There is something compelling about those are passionate and engaged in life. Two blocks away from the hotel in Singapore is a small Buddhist temple. As the auspicious time after the Chinese New Year draws to an end I found people flocking to the temple. Young, old, rich, and not so rich were coming to a sacred space with incense and an attitude of worship. From the externals it didn’t seem like people were putting on their Sunday best, rather they were bring themselves in whatever state of being best represented their preparation. As the sweet smell of the incense flooded the courtyard and spilled over into the street where I was standing I found myself wrapped in the Asian experience.
Here there is no separation between who is going to temple and the person you meet on the street. You cannot distinguish the person giving respect to their elders and the friends chatting over Starbucks. Life is an integrated whole. Celebrations are joined in with enthusiasm and engagement. Historically Jesus followed the same pattern. “When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem.” (John 2.13) Jesus engaged in the celebrations and party of his day, following the same pattern set before and around him by his family and friends.
I wonder about the times in my life that I keep things separate. Is there room for facades where I go through the motions without any hear or soul behind the moves? The answer isn’t quite as simple as it seems, especially when one looks at life honestly in the east or west. People spin illusions because they have their own lives to lead. The prime difference I find in the east is that there is little reason to construct a spiritual fa?ade. You are simply who you are. You know, God knows.
As one struggles to answer to the complex part of the questions the process leaves the simple question unanswered, awaiting a decision. Are we engaged in life, fully and completely, or not?