We have to attain a certain level of maturity before we are able to live with the kind of balance and harmony required to dance with our circumstances without being crushed by them. People who aren't somewhat grown up before their life begins to deliver disappointment and heartbreak, grief, loss and sorrow, winking and saying, "Just wait to see what 'cha got coming next," are going to have a hard time just catching their breath. How do we grow up? How do we develop the kind of perspective that takes things in stride, does what can be done about them, and lets that be that? All of the spiritual leaders through the centuries have been mature beyond their years-- and beyond their peers. Jesus was old as a child. The Buddha grew up through years of coming to terms with how things are. Maturity is an advantage that wealth and position cannot touch. Knowing what is good for us and what is not-- and going with the good-- is valuable knowing, but without knowing how to pull that rabbit out of the hat, we are no better off for knowing what it would take to be better off. How do we increase our level of maturity? How do we grow ourselves up? Take those questions as yours to answer, and live in the service of finding it in the time left for living.
A caveat regarding The Other Within: A partnership is not the way to the realization of your dreams. It is the end of contrivance in all forms. And the beginning of complete sincerity and self-transparency. There is no using The Other for anything other than The Other. There is nothing in it for us beyond living in accord with the Tao through each situation that arises all our life long, with nothing to show for our work except the satisfaction of having done the best we could with what we had to work with moment-by-moment, day-by-day. "If you want to be my disciple, pick up your cross daily and follow me." If Christians took the word of their lord seriously, there would be very few people in church. Their idea of a cross is a decoration to wear as a pendant or a tattoo. Jesus is supposed to be good for heaven, else why bother? And thinking The Other Within is the path to fortune and glory is to stray from the path, to leave the way, and to wander without direction through the wasteland forever. So with Jesus or The Other, understand it is about the quality of life on the Journey, and not about the acquisition of anything along the way. There is no merit to be gained. There is only finding our life and living it, for the joy of doing it. The joy of having done it is what forever is for.
Carl Jung said, "There is within each of us another, whom we do not know." In order to transform our relationship with ourselves, we have to acknowledge, honor, welcome, engage, collaborate and align ourselves with The Other who resides within. Sounds weird. Accommodating ourselves to weird is one of the requirements of the Journey. The Other within is our best invisible friend, and our guide, mentor and access to the depths that are forever. And only one aspect of The Mystery at the Heart of Life and Being. There are dimensions-- like light waves and sound waves that we are incapable of seeing or hearing-- that are imperceptible and undetectable, and as real as last night's dream, and that close at hand. Our place is to find our place and simply be who we are, trusting that to be our part to play in the whole that is beyond describing. It is like this: I think it was Martin Palmer who said, though I cannot locate the reference, so it may be Thomas Cleary who said, or someone else who said, "The path that can be discerned as a path is not a reliable path." They offered this statement as an alternative translation to the Tao te Ching's statement, "The Tao that can be named/said/told is not the eternal Tao." I connect this with a statement Jesus is said to have said: "The spirit is like the wind that blows where it will." I understand this to mean that not even the spirit of God knows what it is doing, or what it will be doing next. Even the spirit is on a path that cannot be discerned! We are all in the same boat. It is all in flux and dependent upon everything else. There is no master plan, and yet, everything is just what it needs to be, and can't be anything other than what it is. Think back over your life. Nothing had to be what it was, and yet, everything had to be exactly what it was to get you here, now. We are totally free to be something completely surprising (weird) in the next moment, yet absolutely bound to being who we are forever. We never out-live having been where we have been, and never out-grow having had parents-- the specific parents we had, and yet, we are unrestricted in making of that what we will. This is karma. Consequences have consequences. "We meet our fate on the road we take to escape it" (Carl Jung). Freedom is bondage. Make your peace with that and live on! Living on is the point, the whole point, and nothing but the point. Martin Hägglund does a wonderful job elaborating "living on" in his book This Life, though it is not for sissies. Neither is life. Which gets us back to the importance of forging a relationship with The Other whom we do not know. We need all the help we can get. Sit still, be quiet, see what meets you there. Reflect on your nighttime dreams, and your daytime flights of fancy/fantasy. Find the themes running through your life. Explore everything. Get to the bottom of you. We are the source and the goal of our own seeking. What we are looking for is who is looking. Who is The Other whom we do not know? Make it your Quest to find out!