Everything exists in the service of losing our way or finding it. Which is to say that we are never more than a slight perspective shift away from being lost, or found. Everything that happens to us seals us in or opens us up, depending entirely upon what we think about it, look at it, and do with it. Delta Dawn’s betrayal and abandonment could lead to her death, or to her life. Nothing has to be what it is. The future exists as 10,000 possibilities in every moment. Life is always out ahead of us, calling to us, urging us on. We are the ones holding back, complaining, “Oh, it’s too hard! It’s too much trouble! It’s too painful! Just leave us alone! Let us die!”
We don’t know enough to know when to quit, fold up, hand it over, shut down. We think we are tired, we think we’ve had enough, we think it’s too hard, with too little payoff and not enough fun, we think we will get off the bull and sit in the shade, but, so far as we know, this is our one shot at life, and we have no idea of what might happen if we actually lived the life that is ours to live in the time left for living, and there is only one way to find out, and why die not knowing?
We are certain that the agony and anguish of life cannot compare with the bliss of oblivion and seek the bliss to escape the agony. Just give us the mountain retreat, the cave, the cushion! Spare us the pain of income tax returns and cleaning the gutter and deciding what to do with Mama in her dementia and decrepitude! Keep us from the misery of not having our way! We forsake it all for nothing, thinking nothing is better than the dreads of life
Look. If we are going to give up our way for some stupid mountain side, and leave everything to meditate our way into oneness with the Divine (which is, you’ll have to admit, zeroing ourselves out in order to merge with the Universe), why don’t we just zero ourselves out and take care of Mama without the agony and anguish of having her in our way? We are giving up our way for the Guru. Why not give up our way for Mama?
It’s our way that is in the way. The agony and anguish of life is the agony and anguish of not having our way. It isn’t life that is the problem but what we want life to be. Shift the wanting and disappear the problem. No anguish, no agony. Just doing what needs to be done. Even in the monasteries they have to do what needs to be done. I wouldn’t lie to you about that. And someone has to take care of the Guru in his dementia and decrepitude.
Everything is equidistant from perfect union with the Divine, bliss, oneness, transcendence, absorption in the Absolute—what’s important, or whatever it is that we think we are after. If you leave here and go there, or there, or there, you are no closer to “it” (however you think of it). “It” is right here. Right now. Seeing it or not seeing it has nothing to do with its proximity or its availability to be seen.
It helps to sit with something for a while before trying to change it, disappear it, X-it out of your life. Of course, that doesn’t apply to hot horseshoes straight from the coals, yellow jackets, or bad coffee. There are some places you just have to get yourself walked out of fast. You have to decide for yourself, when to sit, and when to leave. It is enough to know that knee-jerk is not the only reaction, and as a life-style it is largely lacking.
There is nothing here for you. We don’t have anything to give you that you don’t already have. We can only give you you. You come in here with you and you leave with you. What happens in between in you. You happen. You becoming you is what your life is all about. We are here to help you become you. You are here to help us become us. I don’t have anything to give you but you. You don’t have anything to give me but me. How do I give you you? By receiving you well. How do you give me me? By receiving me well. We receive each other well, and allow each other to be who we are and who we also are, and it is beautiful. We are beautiful in each others’ eyes.
We are all mirrors and sounding boards for each other, showing each other who we are, and who we also are. Once we know who we are and who we also are, there is only the matter of bringing that to life in our lives. But that is really one thing, the knowing and the bringing to life, not two things. We don’t know and then bring to life. We know as we bring to life. We live as we live. We are alive as we come to life in the lives we are living, by seeing, hearing, and understanding who we are and who we also are, what we are doing and what needs to be done.
There are recipes everywhere for doing what we want to do, but how do we align our wants with what truly needs to happen? This is the search for the Holy Grail. Can we serve the Grail, is the question. Can we get out of the way and allow the magic to happen? Can we trust the magic? Can we take our place and not be jousting for what we want our place to be? “What is MY place?” Can we ask the question and receive the answer?
“Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” Can we live with that if we are Saul? Can we realize that Saul has his place and David has his? Can we focus on making our place a really good place to be, and leave the other places to those who occupy them? Can we not have to be the shining star? Can we not have to have fortune and glory? Can we reconcile ourselves to our lot, and be content with what is ours to have, and be, and do?
“But, what is OURS?” How do we know our place when we see it? Don’t worry about it. Just do your part and let the outcome be the outcome. “But what is OUR part?” Seeing, hearing, understanding—and doing what needs to be done, what we are capable of doing, out of the gifts and talents and skills and aptitudes and abilities and interests that we have.
Our life calls itself forth. Children who like to draw, draw. Children who like to dance, dance. Children who like to build things, build things. What do you like to do, for no reason beyond liking to do it? What do you do just because you enjoy doing it? Do more of that thing. Not for fame and wealth, but because you enjoy doing it. Not to be seen and acclaimed, but because you enjoy doing it. Do that. See what unfolds around that.
And don’t be in a hurry. Your life unfurls itself over time. One thing leads to another. There is no plan, no timetable. There is only living as only you, as only we, can live. So, “get busy living.” And don’t worry about knowing anything or if you are doing it right or doing the right thing. Just do what you like, what is “most you,” and see what that becomes over time.
And, be sensitive to your urges and inclinations and budding interests. Be alert to the white rabbit when it flashes across your field of vision, or appears momentarily on the edge of your peripheral vision. Don’t pass up opportunities to adventure, but don’t push yourself into adventures that don’t have your name on them. The white rabbit will come back around. If you aren’t sure, wait, watch. Use waiting for the white rabbit as prep time for being ready when it comes again.
We have to trust ourselves. That is the primary act of faith. Trusting our own voice, our own sense of direction. And, we have to trust ourselves when trusting ourselves doesn’t work out like we thought it would. When we make wrong turns and end up in bad places. We have to trust ourselves to get out of there. We have to trust our mistakes to just be mistakes, and steps on the way to getting it right. We have to keep trusting ourselves. Eventually, we will become trustworthy. At least, that’s the theory.
Nothing has to be the way it is, and nothing is wasted. The fact that nothing is wasted doesn’t mean that everything is necessary. Things don’t have to be the way they are. The fact that nothing is wasted doesn’t mean that things are good as they are. They could be better in 10,000 ways. The fact that nothing is wasted means that everything is a part of our experience and has its place in the production of us. We incorporate all of it into who we become through the process of living our lives. This is the way it is. What are we going to do about it, with it? How are we going to deal with it, use it, change it, improve it, integrate it in the work of our own becoming?