Joseph Campbell, speaking about his college days on the tract team at Columbia, "I lost two races that were very important to me because I lost the still place. The race meant so much that I put myself out there to win the race instead of to run the race, and the whole thing got thrown off." When we lose the still place, we lose the rhythm, the dance, the balance and harmony of ourselves in this moment in time, where we act out of the stillness, sincerely and spontaneously offering what is needed moment-by-moment, without thought of gain or loss, without thinking anything, just being in the moment, free to be who we were being called to be by the time and place of our living. We lose that by trying to force a win, by pushing our agenda, by living from a motive of profit and the desire to win. That is to be out of accord with the Tao, and it all goes south like that (Snaps fingers). We are here simply to run the race, to live from the still place, and offer what is called for in each situation as it arises. We are here to attend the moment. To see what's what, and know what is happening and what is needed, and how we can help with that out of the gifts/genius/daemon/character/talents we have to offer-- remembering Lao Tzu's advice, "Do your work and step back, and let nature take its course." That's all it takes, but it takes it day in and day out. Forever. We are in it for the long haul. The Hero's Journey never ends. Get your game face on and don't take it off.
You can lead a horse to water, and if on the way you stop for a while at the salt block, you can pretty well guarantee the horse will drink. What's the equivalent to a salt block on the spiritual journey? What can we do to prepare ourselves for the serendipitous moment of illumination? How can we put ourselves in the way of enlightenment? How can we assist seeing, hearing, realizing? Satori hinges on what? It often takes nothing more "spiritual" than a dead end. Come to the end of your rope, and there is the light. Joseph Campbell liked to say, "Where you stumble and fall, there lies the gold." And we've all heard the axiom, "It's always darkest just before dawn." All that we try that doesn't work is cleaning the windows of perception. "Not this, not this, not this... is all important knowledge on the way to knowing "This is IT!" It is all preparation. Nothing is wasted on the path to realization. We hurry up awakening by doing everything with our eyes as open to what's what as they can be. We can only see what we see, but we can be conscious of looking, and ask the questions that beg to be asked about everything in each situation as it arises-- and say everything that needs to be said, trusting the "click" to happen in its own time.
Where is your zeal in the matter? Any matter? What matter holds the most zeal for you? Enthusiasm? Heart? Life? What brings you to life? Calls you to life? Infuses you with life? Begin there. Go there. Do that. I'm better off walking around looking for photos, or sitting with my computer processing photos, or writing, or reading, or cooking, or playing at playing my djembe drum, than most any other where in my life. Those are the things that ground and center me and restore my balance and harmony. If I am away from them for longer than I like, I drift over into crotchety and snarly and people start saying, "Why don't you go find something to photograph?" It's important to know where our zeal lies, and feed it what it feasts on as often as possible.
The Buddha is recognized and revered as "The One Thus Come." The Christ belongs in that category as well. As do all who are just who they are-- with neither pretension nor aspiration, just so, just this, just thus. Which is to say, naturally exhibiting "the face that was theirs before they were born." All natural things are Thus Come. Rocks and waves, wind and turkeys, gold nuggets and porcupines... The natural world is Thus Come. Only human beings have the capacity to be other than they are in striving to create a future to their liking. All humans Thus Come are content with the way things are, and have no need to transform things into their idea of how they ought to be. They do not walk around with an agenda in hand and a plan for everything in their life. In trying to arrange a particular future, we arrange ourselves in particular ways. Terrible Twos are so called because children at about that age react violently when the way things are is not the way they want them to be. No puppy, kitten, bear cub or penguin chick ever cried, kicked, screamed, bit their parents or rolled on the floor because things weren't going their way. People in their eighties can still be in their Terrible Twos. They are Thus Come in a way different from the Buddha and the Christ, and are avoided by everyone in their vicinity for being the way they are. Being our natural self puts us in accord with the natural world, and we live out our lives smoothly choreographed with the movement of life around us. This is to be aligned with the Tao and at one with the times and places of our life. It is to say "Yea!" to life as it is, and to find ways of folding ourselves into our circumstances and make a way for ourselves within the confines of "what's happening now," in a "Okay, now what?" kind of way-- while those in the Terrible Twos Stage are going, "NO! NOT THIS--THAT!" NO! NOT THAT--THAT OVER THERE!" all their life long.