Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Difference and indifference
There are times when work seems to come more easily, when an inner state is more ordered and tangible; then there are the times when life itself seems to fracture – not necessarily in any outer way, but in an inner way – and one finds oneself in the midst of confusion in the many fragments that constitute one's Being.
I think this is lawful; Betty Brown used to say that we can't expect things to be available all the time, and that work waxes and wanes like the tides. We all want to be on a flood tide, rising towards fulfillment, but the reality is that we often find ourselves in a hundred states of separation, having to reassemble ourselves over and over again in the midst of our own inability and doubt.
The eternal presence of Grace is often the only touchstone that can guide us as we see this confusion; it brushes lightly against life at just the moments needed to remind us that the dreamlike chaos we inhabit does, after all, have a polarity around which it can organize itself.
So there is a need for trust, and faith.
For me, every day is quite shocking, really. It is completely new and different; I must see over and over again how I am, how I don't actually know any people or even anything (I pretend I do), how each event requires me to take one step after another into a complete and, should I dare to admit it to myself, even frightening unknown.
And I see quite clearly how unfeeling and uncaring most of my reactions to others are. I put on a good show, mostly to myself, inside myself, but if I am willing to be honest – well, what an unpleasant character I am, really. I wonder why others tolerate me.
I avoid this kind of realization most of the time by remaining asleep to it.
Does nonattachment, non-identification, this lofty and supposedly removed (it isn't) state provide me with a refuge? (It doesn't.) We are meant to be immersed within life, not separated from it by the pedestals we park ourselves on. This means that inhabiting the fracture and the confusion, as well as my reaction to it, is both a reality and a requirement.
To be detached, to let go, doesn't mean to be indifferent or removed from the situation. It actually means to go towards the situation, to be within it in a different way.
I am able to rely on Grace as a presence; I am able to rely on sensation and even relaxation as tools... and most assuredly, the Lord does not withdraw his Love... even when we are unworthy.
I am unable, however, to make much damn sense of where I am, or what I am doing. Each event is unique and will never come again; I see that I am hardly present to that fact, even when I am aware of it. Perhaps I sense my own lack more acutely than ever as I see how utterly confused my inner state is--even as I manage to effectively project an outward air of intelligence and professionalism.
The machine knows how to handle itself; what is aware does not. It is, today, in a state of question that contains, paradoxically, both a stillness-- and the understanding that what is proceeding inside is more or less what happens when a bunch of different ingredients are thrown into a blender.
Perhaps the critical reminder here is how absolutely dependent I am on the intervention of higher forces if anything real is to take place in me.
I'm waiting... am I waiting for nothing?... something? I don't know.
But the effort to relax and let go, while remaining attentive, seems to be the only alternative, and the only possibility.
That, and to continually intone:
Lord, have Mercy.
May our prayers be heard.