Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Digesting one's life

Not so long ago, I mentioned the idea that every day, one must completely reform one's life all over again, reassemble one's inner world at the beginning of the day, and prepare oneself to receive all the new impressions of the day that follows.

I thought that the idea would be worthy of some further comment.

When Christ said that we cannot put new wine into old bottles, this is exactly what he was getting at.

Each day, I must become a new vessel in order to  hold all the impressions of that day, which are sufficient unto that day, and to nothing else. Each day is a new beginning where the entire contents of my life as I have experienced it so far must be reformed. I need to make a conscious effort first thing in the morning to wrap myself around my life, the entire contents of it up until that moment, including all the new impressions of the day before. Each day, you see, our life is completely re-created, because all of the contents of the day blend with every other experience already recognized, and our entire inner world is reevaluated and re-created in the light of that new combination.

 At that point, I receive the new impressions of this day into the vessel of this body, this life, which is a container for everything I experience. It's as though the potter needs to sit down at the wheel every morning, center the clay all over again, form a world out of it, and then open a new space within it for material to flow into. Each day, the vessel has to be formed all over again in order to receive what arrives. It is a constant process.

This process of digesting my life is essential, and it cannot take place without Presence. If I'm not present to this process, if I don't make a conscious effort to participate in it, everything proceeds by accident. It's only by taking direct responsibility for the re-formation of my life each day that anything can begin to take place in any way other than automatically.

 This isn't an intellectual formulation of my life, in which I remember facts. All the parts of my being need to participate in the reassembly of what I am; the severed limbs of my being need to be stitched back together through intuition, sensitivity, awareness. I assemble myself—and I  prepare for what will arrive.

Reforming my life is not a matter of accepting my life; it isn't a matter of rejecting my life. Both of these actions belong to the circulatory periphery of my personal enneagram, to personality; they are judgments, not experiences. And what I need to do above all is to experience my life, to inhabit it, to intuit it, to understand it with more sensitive parts than the intellectual mind and its dualistic limitations. There must be a moment when a single note, a whole tone of “I am” is struck: a new beginning for a new octave.

The idea of acceptance is one that we frequently encounter in religious practice, and there's a great deal of validity in it. Yet it isn't enough, because it imparts a polarity. I accept, or I reject; either way, I have adopted a form, taken a position. What is necessary is for me to inhabit and to see. I need to see all of my contradictions, and to live them—not set myself apart from them, as though I were different than what they are. They need to be inhabited and suffered.

The meaning of suffering, of intentional suffering, is to be present. No one can digest their life without the action of presence in their Being.

 This presence is a presence of love. It becomes intimate with my life and what I am, immersing me in the experience, seeing it from as many sides as possible. This love does not accept or reject; it abides.

 I respectfully hope you will take good care.

1 comment:

  1. thank you! A 'presence' of love...have to keep working at that.


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