Sunday, April 21, 2013

To just live

  I see that very little thought goes into life.

One blurts out any old thing without thinking. One doesn't take the measure of things. I could be much more attentive and much more careful in the way that I think, first, and before anything else. If I were paying attention, the intellectual part would quite clearly see what is needed in terms of outward expression. There would be a connection between the inward state of attentiveness and the outward expression of life.

A connection of this kind need not be advertised. It need merely be lived. The inward state of attentiveness meets the outward state that is necessary; and one immediately understands that one will lose nothing by acting with kindness and generosity. Perhaps one even understands that the exchanges that take place require an attentiveness in order to affirm their sacred qualities. Or perhaps one doesn't; but one at least has a chance.

 There's a great deal of discussion about whether or not the intellect is worth much; body types weirdly believe that the body is somehow superior, and emotional types fervently believe that the feelings are superior. But the intellect is entirely necessary; and it needs to be invested in attentiveness in order for a connection with the body to be formed, and a relationship to receive feeling to be created.

 One can ponder too much or overthink exactly what an attention is; but it does have the quality of intelligence, that is, a perception that is inwardly formed, and that sees exactly how things are. In this case, I am able to bring a different quality to my reactions, even when I am engaging in rather ordinary exchanges, sharing stories, making suggestions, listening to the ideas of others, and so on. All of these actions can be attended to by bringing my parts more together while they are taking place. The intelligence has a vital role to play in this action.

This isn't some lofty spiritual practice or some form of inner magic; this is just being attentive and simple. The results of an attention of this kind, a simple attention that more actively intends a connection to life, can be quite remarkable. They speak for themselves. Then I don't need to get tangled up in analysis of what the Self is, how to remember it, or how to forget it. I can just live.

 It's often said that the idea of inner work is to take the work into life; and yet how often is this done? One shows up at spiritual events of a dozen different kinds and thinks that that is where the spiritual work takes place; whereas, really, the spiritual work takes place at the cash register when I truly take a look at the person who I am engaged in exchange with. It takes place when I make sure that the cat gets some attention. It takes place when I remember that I need to attend to relationship with the people around me; not in some exotic way, but in a quite ordinary way.

 So I really need to be in my life. To be in my life with a precise attention. Of course, I can't do everything; this is going to come and go, and I have to allow that.

But I can make the effort.

May your soul be filled with light.

1 comment:

  1. totally. One thing that concerned me about the various exercises of attention was that 'one' was in fact using people - the relation isn't really authentic at the cash register if you're trying to 'sense' your left hand while chatting...I even remember pauline de dampierre saying don't do it with your friends or family. Nice one. It's tricky but simple - use a school and graduate....


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