In regard to my last post on the question of the nature of inner and outer relationship, I would like you to try something today. Perhaps you could try it more often than just today; perhaps all the time. It depends on how interested you are in who you are.
Bring, insofar as possible, to some moment, this conscious sensation and idea: I am the vessel.
This is the essential action of the Dharma: you are the vessel within which this truth, in this moment, is expressed. Actually, we have been chosen as these vessels; appointed, if you will. That is the way Ibn Arabi expresses it.
I have said before, we are vessels into which the world flows; and this is true. But perhaps more importantly, we are vessels through which the world circulates. And each of us, as vessels, has been chosen to express a particular truth, which we are given the opportunity to participate in in a conscious and organic manner.
Each vessel receives and holds the living impressions of other human beings and creatures; and this action of life and impressions is what forms the body of God. There are times when one can sense this, if one is quiet enough. One can know what one is a part of: not in any intellectual or conceptual way, but just very gently, sensing within one's self and one's Being. At such times it becomes apparent that life is quite different than what the ordinary world would have us believe.
I find this sensitivity to be critical to any action. Without the organic sense of Being, and the direct understanding of how I receive and express life, life itself seems flat and uninteresting. When an inner sense of gravity arrives, everything immediately falls into place around it. It contains its own stillness, which draws all the world back into it and makes it whole.
Sensing the action of the vessel as it receives impressions can really become the most interesting thing that happens. It is the essential action of life, and yet generally speaking no one senses this.
I recall the first day this ever took place in me. I broke down in tears because I realized that I had been on this planet in a body for 46 years and until that moment I had never actually been alive.
I didn't know what life was, and all of the experiences and assumptions I carried within me up until that moment had been impossibly wrong, wildly off the mark. The experience reminds me now of the conviction I carried for thirty years that I was an artist; entirely untrue, as it ultimately turned out. I had no clue of what I was. I was just following the best subjective form I could find.
It's not remotely enough to understand this sensation of the vessel—not just the vessel, but even more importantly its action—intellectually, philosophically, conceptually. It must become a part of the marrow of one's bones. In doing this, we receive those around us into ourselves, in an intimacy that must be cherished in a new way—a way I am not really up to, but I have to try.
May your soul be filled with light.