Thursday, July 5, 2012
As my teacher Betty Brown used to say, constant change is here to stay. The change may have been less than constant, but it's staying. A new impression.
One of my repeated themes is how important it is to recognize that we are here to receive impressions. We may think, in the midst of our day-to-day life, that there are many other reasons for living and for acting, but really, the only concrete service we can perform on behalf of God is to receive impressions. That's what we were created for; it is through the Grace of Being and the Grace of existence that we are capable of receiving impressions, and it's through this Grace that we acquire the ability to perform this task, in varying degrees, according to our inner development, and then only in direct accordance with the wishes of the Lord.
I know that sounds complicated; in reality, the only complicated question is why we don't receive the way we ought to. Receiving is not just a Grace; it's the motive force in life, it's why one gets up in the morning, why one eats, breathes, relates to other people, and it provides all of the force necessary to feed us and keep us in good state. Gurdjieff actually made this quite clear when he said, in In Search of The Miraculous, that if a man stopped receiving impressions, he would die almost instantly.
Did you ever wonder why that is the case? Well you might.
The awareness of the fact that we are beings manifesting and living on a planet is distant from us most of the time; that's what sleep does to us. Yet a certain level of inner vibration can allow things to come in much more deeply, so that the food of being here on this planet is much more intense, much more exquisite, colored with experience and truth in a way that is unattainable in any of our ordinary states.
In this way one may see how one is in a three-dimensional space that exists not just outside of us, but inside us as well; we are the whole universe, and everything that is in us extends outward infinitely, to encompass the entirety of existence.
This may sound a bit like hyperbole; but it isn't. Each man is, in essence, an instantaneous and simultaneous summation of the whole of the entire universe. Each one of us is like a single facet of a diamond which, in its one face, reflects the entire world and all of the light that is in it. So there is no distinction between me as I am and the world as it is; we are congruent, we are simultaneous, we are together. This sensation of separation, created by this creature I call “I,” is an artifact. That is what isn't real. The whole world, the whole cosmos is real; God is real; all of the impressions that arrive, the forces at play within this organism; they are what is real.
Taken apart or together, they are the nameless mystery whose face we fail to gaze upon.
The highest calling, the highest art that a human being can engage in, and the deepest impression of beauty, all come from just seeing, just taking in an impression correctly. Nothing else need be done; and the amount of Grace that is bestowed upon us for work of this kind is limitless. We can't measure it, because every true impression is immeasurable, just as every true impression reveals one of the immeasurable names of God.
I've said, in a number of recent posts, that various features, conditions, what have you, are various properties of God. But in fact, every manifestation is one of the properties of God.
We choose these overarching metaphors for inner states and attitudes to understand that it is our relationship that helps to create the properties of God; God could have no properties, if we did not take in impressions, and there were no relationships.
The action of discovering the properties of God on the universe begins and ends with consciousness and conscious effort.
In this way, we are not only created by divinity; with the rest of the universe, we forever participate in its re-creation. The arrangement is reciprocal; and we are touched by Grace in exact proportion to our efforts in this area.
This, too, is one of the properties of God.
I respectfully hope you will take good care.