“There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
– Leonard Cohen
In this simple yet poignant line Leonard states the truth with the elegant simplicity befitting the poet he is.
Every single thing in the world of form is incomplete. There is a perfect imperfection in any object or concept. The delightful and dynamic potential of $100, for example, is collapsed into a single object or service when you spend it. You can not have the freedom of the money and the stability of that which it buys at the same time.
Our lives in the realm of duality are steeped in paradox like this. Self and Other. Objects and the space between them. Manifest reality and the potential from whence it flows. This fundamental duality gives rise to the “crack” in all things that Cohen is Talking about.
The fracture and the friction:
There is a discrepancy between what we perceive and what is True. Our individual perceptions are limited by our culture, education, family life, experiences, social norms and a slew of other variables. Each human being is a highly specialized, carefully crafted and completely unique lens, through which consciousness studies itself in unimaginable detail. But as a consequence of being completely unique, we are also unfathomably limited.
After all, to be singularly unique is (in some ways) to be the pinnacle of limitation. You are limited to your single perspective in the infinite ocean of consciousness throughout time and space. The individual perspective in that sense is less than a pinhole in a blanket to look through.
The Truth on the other hand, is radically unlimited. The Truth is unconstrained by social conditioning and other fundamental human forces because these things exist within The Truth. All constraints on The Truth including our perspectives, our very existence and our inevitable search for meaning and order, is merely an attempt to approximate and give structure to that ultimate perspective. The truth will set you free because the truth itself is radically so.
And so we always have a limited perspective into an unlimited field of possibility. We see and express some of the truth, but our concepts are eternally incomplete. That incomplete-ness, that failure to come full circle around the absolute Truth, is where the Truth streams into our experience. That is where the light gets in.
And it’s uncomfortable.
This crack in everything, this perceived imperfection, is simply the gap between what we think is true and the Truth as it actually is. The Gap never closes because the infinite wouldn’t be infinite if you could wrap your mind around it. In fact, the more we look into that gap, the wider it seems to become. Thus the widely known paraphrase of Socrates, “All I know is that I know nothing.”
We can look away from that gap for a while and in most cases the consequences are not severe. Generally our labels and understandings are true enough for our given place and circumstance. We don’t need to see the ultimate reality of an apple to dip it in some peanut butter and eat it. But politics, family relationships, gender roles, religion, cultural intersections and a number of other things can constantly challenge our concept of reality and force us to look into the light of the Truth streaming in through the gap in our understanding.
We are all aware of this uncomfortable feeling. Each of us has stumbled and struggled as we attempted to learn something new. Each of us has deflected this kind of discomfort by belittling the person or thing that challenges us. We all know the fear of being exposed and naked.
With this in mind I ask that we all work to be more compassionate to ourselves and others in those scary moments when we are vulnerable. In those moments when we are less than graceful or when we are met by others with less than graceful acceptance.
But know that in those moments you are growing. God is injecting your perspective with little bits of truth and you are meant to inquire. You are supposed to look into that light.
As far as we can tell, human beings are the only creature with the capacity for this kind of advanced spiritual stargazing and truth seeking. There is plenty of room for debate of course, but certainly we are the only ones writing books about it and trying to convey spiritual truths from generation to generation.
Each and every one of you is a delicate expression of the one consciousness. You are a strange and wonderful package wrapped around the Truth as it wonders at it’s own magnificence. Standing naked you are the glove of God’s hand; the monocle of God’s eye.
You are both the Truth and the one seeking it, and if you can find the gap between who you think you are and who you really are, you can follow the light that streams in, all the way to the source of all paradox.
Let your heart be radically open to love, let your mind be radically open to truth and let your eyes be radically open to beauty.
Let the light shine in and dissolve all illusions, and shine that light for all to see.
Peace and Love,