Story-day is for cultural exploration, puraanas and parables and finding out about leading lights in spiritual philosophy.
|image (c) Yamini Ali MacLean|
Yesterday a distinction was made between the 'dis'believer and 'un'believer'; the latter not being a correct usage and the former being anyone who argues against a case. The principle applies regardless of the philosophy being propounded. Here of course, we are talking in terms of God and Spirit.
Nicodemus was a pharisee, a senior one at that. The allusion in the verses here to his 'coming to Jesus in the night' refer to chapter three of John, wherein 'Nic' seeks out a sneaky interview with the feisty young upstart who clearly does know a thing or two... not that he wanted his Sanhedrim colleagues to catch him thinking in this manner! Nicodemus, it seems, despite being comfortable in his position and having favour of all in Jewish society as well as good standing with the invading rulers, was still enough of a spiritual seeker to think more deeply on some of the things witnessed of Yeshu; he states quite clearly in John 3:2
"Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him."Note that 'Nic' even addresses Yeshu as 'teacher'. He is in fear of being found even talking to this 'rabble rouser', yet he is irresistibly drawn to the young man. He questions the concept of 'Kingdom of God' and how is it possible to reach it. He is unsettled by the answers he receives, for they are not direct; rather it seems that Yeshu knows the question is asked with a a closed heart and mind. Which is proved when, on hearing the response that 'no man can reach the Kingdom except that he be 'born again'', the pharisee declares that he does not understand!
This is because the idea of surrendering the physical is foreign to him. He thinks literally, asking how it can be possible for a grown man to re-enter his mother's womb...only to receive more cryptic clues, when he is told that he must think of the wind and how it cannot be summoned but that he must stand and wait for it.
We all know that wind exists. It is not always present... but if we are patient, if we wait on the spot long enough and keep alert, we will feel it, even a little before it comes; then will feel it brush our skin. Like this, the Kingdom is with us at all times, we need to be still enough for long enough and have the patience and faith. It will come.
Herein lies a clue to "actionless action". This is a key aspect of a sattvic nature, the deepest tranquillity, the fertile ground in which the fullness of spirit can flourish.
At some point, 'Nic' does accept that there is something more for him to learn and a way to progress; for he turns up at just the right time to provide service in the removal of Yeshu's body from the cross and locating a fine burial chamber for it. 'Nic' may have been an establishment figure, but he was not entirely shut down to spiritual possibilities. What is more, he questioned, he took the answers with him (shravanam); he mulled them over (mananam); then clearly he had drawn some conclusions and married the concepts up with his conscience (nididhyaasana).
A seasoned sage who understood the growth which can arise from appropriate pruning.