Love Makes One, Fear Makes Two

A man and a woman fall in love and marry, and the minister sanctifies their union by telling them they have become one flesh.  Love makes one.  A two-year-old begins to form an identity separate from his mother, and he clings to her.  Part of him wants desperately to restore a sense of oneness with his mother.  He does not realize his fear is only driving them farther apart.  Fear makes two.

Eastern religious traditions tend to avoid bald statements about the truth.  Zen Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta say that reality is both not-one and not-two.  It is not-one because it is often presented to us in all its multiplicity, and not-two because there is also an underlying unity to all existence.  They are two sides of one coin.  Which is the true face of reality?

And which is the true face of God?  Is it the wrathful deity who terrorized the Hebrew people in the wilderness of Sinai with his fierce otherness?  Or is it the man who claimed "I and the Father are one" and went meekly to his death on a cross?  One is seen through the eyes of fear, the other through the eyes of love.  Which side of the coin will it be? 

Home | Readings
© Copyright 2004-2018 by Eric Rennie
All Rights Reserved