Thursday, December 7, 2006

The inner structure

I've been very fortunate of late.

There's a lot of serenity in my life. I'm blessed by a great deal of work to do, challenges to meet, family and friends to support.

This means I have to be active a lot and do a lot of things I don't want to do, and deal with difficult people like my wife and children and friends and co-workers.

And myself.

So my plate is full and I'm under a lot of pressure: financial pressure, pressure of relationships, pressure at work.

Technically speaking I should not feel serene at all. So I've been trying to figure out just how, and just why, I can have a hands-down, yell-at-each-other fight with another person and still feel pretty darn terrific inside... and not even really be mad at them. How I can be under tremendous pressure at the office, with certain situations absolutely melting down, and yet still feel that life is... well.. fundamentally OK.

Certainly a large part of it comes from working to form a support structure inside- which is very different than the external structures I discussed yesterday.

After all, an inner structure, if it's sound, can be far more durable than an outer one. It has a resilience born of the fact that it's built out of my natural parts: not ersatz mental concepts I imported from books about psychology or architecture or even my various esoteric disciplines. It's tangible and immediate and more practical than that. It's built out of breathing and digesting and eliminating. Out of loving and thinking and exercising. These are pretty durable qualities.

So part of this improbable serenity is the inner support structure, all right. But perhaps more important than that is what the inner support structure connects to. That's much more subtle. And it's up to each seeker to discover that for themselves, because the reflection of one's inner gems cannot be put into words. Collectively they call on something much more essential- and expansive- than the corner my personality usually backs me into.

Serenity may be felt by the emotions, expressed by a quality of mind, and sensed by a relaxation of the body, but it's born of seeing the rich pasture of relationships within my organism, and seeing the relationship of the organism to life.

Within this pasture, gratiutude arises. I see that my wish is to become ever less of a warrior and ever more of a farmer. To take those swords of my negativity and not beat-but coax- them into plowshares of support and compassion.

It's no fun hacking people up, anyway. Competition does not serve- it demands. Some people never seem to get tired of it, but I for one am increasingly worn out. Sure- I can, and will, play that role as long as it's demanded, but, as the ineffable Mr. Gurdjieff once put it,

"only with my left foot."

These days I just want to raise a little maize on the back acre.

Have a terrific day, everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Inner structure. Yes, this is the magic clue to serenity in the midst of the swirling currents of outer life. Most people think that they are in charge of their "whole selves." They think that they have only one single body which incorporates the physical, emotional and mental processes, rather than understanding that they have several bodies, only the first of which, the physical body, has been given to them in a stable form as a gift -- as a starting point; as a booster in this strange realm called Earth which is situated at one of those pivotal points which in music might be called a dissonant interval, which demands and begs for resolution. But the inner bodies, which might well be characterized as emotional and mental bodies respectively, are not given the form that the physical body has been given gratis. They are like clouds of different densities. One could almost speak of them as states of a single substance; solid, liquid, gas. But this analogy only goes so far. The more important fact that these bodies exist without structure is that they are much harder to formulate into sensible and stable bodies. The emotional life runs hot and cold without our being able to do anything about it. Our thinking processes run willy-nilly and hither thither with no control placed upon them whatsoever except by outside events and demands.

    It is almost as if we knew how to make perfume but did not know how to make bottles, so that the perfume just disburses as it likes, spreading through the room and approaching Brownian motion. That's an ordinary life. If it weren't for the physical body -- that is, if the physical body were taken away, and it will be at the first death, then what will we be left with? A chimera of ghostlike forms -- the emotional and mental selves evaporate and dissipate quickly. They have no bodies, and have only been clinging to the physical body by a kind of magnetism which dies when the physical body dies.

    When Lee speaks of an inner structure which can be more durable than the outer one, and that it can be serene even while the outer appearance is one of great violence storminess, it indicates either the presence of a second body being formed or having been formed within oneself, the results of a very difficult work on one's self and a work which takes a very long time, because it's a chemistry project that requires time and pressure and intentional efforts.

    It is rewarding to read of this possibility. There is nothing a man can achieve that other men cannot achieve, if they know the recipe, that is, if they know the alchemical rules and if they work.

    This particular entry in this man's blog reveals the results of work. One should not surprised that the results of work on one's self are surprising. The formation of the second body is always surprising and its birth is unexpected, and it comes in the midst of a terrible labor. There is no other way.

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