Saturday, May 18, 2013

Applying Inner Energies

I suppose if one wants to discuss joyful manifestation (which only becomes possible through the toleration of a great deal of suffering) one also ought to consider the question of applying inner energies.

What is the point of opening to a higher energy? Do we want to attain freedom or liberation? If so, what do we want to be liberated or free of? And why should we be free of it?

Opening to a higher energy cannot just be a form of inward narcissism, in which one blissfully merges with the Divine. There is a direct responsibility to mediate the inner forces of higher energy with outer life, and to offer them generously and unstintingly to others. This does not mean we dissipate ourselves, or spend energy foolishly; it does mean we learn to actively act with kindness and compassion, that is, actively in the sense that we attentively come closer to the Divine kernel within ourselves, bring it into relationship with the ordinary body and our personality, and express it outwardly in a natural and gentle form that considers others.

You can tell how much people are working by whether or not this is taking place in them. Every kind of cruelty, criticism, or faultfinding that manifests is the result of a failure to correctly channel a higher energy into a situation. These manifestations masquerade as some kind of authority, but each one of them is a falsehood. The truth is discovered within the loving manifestation between human beings as they encounter one another. A manifestation that is not loving is, at its essence and ultimately, untruthful. It does not acknowledge the higher; it falls into the lower and consumes itself. When Gurdjieff said that we all live through lies, this is what he spoke of.

One might think that this sets an impossibly high standard, and from the point of view of this level, it does. But we are speaking of levels here, and the truth of a higher level has this standard as its ordinary condition, not a special one. We measure everything by this level — as I said before, we live in the age of false measurements — and thus we do not understand what the manifestation from a higher level consists of. There are so many within our society posing as ones with authority who do not manifest properly that one can't even count them. This includes spiritual as well as political and social leaders, artists, and so on. (It's often the simplest and most unpretentious of people, the ones who aren't trying anything special, who most effectively get out of the way of a higher energy and allow it to do the work it is supposed to be doing. The irony is apparent.)

In attending to my inner energy, I asked this question of myself constantly, because I must suffer, tolerate, and interact creatively with my negativity in every step I take. It is ubiquitous and unyielding; if I go against it directly, I can't find a way around it. I have to be a sly man, a clever man; I need to ignore it, in a certain sense, and to even actively tell it to go back down to the place where it came from, recognizing that it is not me. So, as I converse — I am taking a real example here — at dinner, and see one selfish or unkind thought after another arise, produced by the machine that generates these things, I tell each one of them quietly, responsibly, and gently to go away. I don't have to believe in them; they aren't me. But I do need to take the energy of Grace that I have been gifted with and actively use it to wag my finger and say "no" to each of these little demons as it arises. There are times when they are going to be stronger rather than I am; but the more I come into relationship with an energy that informs — that inwardly forms — the more I am able to say no to these things.

And I have to be innocent myself. There is a need to show up in the midst of life, untouched by my own paranoias, concerns, and the usual nonsense I dream up about how everything is wrong, and just ignore all of that stuff and be with the people I am with. 

See them as human beings. Who are they? What are they doing? 

They want to be touched by something positive, and I may be able to give that to them, if only I am a little more attentive. I can help them by offering some of this energy I have so carefully cultivated and tried to become open to. It wants to be with everyone; it doesn't belong to me. It is my duty to share it. 

But first I have to be there, and then I have to see that I must offer it generously, without attaching it to my negativity.

This, in any event, is how I see the practice. Others may disagree.

May your soul be filled with light.

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