Spiritual algebra

Spirituality sometimes reminds me of math. When you resolve all the equations, there’s nothing left to do. There’s just identity, the one thing. All the parts have been resolved to the whole, and there’s nothing left to be said. Yet here I am writing, the mind keeps on going, and we keep yearning for truth because we haven’t yet received it in full measure. We don’t yet know the answer, so we’re driven to find out what it is.

But math seems pointless. If you already know where you’re going, what’s the point of going through the exercise? As soon as you start talking about it, you realize that “2+2” is just another way of saying 4, so why ever say “2+2” in the first place? Let alone some more complicated formula? I’ll have to leave it to the mathematicians to explain what the big draw is. But I suspect it has to do with something more than just finding the right answer. There’s something about the process of getting there that is intrinsically cherished. (Otherwise, why not just look at the back of the book for the answers whenever you can?)

My mind goes down the same road with regard to spirituality. We learn from those who have tasted Enlightenment that God is all there is. For a mind looking for complex, interesting answers, that’s potentially anti-climactic. Okay… so God is all there is. Great. I guess we’re done then. Let me go…umm…do nothing… because there’s nothing left to do. So much for that instinct inside me that told me I was on a mission. “Pssst, hey you, the answer’s already at the back of the book!” Whaaa?! I can’t believe you just spoiled it for me. Thanks a lot! Now what?

Maybe we can learn from the mathematician, who takes the stand that the process itself is good. Perhaps it is cause for celebration. What if God is not just “all there is” but that God is also unequivocally, absolutely, undeniably good? After all, if God needs absolutely nothing, why did He create the world? Why is there something rather than nothing? What is going on here? Yeah, you, I’m talking to you! Somehow, some way, this is where you are right now, reading these words. How did you get here? What exactly are you doing here? This isn’t rhetorical. Please tell me. Why do you exist?