Thursday, September 27, 2012

Stillness

The intellect must be given its due, and we cannot dispense with intelligence and still approach life in a meaningful way.

Those who reject all answers are merely rejecting all responses; and although perpetual questioning may strike a noble pose, it belies the fact that all of life is a relationship, and everything is a response. The cosmos is built of interactions; responses. One thing calls; another answers. All things are constantly in movement. Anyone who believes that an answer is the end of things is mistaken; anyone who believes that there are no answers is equally mistaken.

So we need intelligence. We need to search.  The search is composed not just of questions; and not just of answers. It is a call and response affair.

There are also times when the intellect needs to be put aside. It dominates too much; and we don't understand its place. There is also a need for stillness to come.

 I don't craft stillness with my meditation practice. I prepare for it. It may come; it may not. I can pray for it, but that does not mean it will exist. Stillness arises and subsides according to its own laws, laws I am unfamiliar with. Nonetheless, I'm familiar with stillness; it can be a friend, a lover, in the same way that my innermost self is a lover when I reach for it, tenderly.

And what of this stillness?

There is still a relationship. It is a response, but it is a response of a different order. Because it originates in a place other than myself, and simply manifests itself in myself, it has a different quality. Sometimes to respond is to be still. In these cases, one need breathe very little; one can just be quiet, and simple.

What is the merit of quietude and simpleness? The merit is in not knowing. One simply is quiet, and quietly simple. The action is sufficient unto itself.

Perhaps when I am like this, I can see that actions can become sufficient unto themselves. In not serving the external, and not moving in relationship to outside forces, they begin to serve in a different way than what I'm familiar with. So stillness is a movement into the unfamiliar, part of myself that I don't know.

An action that is sufficient unto itself is sufficient unto God. Actions that are sufficient unto the day (the external) are quite different than actions that are sufficient unto themselves. One is evil, strictly in the sense that it is entangled in material things; the other is intact.

 Even as stillness subsides — and it will subside — a kernel of this stillness remains. It can be carried into the day, intact — as I always remind myself, meaning, untouched. I try to carry this kernel of an untouched stillness in me, even in the midst of the most hectic part of the day. I may not always remember it, but its continued presence, which has a life of its own, gently reminds me that it exists.

It becomes a support for the action that's necessary in the external world.

I respectfully hope you will take good care.

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