Monday, October 8, 2012

Naturally arising

In this question of energy, perhaps I don't see that there is a naturally arising energy. I need to come into relationship with this naturally arising energy — not force it, not demand it, not manipulate it. I need to approach it gently, as a question, with some love and some intimacy.

It has a different quality than that of my ordinary manifestation. What is this energy in me? Where is it located, now?

Everything that takes place in me that is real is something that is naturally arising. All around me, the world is perpetually and naturally arising. This was Christ's whole point, in the sermon on the Mount. Each phenomenon He cites arises naturally, according to and within the grace of God; what need is there, then, to force it?

Yet I force everything. I want this, I think I am powerful in that way. And so on. I don't form relationship. I demand relationship; I tell relationship what it should be.

Relationship is a teacher. It knows precisely how things ought to be; it arrives, it arises naturally, and it helps me. But I say no to it. Apparently, I think I know better than relationship. If God came to me this morning and made this, that, or the other thing clear to me, perfectly clear, I still would argue with God. I don't want anything to arise naturally; I want it to arise through the force of my ego.

All of my effort at inner work ends up being like this. What I'm lacking, fundamentally, isn't anything more than an awareness of what arises naturally. I might be able to see that almost everything in me in this regard is unnatural; but I can't. The unnatural seems quite natural to me. All of the contradictions in my life begin here.

This question of understanding the energy is quite important, because the energy can only be understood through the energy itself. Thinking up this, that, or the other thing about the energy is pointless; energy is an evolving, a moving, phenomenon which needs to be inhabited. Any intelligence of a finer energy is a name of God; and these names, which inevitably distract us because of their inherent limitations, fail to convey the sensitive and extraordinary manner in which each one of them manifests when it is real, when it is not interfered with. Mercy, for example, is an energy; Compassion is an energy. Both are Movements. If I don't interfere with them, if I don't try to make them what I want them to be, and instead, I allow them to arise naturally, I can participate in a finer quality of these energies. But if I try to make them what I want them to be, things don't work out so well.

Of course, everything looks great going in. When I want things to be like this and like that, they start out just fine. It's only when they go crashing to the floor that I discover I wasn't ever in charge in the first place.

A sensitivity to this energy begins with an understanding that the energy is the point; not the conceptual framework, or the words that are used to describe it. To come into relationship to that which arises naturally is quite different than to make something happen.

If I am quiet, that which arises naturally will come. It's much like waiting very still, in nature, not disturbing anything; soon, animals I haven't seen before will appear, miraculous creatures which go about their business and tell me a great deal about where I am and what I am doing. But instead, I rush about noisily, getting things done; and none of the miraculous things want to collide with that kind of force. It's not that they are that delicate; I probably can't really hurt them. But they don't want to have anything to do with such nonsense, which disturbs a natural arising. And I can see the difference between myself and themselves, because they coexist in a natural condition where, although there is always struggle in danger, their response is appropriate, rather than exaggerated, like mine.

 There are many different orders of knowing this question, and each one of them is valued. It's not as though the intellectual knowledge is useless; and it's not as though the practical knowledge can complete itself, without any reference point in language. They need one another. But above all, the need needs to arrive from that which naturally arises, not that which is imposed upon it.

When I consider what I lack, perhaps what I lack the most of all is a sensitivity to this naturally arising order, which comes before me, and to which I am — should I wish to be — in service.

I respectfully hope you will take good care.

1 comment:

  1. I had looked quite carefully at the flowers. I had a dream in which these flowers presented as giant purple peonies/sunflowers, some ten to twenty feet high on long straight stalks with dark green leaves, and planted between two crystal clear 'swimming pools' of life-giving waters within a residential retreat of some sort. I have recently been considering how grateful I am to be in touch with two authentic spiritual traditions.
    Thank you, Lee. Much appreciated.


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