That sentence, in its essence, sums up the truth of the situation. I construct an entity which I refer to as “myself,” and I drive it with an engine called the ego, but it is a construct; a veneer layered over depths that are filled with a lifetime.
The conjunction, the totality of all of the results of what has taken place up until now, might rightly be expected to have some kind of clarity, but it doesn't. My being is in shadow. Efforts to grasp it invariably result in failure; yet all of it is there, just not in an organized form that is tangible.
This is because I am partial. The only thing that ever brings me together into a place that seems more real is the genuine participation of emotion. All of the connection between the body and the mind that one likes, in the form of sensation, can take place, and yet there is the distinct impression that this is not enough–that it is inadequate.
Only in making the effort to be in relationship with others does emotion truly enter. It's interesting to me to see the sense of organic satisfaction and the truth of the moment when I discover myself in relationship with another human being. At that moment, it's possible to see the rightness of relationship with others; it's also possible, sometimes in minute detail, to see all of the egoistic engines and tricky machinations that inevitably deploy themselves in the midst of relationships, all of which are turned either towards making people like me, or getting something from them.
A number of contradictions arise here, because it's possible to see both the higher, more impartial impulse, and the lower one, simultaneously, if one makes the effort within the moment.
We truly do find ourselves poised between two worlds.
One of those worlds is an inner world that draws me deeply into myself; the other one is an outer world that draws me inexorably out of myself. It's much easier for me to firmly place myself in one or the other world than to sense them both at the same time. Why is that? I don't know.
What seems certain to me is that there has to be a way to discover a unity that includes and blends all of the many different elements in this universe I refer to as myself. And what seems equally certain is that I cannot accomplish this alone. I need help.
This time of year–the Christmas season–is when Christians worldwide remind themselves, figuratively and literally, that we need help in order to become something more real. The season reminds us, furthermore, that the exact nature of that help is a mystery, and even has some perhaps magical and mythological qualities to it. This characteristic is shared in common with almost every major religious movement. Only atheists–the tiniest of minorities on this planet–believe that human beings can exist without this understanding.
I need to truly understand, with the deepest part of my being, that I need such help, and I need to discover how to call for it from within parts of myself that are usually silent–parts that can, in fact, from their silence itself issue a call to a quality from a higher level which can help inform my effort.
May our prayers be heard.