From a series of notes to myself written during May 2018.
Here I am. There’s no question, there is life and I am within it.
Yet I don’t have a plan on how to fix life—and I don’t really know what it is going to do to me. I probably know something about how I'm going to respond; and yet that can be unpredictable as well, because many of my parts respond quite powerfully to life whether I want them to or not. So I need to keep a close eye on those parts with the living force of my Being.
I need to be there so that I can fully experience what I am and how I respond, without making a definite plan for how to do so in advance.
My definite plans won’t work anyway. If there is one thing that’s certain, it’s that my thinking part is unable to anticipate what takes place in life. It is simply too slow; and there are too many variables outside me. I can think something through to what I believe is perfection and then discover that it blows up in my face because most of what I thought was imaginary. So what I need to do is be intelligently prepared to inhabit the moment of response.
The inflow has an innate or inherent capacity to be present in the moment of response. This is what it's for; the energy is designed to help create and form relationship. One could think, in one’s imagination, that the energy of the inflow has all these different magical or sacred purposes, but its fundamental and primary purpose is relationship. There are many subsidiary and auxiliary side effects, but relationship is the ground floor of why the energy flows into me, and it is my sacred Being-duty and responsibility to be present in the moment of response in order to establish right relationship.
Now, of course, you might say to me, “How do you know what right relationship is?” And this would be a good question. Right relationship is a relationship that honors the other, and inhabits the moment with love. This needs to be an active and instinctive arising, not one crafted by what society has taught me, the religious, political, or social ideas I have been taught, or even the wide range of beliefs that have arisen in the as a result of this education. If I come into relationship with the inflow, those parts — those artificially crafted sections of my being — are available as tools, but I have to choose from the toolkit. There has to be a master craftsman in charge of the operation. Otherwise I won’t build a cabinet; wood will just get nailed together in random ways. It may make a structure, but it won’t serve a purpose or hold anything. It will probably tip over when I least expect it.
So I need to have this relationship to an active and instinctive arising. This instinctive arising within me is a sensation, and an intelligence, towards life that does not derive from what I think. It begins before I think. Many things can happen after it; and thinking is one of them. But the key to it is that I have to get there and be there before I think of anything.
The moment of response cannot be lived effectively if thinking tries to live it. It has to arise from parts of awareness that have an inherent capacity for what takes place now; not what took place before, or what I want to take place later. What took place before is already contaminated by my attitude; and what will take place later is contaminated by my desires. Both attitude and desire take me away from what is needed now; and it’s important I see that, because both of them color the way in which I enter the moment of response.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.