Find Truth Through Love

Now there was no water for the congregation, so they gathered together against Moses and against Aaron. -Number 20:2

Dear members and friends, 

It has been a somewhat common belief that truth is something we may find in a faraway place after a long and hard journey. Thus, finding the truth could mean obtaining what one truly desires. However, as Joseph Campbell points out in his theory of the hero’s journey, the real truth is often found where the hero started his journey. In this context, I would like to share the following story from Zen Speaks: 

Once upon a time, a young man left his parents to visit the Bodhisattva WuJi. His hope was that by listening to the Bodhisattva, he might gain a piece of truth for his enlightenment. On the way, he stopped by a small restaurant. Since the place was packed with people, he sat outside on a wooden bench. Next to him sat an elderly monk who asked, “Where are you going, young man?” “I am going to study under WuJi, the Boddhisattva,” he answered. To which the elderly monk replied, “Instead of looking for a mere Boddhisattva, you’d be better off looking for the Buddha.” The young man was surprised at this and asked, “Do you know where I can find the Buddha?” “When you return home,” the elderly monk said, “a person wearing a blanket and with shoes on the wrong feet will come to greet you. That person is the Buddha.” After hearing this, the young man hurried back, arriving at his home. In a joyful haste to greet her son, the young man’s mother threw on a blanket and accidentally put her slippers on the wrong feet. The young man looked at her and was suddenly enlightened. 

According to Swedenborg, truth is the way love becomes real in the most effective and appropriate way. In other words, where there is true love, there is also truth. Thus, truth is never found in a faraway location, but right here where we actually live with each other. 

My brothers and sisters in God, let us take a moment of contemplation on this matter. Do we really know and understand the teachings of Jesus? If so, are we becoming more loving and kind beings to each other? 

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee