Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Spiritual Calisthenics, part II: the Truth and the Sky
I ran into her many times at the Gurdjieff Foundation, and we frequently used to give her rides here and there at times. She was unusually animated and had an intensity within her that spoke of an organic understanding of life. You could see it in her eyes.
There was life in them.
Inevitably, she died. One of the last things she said in her final days was when she got out of the hospital and saw the sky again.
"The sky," she said, and that was all that was necessary.
The truth of God is like the sky. No one needs to do exercises to see the sky and have it come into them. It just isn't necessary. Even if you raised a child with no words, when they went outdoors they would look up and know that the impression of the sky was falling into them, because this truth is acquired effortlessly. All truths that relate to the essence and to the spiritual fall into Being this way, according to the grace of God. A great deal of sacrifice is necessary in order to make this possible, but everything that is sacrificed belongs to me, and not to God.
Readers might want to refer back to my symbolic dream of January this year; it refers to this question of effort, exercise, and what is needed to both reach and understand the spiritual side of one's being. There are innumerable vanities to the natural and material side of our being; and every one of these vanities plays in one way or another to our belief — our opinion, the accepted attitude — that we can control things. The idea that I can exercise my way to God is just one more vanity, and perhaps one of the chief vanities, since it arrogantly presumes that this, that, and the other thing can be done, both physically and energetically, to bring me to God.
My teacher Betty Brown talked about this often as she reached the end of her life. She counseled against believing that inner work was some strange kind of spiritual gymnasium, where one works out under the tutelage of instructors who purportedly know regimens to improve the muscle tone of the soul.
I see people around me believing this, and even loving it. It is disturbing.
If I want to understand where God is, and how to get to Him, I need to understand how the energy is in me. Without a relationship to this, without seeing how I am, there is nothing; and yet the instant I see, already, God is much closer than I ever thought.