Friday, August 22, 2014
The root is love
This isn't a relationship of the mind; it is a relationship of the whole Being, and it always begins with the incorporation — the embodiment — of energy within sensation. There is a deep, heartfelt, honest, and inescapable vibration that emanates from heaven, and enters the body: this is a force one cannot argue with. It asks questions; and at the root and heart of those questions is always, every time, love. There isn't really anything but love; and yet despite the fact that it runs the universe and is the engine that drives life itself, I forget that quite often.
So it's in the morning that I try to sense what life is and remember this love that begins everything. When I try to do it with my mind, conceptually, I dream up fabulous universes and before you know it arguments ensue; thought juxtaposes things, and as soon as juxtapositions arise, there is conflict.
In sensation, and in Being, there is no conflict; only a quiet sense of wonder that asks who I am and why I am here.
Readers who follow these essays know that, when I am in the country (and not boxed in some hotel room in Shanghai) I get up very early and walk the famous dog Isabel. This is always at dawn and often in darkness; and there is a quietness and majesty on every path to the river, as well as the ones along it. There are times when I wish I could erase everything but nature and the presence of God within it; this is, of course, impossibly impractical, but there is a wish for the perfection of God and the expression of His will that pervades all of creation, and it is only in the quiet time, alone, that I can begin to remind myself of this premise, from which all of the roots, tendrils, trunks and branches of my life emerge.
I'm reminded of how small I am. I've mentioned it before; Peggy Flinsch once began a sitting in the 1980s in New York City — it was a Thursday morning, she sometimes came in at 7 AM to sit with us then — by saying, "we are tiny little creatures." Anyone who knew Peggy will know how absolutely objective and incisive the inflection with which she said that was; it was an uncompromising truth, and it went into us all, I think, like a sword, although I can speak only for myself.
This is the whole point of the Gurdjieff work — to understand that we are tiny little creatures, that we are nothing.
The whole point of real inner understanding is to understand one's insignificance; this can touch conscience in a way that arouses real feeling, whereas the arrogance of our ego is merely a ball peen hammer with which we put dents in ourselves and everyone around us.
When I sense myself, and I sense the love that has created us, there is no doubt something more real is born. It is always in touch with this mystery of life; and it is in touch through the body, not through the mind.