Monday, March 3, 2008


I am on the road once again, cribbing time to offer impressions from airport lounges and other ordinary places.

Nothing, however, is ordinary. I see this again and again as I travel, finding myself in circumstances where the body is saturated with the unfamiliar.

To be blind--to be dead-- as the words are used in the New Testament means to be immersed in the ordinary and to take it for granted.

We're all like this; this is sleep; believing it's all "normal." In sleep we fail to touch and be touched by the delicate nerves that connect us more firmly to reality-- a lack, as we have discussed many times, that proceeds directly from our lack of inner unity-- our lack of impartiality.

"Revelation" means, among other things, that which is revealed. Life itself strikes me as a continual revelation.

No matter what anyone says--and there are a lot of people who claim they know--we don't know who we are or why we are here. Take a look at how large the cosmos is and try to interpret that.

That work of understanding is not a predetermined work which can be delivered a priori, that is, before the fact. The work of understanding this life can only take place within the living of life itself. A priori, the only thing we can be sure of is that we are in this body, having these experiences. Everything begins there, and everything follows after it. We can paper the walls of perception with assumptions and conjecture all we want: the arrival of life in this moment continues to defy our interior decorator's impulse.

And we are interior decorators: for what happens inside us takes place within a structure, an inner house. The fact that we want the walls, ceilings, and floors of that house to look a certain way is a superficiality. Such decor is according to the whim and opinion of the artist. In devoting far too much time to decorating the walls, we fail to attend to the soundness of the structure: making sure the roof doesn't leak, that termites are not at work eating our foundation. The connection between the mind and the body is equivalent to the attention of the engineer, the one who makes sure the house--beautifully decorated, to be sure--won't collapse.

So life arrives unexpectedly, miraculously, immediately: as a sending from that intangible "other side" of reality which Ouspensky mentioned on the very first page of "In Search Of The Miraculous." --The real side of reality, the one unadorned by our festive wallpapers and exotic furnitures.

Here is this life, meeting the body, flowing into the senses as impressions: inside and out, a continuous encounter with the unknown. It may seem familiar, but I know that it isn't: every new moment comes as a surprise, from a certain point of view. The work of knowing is being in front of this living stream of truth as it arrives. Being in front of it from inside, from the point of view of more than one part: from the point of view of both the inner and the outer.

If the energy in the body is more rightly ordered, if the senses are receptive through the organic sense of being, we see that the immediate impressions of life itself are a food that we are always eating. If we eat with more attention, if we eat with more participation, then we eat well, and our sense of satisfaction is better fed.

Can we breathe life in? Do we know what that means? Can we physically, tangibly drink life itself as it arrives at the doorstep?

What heady wine would that be?

These are questions worth asking, as we seek the connection with the inner self, that self which is not devoted to and corrupted by our ordinary senses. To me, the work of understanding lies within this question--the immediate effort of receiving the food of life-- "this daily bread"-- and understanding that life itself , as it arrives at the doorstep of the self, is the transformational sacred bread and wine of the communion.

I'll be posting next from Shanghai. Until then, all be well.

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

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