Tuesday, October 9, 2012
This question has been much alive in me in my work of late.
There are many different religions, philosophies, cosmologies, and intellectual arguments. I always find myself caught up in one or the other, sooner or later—even if my argument is such that I say one should reject religion, philosophy, cosmology, and intellectualism.
So I'm always taking a position.
This kind of activity is attractive. I take positions for or against what happens in outer life. But I never see my own inner position. Gurdjieff taught stop exercises; and it's easy to see how a body stops, externally, and where one is in that position. At least, it's a simple thing relative to a stop that takes place inside, where one sees the pose one has adopted in an inner sense.
I am here to receive an energy, not to expound philosophies. My inner position determines how receptive I am; this is a question of only one relationship, one position, and that is the position of Being relative to God. If there is no Being, there is no position relative to God. Nothing is there.
And the only way to allow Being to become real is to receive the energy of Grace, of Love.
Hence the direction I must take: one turned inward, and upward: then outward, not one turned outward while it considers the inward and the upward. The inner arrangement has to be different, different enough to allow something to penetrate; and there's no need to discuss much of anything else. I need to keep this point of work in front of me over and over again, all day long. Actually, an enormous amount is taking place in this action: I believe that it is distant, that I only experience something remarkable or feeding once in a while, here or there, under special conditions. Yet the energy that creates life is ever present. If it wasn't, I'd be dead.
And I forget that.
I forget that a direct attention to this living energy will create a set of conditions that encourages it to express itself in a new way. I forget that this is always possible in one way or another. Yet I can come back to it, over and over, all day long. It is a friend; maybe even a lover. And it has a true love for me that I don't have for myself. What I think I am has little love for anything; it has many other characteristics, most of them defined by what the Christians call the seven deadly sins. It wants, instead of loving.
Wanting can be appropriate, but only under the circumstances where what I want is to submit to God. This wanting needs to be unconditional; intact, untouched. It ought not to be tied to a request for anything other than the expression of God's will. That is to say, if I want wisdom, spiritual elevation, enlightenment, I already want what I want, not what God wants. To wish for what God wants is to wish for that and that alone.
In my conviction that I'm special, I think that God must want me to have wisdom, spiritual elevation, enlightenment, and so on. But perhaps God doesn't want that for me. My presumption begins right here; I think I can know what God wants. Surely, if He loves me, He must want all these good things for me? And maybe He does. But the position of the servant, the receiver, the one who works, is not to presume that they know anything of what the Lord wishes. The position of the servant is to wait to hear the Lord's wishes. Perhaps if one is an excellent servant (I am not) and has spent many years in service, one can anticipate some of the Lord's wishes; but one can't take a list of wishes the Lord has had in the past and be sure that is what He will wish today. So one must want the unknown.
Furthermore, every object, event, circumstance, and condition is an expression of the Lord's wish, and they are constantly changing. So the Lord does not have one wish. The Lord wishes for everything. I'm incapable of understanding that and always will be. I am in the habit of narrowing things down to a tiny little set of wishes, which stand in contradiction to every flower that blooms and every leaf that falls on the ground.
So I don't know what the Lord wishes. I don't know what this energy of relationship will bring. I do know that only an intimacy with it, only this one work, will bring me closer to being a servant who listens. Who has the capacity to listen.
And if I trust this, everything else will fall into place.