Sunday, March 9, 2008
Laws, parts, understandings
It is easier for me to see the actions of parts than the laws that govern them. It's rare that I catch a glimpse of what is whole, and begin to taste a relationship between my parts.
It's much more common to sense the lack of relationship between parts-partiality-which condition, more often than not, leads to the arousal of negativity.
I had a challenging day in the office today and had to discover an inner "stop" on a number of occasions in order to go against what I would call "immediately negative impulses." This isn't a rare event. It always goes like this with me.
Oddly, I see that these immediately negative impulses share something in common with a state of greater inner unity: they are organic. That is to say, they arise from the same source that the organic sense of being originates in. This is what gives them their force: a force which is suddenly and unexpectedly drawn from the reserves needed for a better kind of work.
So my negativity is born of my partiality. It represents the expenditure of something that could easily-with a little restraint, with an effort of containment, serve a higher purpose.
Going against immediately negative impulses isn't easy. There has to be a certain amount of preparation, of presence, there to begin with. In other words, if I don't lay a foundation within practice-if there isn't an effort to encourage inner unity in advance- then there's no mindfulness available within the moment where the negativity needs to be seen as a force separate from, but arising within, the self.
Without that, I become my negativity. I start out identified with it and have no option of detachment available to me.
One of the potentials here is to see that in the practice of containment, we can derive a great deal of energy from what might otherwise have expressed as negativity. And here I recall a story about Jeanne De Salzmann. Someone once asked here where she got all her energy, and she replied, "from my negativity."
May your roots find water, and your leaves know sun.