Sunday, February 10, 2013
A position of prayer
There is much snow on the ground this morning.
A great deal of life looks like a burden. Perhaps even a terrible one. This is how the ordinary self understands many things; it is limited to the material circumstances that surround it. And the ordinary self is insensitive to the actual nature of material circumstances; it is unable to see.
To see is to understand material circumstances quite differently. To see is not just to observe, but to participate with the assistance of a higher energy which brings a new level of understanding. Within this understanding, to see is to know that everything that exists is an absolute and immediate expression of the Lord, and that the essential action of life is one of acceptance and participation.
My inner attitude is wrong. It forms around material circumstances and many nuggets of corruption that creep in over a lifetime; they form a thick, hard crust over the essential kernel of life and Divinity that rests at the core of Being.
I speak about acceptance, but if I look closely, I see that this attitude is what I accept.
I think, from within my attitude, that this is what acceptance consists of; and that if I adjust my attitude to a good attitude, then I am accepting. But this isn't how it is at all. My attitude — even if it's a good one — is exactly where the problem lies. My attitude is what needs to be completely surrendered.
Jeanne de Salzmann advises me to change my attitude. But that change is a change that requires not just an adjustment of the polarity within my existing attitude; it is the abandonment of the attitude that I own so that room can be made for a new attitude, in which a position of prayer is assumed.
The position of prayer assumes itself; it informs on its own. I don't pray; I am prayed. Making room for the entry of a sacred force naturally bows the body, the entire Being, in an inclination towards a different level of acceptance.
Inwardly, I turn East, towards the Lord; which is the direction in which the angels always face.
Then suddenly I see how everything is a blessing. I see how every single thing has been quite exactly given by the abundance of Love which is the force that drives the universe; and the abundance of Wisdom that guides it. This is not, any longer, about seeing myself and how I am. It isn't about me at all, except in terms of my relationship, and my lack. All of the ancient practices of prayer had a kernel of understanding of this kind at their core; and it is always in the direction of this kernel, this small place which is quite exactly held within the attention of Being, that my search can be conducted. It is a sacred place that every human being is given, and has responsibility for. Woe to those of us who fail to attend to it. There is an accounting.
Perhaps I shouldn't fear that; even the accounting is one of Love, not the punishment we inflict upon one another and ourselves. But I ought to be wise and understand that I may find an unending anguish, in the end—not because the Lord wishes me to be anguished, but because I have not attended to my responsibilities — and I find such anguish... or, should I say, it finds me? — an accounting for every moment that I don't attend to these questions.
The entire Being must be pointed in a new direction. It can't keep going the same old way. It's lost; it doesn't know the first thing about where to go. I can only discover direction if I am willing to give my life over and to ask for help. This involves a constant struggle against the ego which thinks it knows — and, oh, my, this force is ubiquitous. It drives everything — even perceptions of inner work. And there is no humility in us; we just think about it or talk about it.
Real humility is born in the organism from the Lord's gifts to us, from Grace, and the ego cannot coexist with Grace.
May your soul be filled with life.