Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Inner sensation and the kingdom of heaven


Green Tara, Rubin Museum, New York

 Christ said, the kingdom of heaven is within you. (Luke 17:20-21.) He also said, if thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be filled with light. (Matthew 6:22.)

 Both of these statements relate directly to inner yoga, and the action of the heavenly spirit within man.

 If the inner eye is awakened, the kingdom of heaven becomes a constant presence within man. Man is not removed from his humanity; he is wedded to it. This is a marriage between the inner and outer parts. Like all marriages, it involves compromise, because two differing Beings form a union that gives birth to a different sense of life. Readers should contemplate the idea that the action of marriage in ordinary life is a reflection of the marriage that takes place in an inner and an outer life. Much thought and attention can be devoted to this question.

Christ explained things in these terms to the Pharisees, not because they were incapable — in fact, they were highly educated men — but because human beings tend to understand the kingdom of heaven as a psychological state.

It cannot be a psychological state; and to think of it is an unhelpful thing, because thinking already destroys the truth of what it is.

Psychological states flow from it and result from it, but the kingdom of heaven itself is an inner revolution that begins with sensation of a new kind. It is an organic event, not a mental one. The mind cannot produce the kingdom of heaven; as Christ said, no one can produce the kingdom of heaven and show it to another person.

But the kingdom of heaven can shine with light within a human being as surely as the sun shines with light in the daytime.

It is a very different kind of light. Light does not just consist of what we see radiating from the sun. Light is a substance that informs and creates everything that there is, and some forms of light are, to our organic perception (that is, our eyes) completely dark. It is this light within darkness that transforms the inner Being. The attention must be carefully attuned and intimately engaged if one wishes to understand this question of light within darkness.

 In inner yoga, we confront a mystery of Being. The kingdom of heaven is Being; and all that is Being, comes from light. All darkness-in-life — I speak here of the darkness of our ordinary manifestations — is dark exactly to the extent that it is separated from this inner light.

Men and women see and lament their own dark inner and outer deeds, but understand no connection here. That which is disconnected from the inner eye, and cannot see, can only work in darkness. To the extent that the inner eye is open, and the inward flow of the sensation of heaven reaches a human being, to that extent deeds may become more illuminated, and outward action more harmonious.

But thinking of this does one no good. One can think this into the ground without good results. The opening of the inner eye must become permanent, so that it is always feeding life in one way or another. In this way, the inward flow from the kingdom of heaven into life can raise the correct questions, gradually dissolving the hardened kernels of negativity that prevent a man or a woman from receiving their life properly. In order for this to happen, the kingdom of heaven must become an active force within life, not an idea of some magical place that is out there somewhere.

The kingdom of heaven is everywhere, and can arise and express itself anywhere, at any time — for example, right now, in you.

I was walking the famous dog Isabel  (who, alas, grows ever older) with my wife earlier this morning, and got onto the subject of these hardened kernels of negativity that people form. Most of mankind is composed of these hardnesses: crystallizations, as Gurdjieff might have called them. One rejects this; one rejects that. Politics, religion, economics, whatever you want: all of it is to be rejected in one way or another.

But above all, we reject people.  An inner eye that is closed and shut off from the kingdom of heaven can have no real honor or value of others. This is where the danger lies; because in rejecting humanity and rejecting relationship, rejecting the other, and acting without an active attitude which is inwardly formed through Love and the action of the kingdom of heaven — this is where we take our first step through the gates of hell. Heaven and hell never come later — they are both with us right now.

 This is why seeking an organic sensation of Being is such a vital act, and why Jeanne de Salzmann's work is so absolutely essential to understanding what Gurdjieff was trying to convey to us. The reality of Being — the reality of presence — is nothing other than the opening of the inner eye so that the kingdom of heaven can begin to act within a man, secretly, in the sacred place where he forms a covenant with God.

 May your soul be filled with light.

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