Sunday, July 26, 2009

There must come a silence

I just returned from a week of retreat at the conference center.

During the week, one of those negative comments that turn up on occasion popped into my mailbox. It was filled with the usual judgments and accusations, proclamations that I don't know how to work, implications that the writer "understands" more than I do, and so on. These negative comments are so predictable--and very nearly identical-- that they would be funny, if they were no so sad.

This is the kind of material I don't want to bore the readership with; those who want negativity can go find it elsewhere. There is more than enough bitterness and anger to be had on the web in other places. Hence, in keeping with both the policy and the aim of this blog, the comment will not be published.

Allow me to make the point even clearer. I come from the Welch line of work--I knew Dr. Welch personally--and this is not how we work. The stated aim of the Welches was to pass on the teaching of Gurdjieff's work with love, and I will not betray it. Anyone who works in any direction that does not first root itself in an effort at compassion and love has failed to understand even the very first thing about this work, and working in general. Anyone who has further questions about this should refer to Ravi Ravindra's fine book, Heart Without Measure.

Now, of course, I do not write here in order to teach, just as--I hope-- you don't read it in order to be taught. This is an effort to raise questions, to explore together, in a spirit of compassionate awareness of our lack of awareness..

We come together--whether here or in person-- to share in an effort which must be valued, just as we attempt to value every other human being around us. We may-- we will, we do-- have ugly thoughts, but they are our property, they are our own responsibility, and it is up to us to work within ourselves to deal with them, insofar as possible. Outwardly, the effort must always be to practice containment, restraint, and compassion.

This brings me to the subject of today's post, which is silence.

I have said on many occasions that there is too much talk about silence, so I will try to keep this brief and to the point.

We must all carefully examine our collective addictions to text-based mysticism. Man is engaged in a vigorous worldwide enterprise of turning flesh into words. Instead, we must consider how words can become flesh. The essential mystery of the Christ lies within this question.

This is the aim: to let the words become flesh. To let our practice live in the flesh and not in the words; to let a quietness fill us and to enter into life as living, breathing beings,

not collections of words and phrases.

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


  1. Oh Lee you are so right!...God bless you and your Blog...It is about striving to "be" better than what we are (hopefully) seeing,feeling struggling wit at the moment...Anyways any conflict begins within not outside of us...Thank you for the reminder to remember...e*

  2. I referred your post to a lady in India who, in turn, sent me the following quote, which seemed apropos:

    The heart's the essence, words only the accident.
    The accident's accessory, the essence is what matters.
    How many more phrases, ideas,metaphors can I stand?

    That said, do, please, continue writing!

  3. Lee, I've been wondering in terms of the real flesh we seek to inhabit....what is the actual relationship of negativity to the silence we seek and in turn its relation to dharma by way of the possibility of being three centered rather than one or two centered?


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