Yet another post from the KAL business class lounge in Seoul, Korea.
There is a sorrow at the heart of the universe.
It is an endless sorrow born of love; a sorrow that knows no limitations. It is the sorrow of a parent for a lost child; a lover's sorrow for the death of the beloved; a regret for the very presence of time, let alone its awesome depredations.
Gurdjieff called this sorrow-- which, he tells us, every three brained being has an obligation to make an effort to sense --"the sorrow of His Endlessness." It is the sorrow of my master, the sorrow of our father. And somewhere within the depths of my soul, in the crevices where the parts of me that are not stained by this world are hidden, I smell the sweet, hopelessly eternal musk of this sorrow. Rising up like a fine perfume to color the experience of this world in a perfect way that joy could not.
This sorrow, however, is not sorrow alone; it is made of joy -- paradoxically, it is joy in itself, turned over and discovered in antithesis.
How can we hold the sweetness of time, of our life, between the sieve created by our fingertips? It's impossible. Everything passes --and this, perhaps, is the essential heart of the sorrow. we live, after all, in a world -- yes, in a universe -- of impossible beauty, a universe where beauty is revealed in every passing moment, in the movement of every photon, and the position of every electron.
It may sound romantic to put it that way, but it is true. And it is romantic in the sense of adventure, not sentiment. It's the very magnificence of the enterprise of cause and effect that evokes the emotion of sorrow at its transitory nature. Having created and embodied this endless perfection, God cannot but feel sorrowful for an inability to confer eternity on every event.
Gurdjieff once told Ouspensky that the difference between them was that Ouspensky sought beauty, whereas Gurdjieff sought consciousness. It may be, in the end, that to try to distinguish between the two is to split hairs.
All of this touches on matters too vast to comprehend. In the bliss of an inhaled breath with presence, in the sensation of the body within this existence, we can touch more closely on the question -- the mind alone can conceive of it, but is unable to sense it in ways that are meaningful. But we will never be able to plumb the depths of this mystery, which gives birth to every cathedral, every symphony, every dance.
When touched by this sorrow, we are called to work within ourselves even harder to become open to the presence of God, and to share the burden of this mystery and this sorrow.
May your roots find water, and your leaves know sun.