Monday, June 4, 2012

Don't mix things up

American Elm Tree
Tallman State Park, New York

It occurs to me that there's a temptation to try and apply what one learns about life through inner work, and somehow directly apply it to outer life. That is to say, we want to mix our work up with our life. We may think that work in life involves taking some work principle, like the law of three or the law of seven, and using it like a screwdriver to apply to a relationship, our job, or some other situation.

In a certain abstract sense, it's true that everything functions according to laws of this nature. But the delusion that we can somehow apply them is dangerous. Understanding of law is mostly useful from the point of view of understanding one's own inner development—not outer brouhaha. And the act of mixing the perceiving, the seeing, with what takes place is a form of adultery.

 The act of seeing, the act of inner observation, ought to be a sacred act. The act of perceiving is what God sent us here to do. It's not supposed to be contaminated by having us use it to "do" this, that, or the other thing. It is supposed to exist by itself, in a pure state, as itself, as what it is.

It needs to be separated, alone, and secret.

The stillness of inner work lies within the seeing. There is never any stillness in outer manifestation—outer manifestation is always a stirring of water. The inner life, the perception, needs to be quite clearly understood, seen, and held apart from life. Not aloof from life—that would be quite different, because the inner part does have an action, but the action belongs to itself. Seeing belongs to itself. Perceiving belongs to itself. Trying to throw them into the muddy water serves nothing.

 Separating oneself from one's self is allowing the part that is still to be still, and the part that must be a movement to be in movement. They come together within a moment of consciousness, but they are separated. Mistaking one for the other is a mistake; trying to force one to be the other is a mistake. And so much of what we think is inner work unfortunately consists of trying to force what is in action and movement, what is and must forever be external, to be still and internal. We have a square peg and we are trying to ram it into the round hole of our inner life.

One can't begin to understand this principle of not mixing without many years of work. Anything that one comes too quickly which one thinks answers this question or explains the situation is already wrong, because what we seek is a flavor that only develops in Being after many long years where the pot has been quietly simmering on the back of the stove. A great deal of patience is needed in order to begin to approach this understanding.

The arising of meaning through relationship can't be perceived without the act of seeing. But the act of seeing needs to be a secret, an inner action of an intimate nature that is never on public display, and never intentionally mixed with the outer. It must be perceived itself, and even this third force of interaction between the inner and the outer must be understood as a question of a relationship, not a thing.

Conscious awareness of that which sees, which stands one step back from life as a presence that is vertical, upright, correctly aligned within Being—this can be an aim. Gradually, one begins to see how one inhabits two different parts, and must maintain an intelligent and responsible consciousness towards both of them.

This tripartite form of experience brings with it a meaning that grows within the organism and the psyche, not within the achievements of external life.

I respectfully hope you will take good care.