07/03/2020

01

There is being aligned with our life,
in accord with our life,
and there is being at odds with our life,
at war with our life.

If we are in accord with the Tao,
we are aligned with our life,
and things are fine.
Which may not be ideal,
but it is as good as things
can be expected to be
under the circumstances.
This is called optimal.
Optimal puts us at the fulcrum,
the pivot point between
past and future,
between how things are
and how things need to be.

That is to say
at the still point between worlds.
The middle way between opposing,
contradictory,
mutually exclusive
possibilities.

To be conflict ridden
and storm tossed
is to be out of accord with the Tao
and too much embroiled in
attached to,
involved with
our life and what is happening,
or not happening,
there.

To be at one with our life
is to be at the proper distance from our life.
"Working distance," I call it.
We can allow things to be 
what they need to be
in order to do what needs to be done.

When we have to have things
the way we want them to be--
regardless of how they need to be--
we disrupt the flow of time and place,
create disturbance and turbulence,
and nurture all of the symptoms
commensurate with the struggle 
to force our way upon our life.

At that point,
we have to take stock,
step back,
stand aside,
sit quietly,
enter the silence,
and wait for the muddy water to settle,
allowing our perspective to shift
in ways that take everything into account,
and allow the action that is called for 
to come into focus
and spontaneously move us
to do what needs to be done
in the service of the good
of the situation as a whole--
in spite of what it may mean
for us personally.

Following this mode of seeing/doing
into the next moment,
into the situation that arises from this one,
situation-by-situation
for the rest of our life,
puts us in the current of the Tao
as it courses through our days,
as a blessing and a grace
upon all that comes our way.

–0–

02

Two of our fundamental experiences
are with Grace and Karma
(Grace is also called Tao,
Dharma
and Synchronicity).

We don't have to believe in Grace and/or Karma--
anymore than we have to believe in
yoga or acupuncture. 

Or wonder and awe.

Or justice and love.

These things,
and all the rest,
are part of the background,
the environment,
the umwelt,
of our life.

They are "just there."
They "just happen."
Of themselves.

And are not to be conjured up
by belief or devotion,
sacrifice or superstition.

They are evidence
of "more than meets the eye,"
and serve to remind us
that the visible world
rests upon the invisible world,
and that living knowingly
between both worlds
enhances the quality 
of our life immeasurably.

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters, three sons-in-law, and five granddaughters, and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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