Sunday, June 29, 2014

A complexity of depth: on the question of the good

There is a difference between life and Being.

I so often seek goodness from my life; and there is goodness in life, but the goodness is not of life. This is where I get confused, because the goodness is not in life itself, but in Being. 

Being encounters life, which is an objective force without any inherent goodness of its own; everything in life just happens. It is in Being that goodness arises; and the goodness is in Being itself.

So if I attempt to get a sense of my life from life and within life, I may not get much of a sense of goodness; but if I seek goodness in Being, if I sense the goodness as emanating from Being, there is a more durable and inherent sense of real goodness.

So in trying to remember myself- in trying to sense myself- if I try to sense the pure, simple goodness of Being- as opposed to all of the very complicated things I bring both to my ordinary life and to inner work itself- there is more availability. Perhaps I can relax into Being; that might be possible, too. Certainly I can’t whip myself towards it; that would never do, yet I move towards Being through a mistaken attitude of tension more than in any other single way. That tension is born of intentional complication; I’m attracted to it. What good does that do? None; and yet I persist.

In relationship and in Being, there is an enormous complexity and a depth that can’t really be described properly; but it is nothing like the complexities of ordinary life, which are manifold but shallow, and largely destructive of one another in one way or another. A complexity of depth exceeds any complexity of circumstances. It is vertical, not horizontal, and so its measurements differ. I need to see that more often.

This morning, for example, on the way to the Hongqiao airport in Shanghai, I saw two birds over the wetlands outside the airport. It was a very simple and ordinary moment; yet it contained everything in it. Immediately the mind decided to interfere with it, but no matter. The birds contained all the truth of Being itself within them, both mine and their own, and in fact all Being, and there was no action of mind that could remove or negate the depth, the fullness, the wholeness, of that Being.

So it is in these very simple moments of Being that are not complicated by the manufacturing facilities that construct my inner conflicts that I find goodness; goodness that exists of Being, and is not mine. It is its own goodness, and I just encounter it.

In this way, no matter what I am trying to see, if I make an effort to just sense the goodness of Being, that's enough.


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