“Why when I point to the moon do you gaze at my finger?”
This is how I learned the saying, though I acknowledge there are many versions, and I can’t be sure of the source. I am, however, certain that this phrase well sums up my experience, and well reflects the message Ken shared with us last Sunday.
For me, this phrase is how it’s all reconciled inside me. When I am aware of a finger pointed, I don’t stare at the outstretched digit, create a shrine below it, urge others to observe it, bow to it.
I look to where it points.
I appreciate the finger for providing the direction, and I celebrate that which it directs me to.
From this perspective, I can honour, respect, and celebrate the finger that is Islam, the finger that is Christianity, the finger that is Buddhism, the finger that is Judaism, the finger that is Paganism, the finger that is…
Each finger—each tradition, each faith, each practice, each guru, each teacher—is pointing at the same, at that which is beyond sight, beyond language, beyond systems. And from my perspective, each is equally valuable in doing so.