“Sacred Lotus” | Anthony Satori
“When the ground dissolves beneath me, I float.”
– Alan Watts
When I consider this statement by Watts, I place it in what I would call the “present eternal” tense. This is, of course, not an actual grammatical tense in any existing language, as far as I know. But for me, it holds a very special place in the lexicon. It is a way to say, “This is true, right now; but it is also true in a manner that transcends the limitations of time and space.” For example, when we tell someone that we love them, from the depth of our heart, I believe that we are speaking in the “present eternal” tense. This is because true Love exists outside of the limits of time and space. Similarly, when God told Moses that His name was, “I AM,” I believe He was indicating that He, in the same way, inhabits this transcendent, eternal realm.
Now, let us consider the sacred lotus. Its roots are sunk deeply into the earth, anchored firmly in the loamy mud at the bottom of a lake, pond, or slow-moving river. The lotus flower derives stability and nourishment from the depth of its roots, and yet its blossom lives far above this stratum, perched weightlessly and elegantly on top of the water. There it lives, peacefully aloft, supported by a bed of leaves, suspended effortlessly above all of the darkness, dirt, and tumult swirling below. When the ground dissolves beneath it, it floats. This is the lotus blossom’s sacred nature, now and always. It was created to live in the sunlight, to transcend the darkness of the water below, just like we are.
The lotus flower also has the rare ability – an ability usually reserved exclusively for animals – to produce its own heat. Consequently, it can regulate its own interior temperature and thereby moderate its own internal state of being in response to, even in direct contrast to, its environment. In addition to this, a dormant lotus seed can remain viable for hundreds of years, with some documented cases of dormant seeds over even 1000 years old re-awakening and successfully flowering. It doesn’t take much to see why this wondrous flower has been a source of fascination and inspiration – as well as a mystical symbol of transcendence and longevity – for artists, poets, and spiritualists alike.
So, the next time you feel stuck in the mud, exhausted by the murky tumult that swirls all around you, remember: you are a sacred lotus. When the ground dissolves beneath you, float. This is your sacred nature, now and always.