Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No Certain Words

Yesterday was a day filled with the deep promise of the color of spring. The blue sky, sun, and birdsong overwhelmed me with their perfection.

Is life just things that happen? No, it is a rich wine I am invited to drink--if I am up to some serious drinking.

I take the famous dog Isabel for a walk in the park. We set off into the woods, walking on less familiar paths.

I pause to examine a single briar vine, decorated with tiny buds and the ever so smallest green leaves.

Every set of leaves emerges from this pink stem as if by magic. The edges of every leaf are tipped in splendid red.

My sense of familiarity consistently betrays me. Suddenly I see--filled with life, expressed within the magnetic experience of this organism I inhabit--that nothing is familiar.

I don't know where I am; I don't know where I came from; I am never sure of where I'm going.

Within the midst of this mystery, all of the parts that clamor for acknowledgments, for recognition, for something more concrete to hang the hat of my ego on, take a back seat.

If there is one thing the inner path and the opportunity for work affords me, it is the courage to admit that I know nothing. In the midst of my knowing, my collections of facts, and the vast repository of not-inward-formation our technology and society have produced, it's possible to look at a single tiny leaf and admit that the truth within it is inexpressible. It doesn't matter how much biology one understands; it doesn't matter how much analysis I engage in.

If I truly become more open, none of this is necessary.

Of course, within this moment, what expresses itself is not of the mind. Or, rather, it comes from a mind that is more whole, unique, composed of multiple parts, and able to sense in a way that the intellect alone cannot comprehend.

Accompanying the sensation of this moment is a deep and lasting sorrow.

Should I call this remorse?
Remorse of conscience?
A sensation of the sorrow of God?

There are no certain words for life. Men would have them, just as they would have happiness, and joy, and a thousand other things that desire produces. But if I take just one step past desire and into mystery, I discover cravings that do not spring from the obsessions I usually occupy myself with.

There are ten thousand paths that point towards joy; there are another ten thousand paths that point towards detachment and freedom.

But how many paths point us towards the sorrow at the heart of the universe?

A quietness can be born in which I appreciate the bliss of unknowing. This stillness invites a sensitivity that is more willing to receive.

May our hearts be opened, and our prayers be heard.

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