Annunciation, Gentile de Fabriano, circa 1425
Amidst all our imperfections, there is a perfection of Being. This is a small thing which is generally hidden from us, but it opens on to an immense and heavenly landscape which we have no intimation or understanding of. We'll always be in that position of not understanding.
There is a general understanding in fundamentalism that the only meaningful activity in life is the worship of God, but this often becomes expressed through a series of austerities and mechanical rituals. The concept is true, but such action is false. Worship of God is attained not through deprivations or formal ritual but by living, through the deep and loving sensation of Being which can accompany any action.
This is not our own deep and loving sensation, but that which is engendered by the Lord Himself. When we sense and feel, once a firm and true contact is established, the expression becomes perfect because the source is perfect. Alas — how far we fall short in this enterprise. Yet we have to try.
A grand gesture of attention isn't helpful. There needs to be very precise kind of seeing, and observation that centers around this intimate understanding which I so often speak of.
This intimate understanding is on the order of not understanding; that is, in understanding intimately, we submit to the fact that we don't understand. The deeper the intimacy, the greater this understanding; and so it leads us into a mystery, the same mystery that is presented by the cloud of unknowing.
One can summarize one's entire life and take a look at where one is in this moment, and see that there is in fact a perfection of Being; but that perfection emanates from a higher source, a different level, which we are incapable of understanding. One has to feel and sense that within one's body, taste it, roll it over the tongue of one's intelligence and savor it. Because it is only through the deep sensory experience — and by sensory, I mean within all the means by which we take in the impressions — of these qualities of mystery that we begin to see that all we are capable of doing within each day is putting one foot in front of the other and doing our best to go forward.
The perfection of Being can be trusted. Nothing else can.