In the early hours this morning, I was joined as I sat outside by a frog. Living in what’s essentially desert, I’m always happily bemused when such a companion comes to sit with me… and it got me thinking about creatures and beings.
A creature is that appearance and complex web of relationships that transforms continuously until its final dissolution into dust. A creature is both a spot on a timeline and that entire timeline. This morning, in the cool darkness, the frog and I were two creatures sitting companionably.
A being is an experiencing at a time and place where probability becomes physicality. A being has no timeline, for it ceases to exist just while it’s being created, and it has no characteristics other than love, for it is actuality coming about by being chosen. We are all beings – or, to be more accurate, we are all being. This morning, some of the children of God perceived each other as a human, a frog, and trees.
The difference might seem pointless, but it’s defines the very essence of what we’re doing here. The creature point of reference for action is always toward gain – whether that’s in the form of territory, food, self-improvement, wealth, relationships, or whatever. But the being doesn’t ever act at all – it simply experiences, it witnesses. The creature can never be happy, for there is always more to be done, but the being is always happy, for it is already whole and complete. If you identify with your collections, you’re choosing to be a creature and unhappy.
If you want to change your circumstances, then by all means work at it with all the cunning and animal intelligence you can muster. But changing your circumstances will never make you happy – because happiness requires unmasking the being, making identification with the creature as thin and transparent as possible. Sitting in meditation and prayer, cultivating peacefulness and compassion – these are the methods by which we center into the current moment, our beings, our souls. If you identify with your ground of consciousness, you’re choosing to be and to be happy.
And the distinction of identification, of happiness, of creatures and beings, decides all of society. When you have a relationship that has elements of hierarchy or control, it is a relationship between creatures. When no difference exists at all between consciousnesses co-existing as children of God, it is a relationship between beings. Thus, we can pity or despise the creature while honoring the being; we can improve our communities without forgetting the essential worthiness and beauty of all living creatures.
At the bottom, the difference between creatures and beings is the same difference between all form and meaning. The creatures are always transforming, always changing and arising or subsiding. But the beings are always the same – just while they’re always new, amazing, and miraculous. And even that’s an over-complication, because they’re just different waves of the same eternal ocean of love.
Knowing that, how could I not be astounded when a frog came to sit with me? Knowing that, how could you possibly consider your current struggle with weight, money, or relationships as a truth more profound than the song of birds you might experience just outside?
May all beings experience love, light, and enlightenment, dear hearts.