Saturday, September 13, 2014
As surely as we breathe
It's a question Dr. Welch would frequently ask us as a meeting began. He would settle his considerable bulk into his chair, gather himself for a few moments, and then take a stern but loving visual inventory of the group.
"Why do we work?" He'd finally intone, asking it in a way that implied no one could be sure of the answer.
I must come once again, as always, to the question of what the point of any inner or outer work is if it is not for the good. All persons work, in the end, for the good as they see it and as they understand it; even terrorists believe they are working for the good. As such, it is clear that it isn't the good that is deficient; for we all know there is a good. This is born in mankind as surely as we breathe. The difficulty is, rather, with our understanding; a subject that will be returned to shortly.
So our understanding is poor; and poor understanding always leads to violence. First to inner violence and then to outer; for the outer always proceeds from the inner as surely as I breathe. I say as I breathe, because breath is life; and I surely live.
I need to return to the sense of the immediate not in my mind, but in my body and my Being. These things are more whole than mind. There is truth here; and truth has no plans, makes no assumptions. It is willing to inhabit life unconditionally.
I don't see too often how in the mind, everything is conditional; this is different than being within conditions. Conditions are truth; and yet they are in no way as mutable as I think they are with the mind. They simply are; and coming into relationship with them bereft of my own, of myself, is a different action than coming into them with a belief in my own agency brokered through the mind.
I see this in how I fail to inhabit; instead, I think about inhabiting. I see, furthermore, the difference between inhabiting and thinking of inhabiting, because in one the case life is not mine, yet I am in it; yet in the other, I am in my life. These are not the same thing; for when organic sensation and the inward flow are active, agency does not belong to me, yet I am more alive than ever and I participate; life is effortless, because it is God's own life I inhabit, and it permits no obstacles.
The moment I return to my own life, everything is an obstruction: forces oppose one another, instead of acting in unity.
Imagine if breathing was like this, such that everything was opposed, instead of natural. Breath is a natural good that flows naturally and without impediment in every creature; yet when it is blocked, terrible struggles take place.
The inward flow of the divine presence is like this; when life derives directly from it and a person has no resistance, life is effortless, because it belongs to God; and everything becomes the same joy Eckhart refers to in the Book of Divine Consolation.
So I work to come into relationship with the divine; and for no other reason. This is an action toward the good; and I forget this principle at my peril.