Wednesday, 14 November 2012

What course of action might enable us to discover who we are​.

First thing is to trust, trust that the process is already happening: To begin to understand that there is something in us which is longing to be discovered, call it truth, call it reality, call it love. It is who we are, and it's desire to be known is far stronger than our desire to know it. It is what life is about, even though appearances would seem to say something completely different.

Often at times of difficulty we think everything is against us, feel desperate and alone. It is very difficult then to trust that the process is happening. We talk about the 'dark night of the soul', when there appears to be nothing and no-one to turn to. I myself went through a 'breakdown' like that, when for six months I felt dead inside, unable to eat or sleep, or take part in any social activities. I was locked in a dark hole with no light, no way out that I could see. Unfortunately many at that point end up in mental hospitals, drugged to suppress the symptoms. (R D Laing is still relevant here) I was fortunate that my sister took me in and let me sit in the garden, doing nothing, just letting the process happen. Which it did. Now I can look back and see with some understanding how a shell that I had erected around me to cope with wartime situations when I was young, was breaking down and allowing me to get in touch with parts of myself I had shut out. I became more whole but it was a painful process.

The masters tell stories to illustrate this process. There is a well known one about the footsteps in the sand, initially two pairs walking side by side, then one pair on its own, then two pairs again. And the question 'why did you abandon me then', and the answer comes 'I was carrying you'.

So I would say first 'trust' that it is already happening. That doesn't mean there is nothing for us to do. But we can only discover our part by connecting with who we really are. When we are in tune then the rest follows. What do you do to make trust happen? There is no ready made formula, it takes a lifetime.

Then take a deep breath, and feel how sweet that breath is that is provided freely with every moment. When we come from anxiety about the future, then we create more fear. The anxiety is understandable but it will take us away from the love which sustains us. This poem by Hafiz talks about that love:

All this time
The sun never
says to the earth,
"You owe Me."

What happens
With a love like that.

It lights up the

I think this is the point about Jesus and Buddha not behaving in a way 'so that' something would follow.  Unfortunately these precepts have been used by religion, particularly when associated with the state, and given a different interpretation. The whole notion of the Golden Rule was a later interpretation I would guess, and used to try to control people by rulers, 'princes', etc. not something spoken about by Jesus or Buddha,

I'm not saying 'it's just no use trying to talk spirituality in secular language.' In fact just the opposite. Let's use our everyday experience to become 'mindful' of who we are.

 I'm not telling you anything you don't know. This is common religious doctrine, 'trust god, have faith in god'. But the meaning needs to be rediscovered.

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