I so often forget that there is a way to do things. If I pay attention, I can sense what is good for me. That is, I can see which way my spirit wants to go. My behavior is trial and error, but I recognize what fits when I come across it. Something matches, inside and out. Something resonates. The sound rings deeper when it is good for more than just me. Whole civilizations lived this way. Once upon a time.
The assumption that I am born into this world with a certain identity and a duty to hammer the Outside into shape is an out-dated model. Identities are passing attempts to pile things in a certain order, to stiffen against the inevitable seasons of life. It is a struggle to make, and keep, the world the right size. Naming things helps, for a while.
After 70 years, I have shed several identities like old skins, as awareness wakes up and I realize my intentions. The lesson of the way is that light does not appear unless it encounters an obstacle, water is not water unless it too encounters resistance, even if it is only by gravity. Spirit works the same way. All I can see is the reflection. In reality, there is no separating this from that. It is a device we invented. The way is to go with the flow.
The good and the bad about being human is that we get used to things quickly. Time loses its meaning, if it weren’t for the seasons. It doesn’t take long to forget something is there. By the time I am learning to talk, chunking the world up in words, I am also developing habits. I build a mental pattern that I then project, soon mistaking it for the world itself. For example, I might come to believe it’s all subject-verb-object as I learn to speak, and simply not see that operations work the other way as well. There are always consequences. The world always acts back. I will forget all these initial choices in order to move on. To be productive, I put aside the reality that I might be making it all up. I think it’s ‘out there’ and so I think I need to do something with my hands to control it.
Each experience just becomes a brick in the road to somewhere. As I lose the stimulation that comes with something new, what I imagine to be at the end of the road becomes extraordinarily important. Even if I never get there, I will identify myself by the effort. This is because I am losing the full effect of the moment. I get used to what I think is living. And disappear into my habits.
The way is not to take things for granted.
Habits decrease my response-ability, but they wrap the world up in a way I can deal with. This includes habits of seeing, feeling and thinking. A habit is important for what it does not include. A key part of this process is not to be aware of it. To forget. If I were, all of a sudden, accountable for my projections on the world, I would be paralyzed by mystery and confusion, overwhelmed by the information. I have been through those times when my private assertions about the world were so rattled that I had to stop and sit, for quite a while, until I found another way to look at things.
When I get used to something, it loses its value. I have a diminished response to it. That is necessary, in order to add the next thing, but diminished response itself can become a habit … in order to stop losing that sense of value all the time. What does habituation to rush-hour traffic do to a person over time? We all know what happens in a relationship when one begins taking the other for granted.
Most of us have sensed that there is a value that reaches beyond description. We have had a feeling of being ‘in the zone’, at a loss for words. This is the way. These moments actually happen often, usually when we’re not looking. I stop for a moment, put what first comes to mind aside, open a space and see what comes up. More than likely, it doesn’t make the usual sense. It tumbles and splashes. I let it be, resisting the temptation to jam a label on it and relate it to the past. In that way, I am just a witness.
An aggressive, willful style of thinking stamps things with words and shuffles them until the stuff is in line. This never lasts. Spirit, like water, is not meant to be contained. It has no shape. Staying in one place for long, it will stagnate. The ‘zone’ is beyond the individual pools. The actual way is impossible to get used to.
Habits establish islands in the river of life. Identities. Rituals. Customs. As I barge about, being some things and not others, I inevitably run into contradictions. In order to manage this process, it helps to be like the water – apparently submissive but ultimately victorious – softly persistent, bending to the shape of the obstacle, flowing around it and eventually eroding it away. The way is to dilute the confrontation., knowing the direction of the background works in my favor, because I am headed the same way.
We all just do what we can. That is the way. If I can do it and I don’t, I have no reason to complain. I suspect that’s why I limit my perception of myself … keeping my potential under the hood. If I know I can do it and I don’t, I fall into a world of blame.
The whole business of labelling things has reached its peak and is now failing us. Words have been detached from reality by the current leader of the free world. The ultimate loophole – the whole world of words is just made up – is being exploited to the hilt. We have to find another way to see what we are doing here. The larger reality will not fit into this vocabulary. Grammar is necessary to construct this and that, but it has overlaid a pattern on experience that is losing its usefulness because of the abuse. Words no longer align with Nature. The veil is being pulled back or rather … torn to shreds.
We stand in awe, speechless, when faced with the truth. That reverence has to be what is coming next. The secret of the language that began with how to use tools is out … it’s all just made up. More and more of us are having that feeling these days. As language is divorced from reality, a non-dual, ungrammatical background is peeking through. Even the finest words can only point. This might save us. This is the way.
If we don’t return to meaning what we say, the social structures we have built this time around will collapse. Everything will fall apart if we are not in accord with the other 99.999999% of the universe. A light goes on in the mind of a child when he or she finds out they can lie. That light causes the first internal shadows. Our challenge has always been to get beyond that.
We will lurk in the shades of spirit until we acknowledge again that there is nothing we can keep, except our word. This is an ancient lesson. Old habits die hard. Individually and together, we need to reconnect the invisible world with the words that are supposed to represent it, one at a time if necessary. This is integrity. This is the way.