Search for the force of life and the roots lie within you. These are real things; they have nothing to do with all the nonsense that the world throws at us. Much of that nonsense, of course, can be swallowed, digested, and organized into finer structures that do make sense; but that only happens if the parts are correctly organized within themselves, and then correctly related to one another. This takes many years. You aren't going to achieve it in that work weekend or intensive retreat you thought would be so special, so forget about that.
Spiritual work takes many decades, because the roots of being are very fine things. They are very much like the delicate mycorrhizae of mushrooms, which grow hidden within the earth or logs for years until they suddenly produce extraordinary, beautiful flowering bodies. Until then, their work is to penetrate thoroughly and prepare for the moment when they will emerge.
Everything works the same way. All being grows from roots of its own, regardless of the type of being it has. If one understands this properly from an organic and practical point of view, one will realize that the crystalline structure of DNA, for example, has a root that it grows from, and that crystals in general are flowering bodies that grow from the roots of the physical, chemical, and even quantum and atomic properties that underlie the principle of their Being.
That's interesting, of course, but I don't want us to think about that today. Let's just think about being within the organism and forming an intelligent relationship with that, so that the possibility of sensing the roots of being arises, and whatever small form it can. The beginning of prayer lies at the root of that action; and prayer becomes a living force that grows from the roots in the same way that Being does. Prayer and being are not separated; and prayer should not be seen as a special function of the organism, but its ordinary state. All intelligent action and all movement, all feeling, should ultimately be seen as functions of prayer. This should not be seen as some unusual activity, but as the objective ground-floor of our present circumstances. Our relationship with the roots of Being in this moment will make that quite clear if we participate in it.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.