Corn chips and theology


Smile of the Beyond

A few weeks ago, I dreamt I was at our little diner in Jamaica, Queens- “The Smile of the Beyond”- founded I think in 1975.  It’s just a little breakfast house tucked away between a laundromat and a dry cleaning store, and is operated by fellow devotees of Sri Chinmoy.


It was late at night and my dear friend Sanatan, who passed away a few years ago, was working behind the counter, maybe cutting vegetables.  He used to do a lot of the chopping, I think.  He also worked as a merchandiser for local supermarkets.  Unknown to most of his colleagues in the outer world, Sanatan was also an artisan, a craftsman, an artist, and an absolutely sleepless server to my Master, Sri Chinmoy.  He was a rare breed.  I miss him very much.

I asked him in my dream a very simple question: “Sanatan, now that are no longer alive, now that you are in the soul, can you tell me something about God?”

And Sanatan just paused in his chopping and he reached for a bag of corn chips and opened it.  He reached inside for a chip, and before biting down on it he just looked at me and said, “I am what I am.”

What does this mean?  I think Sanatan was trying to warn me against unnecessary intellectualization.  God is something to be experienced and felt, not to be analyzed.  God doesn’t care for our mental analysis.  God just is.  Sanatan is telling me to live in the heart.  The heart accepts life as it is.  Only through accepting life can we transform it.  I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, where I saw a graffiti mural on the wall of an underpass- it was an image of balloons in the evening twilight, all different colours.  Hovering just above the other balloons was one sky-blue balloon, set off against the dark blue of the sky.  Inside this balloon there was just one thought-bubble.  It said: “Be.”

Just be.  One of Guru’s books is entitled “God IS”.

God is.

“I am what I am.”

Thank you, Sanatan.

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