I've been wondering lately about what's working. Government is not working anywhere. Democracy is not working in the US or the UK. The GOP is the most dysfunctional political party I have ever lived with. I could go on. And on. About what is not working. Gravity is working. Music is working. Poetry is working. AUMMMMmmmmmm... is working. Ice cream is working. COVID vaccines are working. ... A lot of things are working just fine. How about you? Are you working? I'm working above 85% most days. I'd like to do it all over, with me as my father. That would have been exactly what I needed at the start. It took me way too long to begin fathering myself. We all would have been better off with better parents. And our parents would have been better off with better parents. And so on, all the way back to Lucy, and whomever played the role of Dezzy. But, here we are. Now what? This is our boat and it is up to us to paddle it. Just as it is. There is no taking it back to the Boat dealer for a refund, or a trade. So, what's working about your life? What is not working? What can you do to work around what is not working? To work with what is not working? If you separate what is not working from what is working, what do you have to work with? What is the part that is working asking of you? What does it need to work better? What is it calling for? How about focusing more of you time and attention on what is working, and less on what is not working? Just paying attention to what is working, and to what is not working, would be a good place to start. Just observe what is working and what is not working. Just be aware of what is working, and what is not working. See where awareness alone takes you. And add awareness to your list of things that are working. I just added it to mine!
There is what we do to pay the bills, and there is what we pay the bills to do. These two things are primary, essential-- the fundamental, base requirements for being alive. We have to be clear about those two things, what we are doing and why we are doing it. And, we have to bear the pain of the compromises required to do those two things. And all the other things we do in conjunction with those two things. Most of the other things we do have no bearing on the two primary things. And they take all our energy and attention away from the two primary things. Our focus and attention has very little to do with the two primary things, and everything to do with escape, distraction, diversion and denial regarding our life, and what we are doing, and why we are doing it, and what we are to be about, and how differently we should be living in order to be about it. Our life is where we hide from life. List the things you hate about your life and the things you love about your life. And tell me where you spend your time, doing things on each list. You spend your time doing the things you hate about your life. You talk about what you love, you do what you hate. And you wonder why you aren't happy. You aren't happy because you aren't alive. You are mostly dead. Because of the way you spend your time. Being alive requires you to transform your relationship with yourself and with your life. And bear the pain of the contradictions involved with what you do to pay the bills and what you pay the bills to do. Being alive requires us to bear the pain of being alive. Jesus said, "Pick up your cross every day and come with me." Our cross is the pain of being alive-- the pain of the contradictions involved with being alive. We live to incarnate the contradictions, to integrate the contradictions, to be the contradictions, between what we do to pay the bills and what we pay the bills to do. We bring Yang and Yin to life in our life. We are Yang and Yin. The Tao gives rise to the Source. The Source gives rise to Yin and Yang. Yin and Yang give rise to heaven and earth and human beings. And from those three everything else flows. Our work is to live in such a way as to smooth the flow by consciously bearing the pain of the contradictions at work in our life. Where is your pain? Your agony? Your anguish? Your contradictions? Walk into it. Embrace it. Dance with it. Work with it. Laugh with it. Love it. Reconcile what can be reconciled. Maintain the tension between irreconcilable polarities. Do what needs to be done in light of all opposites, conflicts, dichotomies, divisions and differences. Integrity is holding all of it together in the light of awareness and doing what is called for in each situation as it arises upon the heaving waves of the wine-dark sea.