Mayapple flower, Tallman State Park
photograph by the author
When I study myself and my relationship, I always find that it is the inward attitude that forms a right connection to the higher energy. This connection can be durable; and if I am attentive and actually willing to submit — as opposed to just talking about it — it will always come and help support my inner effort. This inward sensation of Being, this intimacy, is where all of my potential for real Being lies. Yet I am always looking for relationship outwardly, and always believing that somehow these outward parts, which are grappling hooks designed strictly for engagement with the outer world, will change something for me inside myself.
I don't necessarily see that each of these outward parts has a rigidity to it that does not want to submit. If I really come to an inward relationship with the higher, with God, and allow myself to participate in the inflow, I come under a different influence which can regenerate and reform my inward Being. Although "schools" propose an endless series of exercises, both physical and intellectual, which will help make this happen, in reality all that does is lay a foundation, a groundwork, of preparation. In the end, there has to be an actual act of will, a submission, in which I am inwardly prostrate, humbled, and prepared to receive.
How can that be described? I suppose it can't, really. The action is much closer to what can be produced in prayer than in all the other nonsense conferred upon me by alternate practices. Yet I know that there is a possibility that lies deep within Being, at the core of life, within the torso, that consists of a real feeling of Being. It isn't part of sitting up straight or doing movements; it isn't part of emptying the mind and entering the void. It isn't a silence; it isn't freedom. It is a feeling of Being.
This feeling part, this part with an emotional comprehension, knows what is necessary in terms of submission in the way that none of the other parts can know it. The mind and the body are missing this capacity; they can play back up, but neither one of them can — nor can the two of them together — come to it on their own.
The idea of regeneration of my inward Being is dependent upon this emotional comprehension and feeling of Being. I must receive this impression more deeply and more often if I wish to Be.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.