What Was Your Original Face Before You Were Born?

In these troubling times, I will try to offer a few words of wisdom from my spiritual learning in the Zen Buddhist tradition.

What is the meaning of the koan question, what is your original face before you were born?

It alludes to the unity of all things, the assumption or assertion that our identity is not the consciousness created by the current body and brain we have in the present moment, but that individuality is just an illusion, everything is the same thing, eternal energy which cannot be created or destroyed it only changes form.

The molecules of oxygen and water and carbon that make up your body are constantly moving in and out of you, becoming used to make up other bodies, other brains, they were formed in the center of stars, that exploded, before the earth existed.

Going beyond that, what happened before the big bang? My personal belief is that it was the big crunch, of the previous universe, an endless cycle that could have no beginning, and no end, or it wouldn’t have the causality required to do anything. The big bounce theory.

The Catholic priest who made up the big bang theory suggested it was proof of the literal truth of Genesis, and the majority of scientists at the time agreed with that theory, except for Einstein.

He got death threats from the church when he wrote a book about how he called the universe God, but not a personal God who thought like a human.

He said he favored Buddhism and Spinozism and was Agnostic Pantheist, or Panentheist, which is an interesting concept.

This suggested that God is an eternal being, made of the same energy that makes up the universe, one and the same thing, but that it brought the universe into existence, out of itself, using itself, as eternal energy.

This allows for the possibility of some kind of design, or creative force, that we can’t understand, or come up with a scientific theory for, but doesn’t try to claim it as true, or put it ahead of scientific theories, such as the first law of thermodynamics.

I’ve gone a bit off the main subject of what your original face was before you were born, but the point I was making was, whether energy is made by a creator God, is God based on a different concept of the word, or is eternal, based on the first law of thermodynamics, there is nothing that isn’t a part of the whole, a part of the endless cycle of life, the cycle of the universe, or the cosmic “plan”.

So, while it may make sense to make arbitrary distinctions between good and evil, selfishness and selflessness, love and hate, joy and suffering, the truth is there is good in everything bad, bad in everything good, and it’s all basically the same thing.

This is why in the Hindu tradition, which preceded Buddhism, in India, there were thousands of “gods” most of whom were people. Or perhaps, there were an infinite amount of them.

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