In order to do so, my Being needs to be gathered into an increasingly related condition. There are fibers inside me that need to be gathered, sorted, and gently pulled together. Those fibers are impressions of life.
Together, they need to be spun into threads; and then the threads need to be organized into a warp, a structure which supports the fabric of my soul, and a weft: the objects, events, circumstances, and conditions that move through it, back-and-forth, as the warp threads move up and down in various patterns to contain and discipline the action of the weft threads.
This textile analogy is why Sanskrit refers to Tantric practice; tantra means loom.
As we age, the responsibility for undertaking this task so that the fabric of our life is more whole grows. The roots of its action need to go down into the finest and most detailed parts of Being; this requires a kind of inward scrutiny that exists apart from inner exercises, and even apart from receiving a sacred energy. It is a religious responsibility that lies within the realm of my own Being, and not what is given to me or acquired.
This is because no matter what is sent from above, or rises up from below, the action of my own life, my karma, takes place on this level. The action of relating that karma to the level above and below is deeply affected by Tantric action. The threads that are woven on this level reach into the level below me and the level above me; so all of the actions and deeds in this life have the support from below and a responsibility to what is above. They are, collectively, a material that binds levels.
This can be actively sensed, because the levels below and above are active within this one as well, and my being is a living manifestation of that truth. It can be sensed with the cells if a certain kind of energy is present. That may or may not be possible; but the action of a careful and considered self-examination is possible, and needs to be undertaken at all times. I can’t take anything for granted, even the idea and fact that I am alive right now. I need to suspend my judgment of others and myself and see exactly where I am—very exactly, quite precisely. This will involve a summary of all of life as it is now, including what it has been before this, and the potentials it puts in front of me.
This represents a form of inward intelligence; and in its active and sacred form, intelligence is an expression of love. So all of these actions that are described, which begin with gathering life into a whole thing, are intelligent actions of love.
I'd like to remember to honor that today through a better attention to the smallest things.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.