Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Beyond everything that I know

It occurs to me this morning that if I really take this question of inner work seriously, this question of God and what His intentions for me are, I really do have to go beyond everything that I know.

Of course, Jeanne de Salzmann wrote about this in her notes; yet do I really believe it? Meister Eckhart brings me to the same questions; and no matter where in myself I turn, I'm forced to ask questions and see things that transcend any understanding I currently have.

In a sense, I saw this morning, I have to go beyond Gurdjieff and everything about him, even the word itself. I have to forget about this teaching, that teaching, the Buddha, Christ, and so on — and allow all of these things to die off, to become a formless search within me.

I have to let go of my assumptions, opinions, and attitudes. First I see, it is true, the impossibility of that. I have to stand in front of that and look at it. The convictions I have are all false ones, somehow; there is a nothingness that has to be confronted, and yet in that nothingness is everything of substance, everything from which Being emanates. So it isn't nothing; yet it certainly negates and destroys everything I know.

This is a place of great discomfort. I see that I don't know anything about life and about what I am doing; I see that my wants and needs are temporal, and relate only to aspects of being that will become corrupted and die. There is an element of Being that is not affected by this; yet I don't focus on that, I forget, even as it is forever present and active in me, to come into relationship with it.

It is as though I were a drunkard who had sobriety living in me, right next to me, advising me as I sat at the bar doing one shot after another. And indeed, that's not such a bad analogy. I lived through that once, and there is a truth in what I say there; yet the same thing happens to my soul and my spirit  in relationship to God, and the denier in me doesn't want to confront that.

So do I really believe in this idea of abandoning everything? I can read about it, I can think about it, but in the end, don't I always try to come back to images and forms? And don't I, at the same time, know beyond any doubt and forever, not just through faith but through the experience of truth itself, that the images and forms are all just substitutes for what is real?

Well, I see how I don't know the answers to those questions.

I will get up again this morning and go to work and accept the conditions, even though most of what is in me resists everything that happens in my life in one way or another. Really, it's distressing to see, over and over again, how much of me is formed in a negative way. I live through that every day, rejecting everything; and yet the conditions are exactly right, and they are all good ones.

Why are these parts in me like that? I wonder.

When I encounter goodness and Grace, it works slowly and gently and lovingly to take me past myself. It needs to do that; because there is no good here for what is necessary.


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