Part of a series of notes to myself, June 2018
It’s overcast and cool this morning.
What are we doing on this planet?
Do we stop and think about how we are, and how a gentle Grace flows into us?
This quiet, unseen force is a gift of infinite value; and yet it somehow becomes trivialized in our engagement with the material, even though its very purpose is to help us experience that more fully.
This trivialization is our own fault; we don’t take the time to slow down and breathe and just accept the fact that we don’t need special results in order to appreciate life. Everything we need is right here, right now, not somewhere else.
Furthermore it is here in me, not outside. It's what is in me that grows within the soul and has the capacity to receive life that matters; and that receiving of life consists of simply remaining still and allowing it to come in with respect and appreciation.
So there is a place, a position, where I remain still within myself, attending quite precisely, and life enters.
It enters breath by breath.
And here I am. Life flows in. There is an equal force that comes from Being that meets life; inner life meets outer life. The molecules of Being vibrate within that moment of coming together.
So there aren’t any special results here. There is just living; and I would be better off attending to that with a bit more of a serious attitude then racing off to stimulate myself with 100 different external actions each one of which, I am convinced, will bring some better form of satisfaction than the one I already have. If I were appreciating my satisfaction itself, the satisfaction of what life tastes like as it arrives, I probably wouldn’t think this way.
As I get older, and my priorities change, I tend to do less and less because of my interest in this appreciation of the immediate. It is an invisible action; it doesn’t seem to produce anything outward (I would argue I’ve already done quite enough of that through the course of my life) but inwardly it produces an insight which is not available if everything I think and say and do — both within me and without me — is turned towards the outside.
So there's this possibility to invert the action of what I perceive so that it is inward first; and this is where the sense of what is sacred begins in me.
It brings me into moment after moment where I don’t actually know anything; but those moments are rich. There is something at the heart of life which is and will remain a mystery; and although it will always consist of this mystery, the certain thing is that it's filled with love.
So it’s always possible to approach it; and it’s always possible to help that love to grow within us.
Just by being here.
Lee van Laer is a Senior Editor at Parabola Magazine.