Tuesday, April 12, 2011

River, Dog, Hill

Notes on today.

I never know quite where I am, or what is going on.

This seems to be because I don't have the presence of mind. By mind, I don't mean the mind that runs the show on this ordinary level. That mind seems to be reasonably functional most of the time. What I mean is a certain kind of intelligence, a presence, that is informed by a higher energy. I say informed, because this intelligence is inwardly formed by the presence of this energy.

I need to be there–that is, to be here–in relation to this energy. There is no other practice. The invention of words and ideas, and the pasting of them onto situations, does not pass for work. Only the sensation–the feeling–the intelligence of a finer energy, which is perpetually trying to reach me, can help to inwardly form a relationship to the real.

Its connection to my ordinary existence is generally transitory and ephemeral; yet the sensation that it is here with me never completely goes away. The difficulty is that I am unable to attend to it in a meaningful way.

Even the marginal presence of a finer energy offers me the opportunity to invest more deeply in my life, to inhabit the condition I am in, and even to do so seeing that I am, in a certain sense, a blank slate. When I am walking the dog down by the river, climbing up the hill, there is nothing there but river, dog, hill. There is no need to carry anything else in me, and there is no need to refer to all of the insistent contexts that are not with me: work, electronic devices, the Internet, money, politics.

I see the presence of all those elements in life as ideas passing through me, but they are not real in the way that the color of the marsh is real, or the way that the ruby crowned kinglet preening its feathers is real.

The real is immediate. The real is in relationship to my investment in this life. It isn't in my head being made up from moment to moment. It is an impression that I am receiving.

So I'm puzzled by this, because my understanding isn't very clear. There is an elemental state that is possible, a tabula rasa, in which I stand in relationship to this world, to this body that is inhabited, the sensation of my cells, the feeling which penetrates me as the world comes in, and the intelligence that perceives it-- all of it standing independent of the analytical facilities that are still in operation.

What is this? I don't know. I stand, mildly bewildered, at the intersection of forces I am unfamiliar with.

There are times when the feelings become so sensitive that even the slightest impression is overwhelming. At times like that, the sense of the world becomes quite definite, and yet completely other than my usual sense, which is blunted.

There is a need for me to stand in suspension: between both of these worlds-- invested in this world, and in relationship to a force which comes from places I do not understand.

Here I am.
No matter where I go, the river is around me.
I am surrounded by hills, and my dog is loyal.
Somewhere in me, there is an unerring sense of gratitude.

May our prayers be heard.

1 comment:

  1. After reading this posting, here is what is coming up for me.

    I have taken the opportunity over the past several months to delve into The Reality of Being, The Fourth Way of Gurdjieff by Jeanne deSalzmann slowly and carefully. After the first go-through, the portion that is vibrating in me the most is the portion about actually LIVING THE TEACHING. I realized once again that I don't actually live the teaching even though I know a significant portion of the lingo and can navigate through group meetings and work periods and discussions and movements and read all the Work books and blogs like this one.

    But a perpendicular thrust (perpendicular in the sense that it's at 90 degrees to what has gone on up until now, and not just more of the same) of the teaching is now appearing in the world and in the literature. This blog appears to be part of that thrust.

    This perpendicularity (I love saying that beautiful word) started for me with the Ravindra book on Madame deSalzmann, Heart Without Measure and has continued thru the two Frank Sinclair gems and now more recently Notes on the Next Attention by Shaw.

    There is something else in the air, I feel. It is more than something ABOUT the Work (of which there are tons of garbage out there). It IS the Work and the vibration is fairly clear.

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