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STAY GOLD

In Boethius' Consolation of Philosophy, which I'm currently (re)reading, the wise woman Sophia (philosophy), dressed in a beautiful dress woven by her own hands, consoles the author who has been falsely accused of treason and sentenced to death - and, understandably, is overwhelmed by grief. Eventually her pep talk is enough to lift him of his black mood and he is able to meet has fate with equanimity. This was written in the 6th century AD.

In the course of the dialogue, Sophia tells of old times, before Aristotle, before even Plato, when she "fought many a great battle against the reckless forces of folly." In other words charlatans who went about speaking the truth in order to extract money from followers. In these dark times Socrates was put to death by skeptics, and with that the unified school of philosophy was torn apart. After that mobs of Epicureans and Stoics and other philosophical schools did all they could to seize for themselves the inheritance of wisdom that the great philosophers left.

The wise women tells of how they tried to carry her off as part of their plunder, and she fought and struggled, and in the fight her beautiful dress, woven with her own hands, was rent to shreds. Each school tore off little pieces from her dress and went away in the fond belief that they had obtained the whole of philosophy. "The sight of traces of my clothing on them gained them the reputation among the ignorant of being my familiars," she says, "and as a result many of them became corrupted by the ignorance of the uninitiated mob."

Isn't that what we still face in the present. Fragmented philosophies, factions and disparate religions, each claiming to hold the whole truth while in truth all they do is grasp at shadows or finger threds?

It is time to piece the dress of philosophy back together - with a unified thought that best approximates truth. Any concept is only an approximation or representation of truth, which is reality and so can't be learned but must be lived. In this day of globalization, worldwide Internet access, public domain versions of sacred scriptures from around the world, shouldn't we go back to the unity that underlies divinity? If as many religions posit God is omnipresent (existing everywhere all at once), then there can be nothing that is not God, and even between separate entities (like you and I) the very thing separating us (our bodies or our "views") being an aspect of God is really not a separation but an extension of divinity which is ourselves. There is no separating you and me from the Oneness that is, but to see this we must go beyond the mind which seeks to reduce and dissect. Just like gold exists in all golden ornaments (despite differences of shape or name), Oneness exists in all that is golden, and as God is all that is, all is golden.

Of course the mind likes to preserve individuality and separateness, which is why the sages say we are born with a voluntary ignorance, or amnesia, forgetting our true state, for if we all came into this world with knowledge of the totality of divinity that we are, there would be no perceived separateness, and therefore no strife, warfare, love affairs, athletic events, and all else that arises from the "us versus them" or the "me on top of you" or "you on top of me" point of view. In short, without separation, no drama of life, and the mind is so addicted to drama!

But you must see that you are writer of the script, producer, director, and actor, not just in your own life, but in each and every heart. Of course once you realize this, the drama of life is over. But until then, try to remember you are gold (God):

Stay gold, Pony, stay gold.

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