Friday, December 21, 2012
Deeper into Feeling
The subject arose as my wife and I discussed the illness and recovery of a friend of ours who has multiple myeloma. We were asking ourselves the question of why we cling so to the outer life, the life in this body, when it seems so clear that there is a life of the soul that exceeds that of any physical Being. There are many questions raised here; but we live in the confidence that there is an inner life that is quite different than what the outer Self clings to.
One of the last things that Mme. said before she died, as I understand it was, "Be there in relation to a force. Then it doesn't matter so much what happens." I still have the words, written by my teacher on a slip of paper at the time she died.
Be there in relation to a force.
This force is the real force of life, the force of Self, Purusha, that force which is expressed in and through us... not created by our bodies, which we seek to save and preserve with our heroic medicines. What Mme. wanted us to see above all when she spoke of "seeing our lack" was how we do not understand this force within us. Not how we don't understand it as seen with our intellect; it's not an exercise for the mind. We need to see this lack with our feelings. The process is a journey into feeling, and without feeling, without a true expression of the deepest and most sacred kind of emotional understanding of this lack in me, nothing much is possible.
Satisfactory progress in work of this kind is to not be satisfied with one's progress. I always fall short. In sensation of the Self, I'm drawn inward. Each step is a step deeper into feeling, where the essential separation between the Self and its point of origin is more thoroughly experienced. This question becomes a specific point of organic investigation. I often refer to it as a point of intimacy. To become intimate with something is to make it known to myself; thus, in intimacy, I know myself.
I sense this presence of intimacy in the wholeness of life.
I am called ever deeper into myself by these inner efforts. After I have defined all the territory with my reading and my discussion and my words, I am drawn into places that are composed both of light and of darkness; that contain both the movement of intelligence, and its sister force of the unknown: those places that defy all my definitions.
Both are necessary.
And I am asked to do the impossible. To know, to understand the transcendent is the impossible; yet I must try. It is only in seeing the lack of my ability to approach this question in a right and a real way, over and over again, and feeling it with all of my parts, that something can be called from above to help us.
This is why I must see my lack; it is a call for help.
They say this is the shortest day of the year of the northern hemisphere; yet the day is exactly as long as days always are. It is simply the day when the least light reaches me. The less light that reaches me, the more I ought to work; and so this day calls me to put in the longest day of work, in an inner sense. It is the time when the gates of heaven are opened just a little more, and a bit more help is sent; all of this symbolized by the arrival of the Christ child.
Help arrives when the hour is darkest; so in contemplation, I confront myself in the darkness, and reach towards the light,