Saturday, December 15, 2007

After a set of posts that seem to be largely about theory of one kind or another, it seems time to delve into something a bit more personal, and a little less structural.

…Why spend time studying the theory? …What are we working for?

…What good are words?

Well, words may not be much good. It’s true. What we seek within, after all the explanation and understanding that we can muster, turns out to be much more sublime and mysterious than any form can offer.

What we seek, after all, comes from somewhere else. It is not familiar, it cannot be familiar …and yet we struggle to define it in familiar terms.

It is only when we reach the threshold of this stranger’s house that we understand that the stranger is truly a stranger. The house may appear to be familiar…from the outside… but if we enter, when we meet the master of the house, we discover that we know nothing of Him whatsoever. So little do we know, that in that very meeting we realize our essential relationship consists of ignorance… we do not even know ourselves, and in that encounter with the other, everything we think we may know about anything is quite honestly shattered.

In our search for Being, it is necessary to stop imagining. As Jeanne de Salzmann once said to a dear friend of mine when she told her she was finding visualization very difficult,

“Well, of course. …You are too thick.”

The other half of what we are is born from forces beyond the ordinary: forces that, for lifetimes, we only hear rumors about, forces that are assigned fantastic, mysterious, and magical powers… in short, forces we seek to describe on our own terms.

It’s exactly these terms of our own that betray us. If our search forever remains a negotiation within the familiar, how can we encounter anything new?

There is a good deal of trust necessary in order to open our hearts to a higher force. Within myself, I detect a lack of that trust; I struggle with it, knowing all the while that my life, inner and outer alike, stands poised on the edge of a possibility that eclipses all that we know and all that we think we are.

I want everything to turn on vast and majestic understandings “out there.” What I do not understand is that everything turns “in here”—it turns on this moment—that all the vast and majestic understandings are contained within the here, expressing themselves within the now. And that expression, in its very intimacy, becomes infinite, as though the lover, in the once-and-for-all moment of truly, selflessly loving his beloved, enfolds the whole universe in that selfsame love at that same time.

This is flowers unfolding and petals spreading bliss. It lies within the breath, within the body and blood, within the sacred sacraments of the food of Being. This unleavened bread—impressions not inflated by the vacuous air of my ordinary associations—is the food of life, just as the water of inner life becomes wine, in the act of consciously drinking it.

It is in the acceptance of our nothingness that we discover we are something; it is in knowing we are small that we become large; it is in submission that we gain freedom.

May your roots find water, and your leaves know sun.

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