Madonna and Child, by Garofalo
Vatican Museum, Rome
Photograph by the author
One ought always to be in relationship with an inner force.
Yet perhaps this doesn't mean anything in the present moment. If there is no openness to an inner force, if it is not known within sensation, how can one come to such a thing, except in theory and in the mind?
This is where things always begin, in the intellectual mind. Yet they ought to begin in the sensation of the body. And even if the sensation of the body is the beginning, it isn't enough. Only when feeling participates does anything whole begin to appear.
So how do we approach wholeness of Being?
The rules that have been established are useless, because they are rules that begin and end in the mind. While we're responsible for bringing form into Being, form is what happens after Being is established, not beforehand. It's this inversion of priority that destroys the possibility of Being.
It would be better, perhaps, to have Being with no form than form with no Being; yet we always have form with no Being, because this is the ordinary arrangement — what conforms to the laws of this level. And there is still a dilemma, because to have Being with no form is also not enough. The two manifestations require one another, and are reciprocal. It's the sacred duty of human beings to help their conscious manifestations inhabit the territory between these two forces.
Since we are inverted, and since the inner force is what's weak, this is what we need to concentrate on sensing. In a certain way, the organic sense of being, the connection to the body, is what we lack — and although we lack everything, everything can be broken down into parts of everything, one significant part of which is the connection to the body. This is a fundamental place to begin, because it lies near the root of where work effort ought to be focused. You cannot build a building if the cornerstones are not laid; so we need to begin here in the body.
In a sense, the birth of Christ represents the manifestation of the material, the embodiment of the sacred and transcendental property of The Reality within the material universe. Every moment in which anything exists represents the birth of the sacred within the material; and this is an organic birth, that is, a birth that begins with the ability to sense. When a baby is born, it emerges from the womb within sensation, fully engaged in the tactile encounter with its own Being and the material world. Perhaps all of the miracles of infancy and childhood are embodied in this encounter; and it is this encounter that we forget as we grow older.
Lillian Firestone gave us the fine book The Forgotten Language of Children, in which she tries to refer us back to these questions. The language of children is a whole language, not defined by words alone; because it reaches into territory encompassing feeling and sensation, it reminds us of parts we forget as we enter adulthood.
The inner force that is required for life is always present at birth. It is always present now; but the connection to it has been lost. It's only in this present moment, without any theories, that one can refer back to the inner force and try to discover what it might mean for it to be alive in us again, as it was when we were young.