of
my human path has always been alternating between
separation and unification, but with different intensities
and at different times.
These experiences walking on the beach have been
teachings for me. I am reminded of a line of my poem
“Stuck” from high school: My feet take turns along the
shore between the sand and sea. I am moving toward
an expanded awareness of the unification to which I am
already connected. Yet, I doubt I am fully out of my cages.
Someday I may ask of myself, “Is it—the human who is