Dialogs With My Teacher #29

Michael McAlister Blog, Dialogs Leave a Comment

Here’s another installment in a series of emails that took place between Michael and one of his senior students beginning the Summer of 2009. May you find the exchange interesting and enriching.

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September 13,  2010

Student: What does “being wrong” mean from the enlightened or Infinite perspective?

Michael: It’s just like “being right.” From an enlightened perspective it’s like a punchline to the funniest of all jokes. You know, the one about there being a division between up and down, black and white, you and me, right and wrong. From the enlightened perspective, these boundaries can be recognized but they also can be seen through, thus making any claim to rightness or wrongness kind of silly.

Student: But some things are wrong, though. Don’t we have a moral imperative to prevent, for example, war and injustice?

Michael: Of course. But if we attach to our sense of what a moral imperative is or is not, we will then end up declaring war on war. This doesn’t solve anything. Instead it only makes things more brutal. On the other hand, truly meeting the roots of war, and by extension injustice, allows for us to see through any egoic definitions of right or wrong and allows for us to embody an undivided approach to any situation. This undivided approach isn’t opposed to anything and can therefore offer its expression as peace.

Student: This makes sense. So there’s no such thing as an “anti-war” position that isn’t actually warlike?

Michael: I’d say this is true. The undivided approach would offer itself as a “pro-peace” position.

Student: So is it possible, based on what you’re saying, that an enlightened master is never really wrong or right?

Michael: Give me one person, enlightened or not, that is “never” anything and I’ll give you… uh… a bow. The spiritual marketplace has historically found itself full of teachers that do things that are “wrong” based on the ethical standards that they themselves offer up. Perhaps this makes them “unenlightened.” What I might add here is that an awakened being isn’t ever caught by what the mind sees as right or wrong. From this un-caught place, they engage their world consciously with the intention not to do harm.

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