What is the nature of your conflict? William Blake reminded us, "Without contrary, there is no progression." Yin and Yang go back to the beginning of time, if not beyond. We live to integrate, incarnate, express, exhibit, bring forth, know and make known the contradictions which define us and make us known. On the one hand this, and on the other hand that, and truth is found between the hands. What are your conflicts, contradictions, contraries? Most of us live to deny them, hide from them, repudiate them. Too few of us embrace them, relish them, love them, dance with them. Yet, that's the way to do it. Bear your conflicts graciously, and gracefully. They are who you are. And stop thinking that you have to be one way only! Consistent! Harmonious! True! Nonsense! We walk two paths at the same time-- truthfully! We feel torn between, or among, two or more things practically all of the time. I want to be the best father/husband in all the world ever, and I don't want to be a father/husband at all! Which it is? It is BOTH! I am conflicted to the core. So is God. This "unconditional love" you hear so much about is balanced by sending everyone to hell who doesn't believe it and joyfully embrace it. How unconditional is that? And "freedom of the will"? How free is our will when we cannot will what we want? We just want it! Often against our will! Conflicted, contradictory, contrary, polarized and mutually exclusively oppositional all the way down. Sound like anybody you know? If not, it is because you are locked up in terminal denial and can't see the truth for all the lies you are living with. So. What's the nature of your conflict? It all begins here. With our making our peace with the way things are. And also are. And walking two paths at the same time together, knowingly, laughingly, joyfully-- Yinning and Yanging in full accord with the Tao, all along the Way.
I am amazed and fascinated by the impact people have on my life, and the way I am able to use them and their impact as a meditative, reflective, icon for immersion in the wonder and awe of life. Amazement, fascination, wonder and awe are the ground and essence of worship. I revere and worship certain people and their impact upon me and my life-- which I continue to refine and explore after all the years that have passed since they came and went. I continue to be blessed, deepened, enlarged, made whole by their kindness and grace, and by my on-going reflection of them and their place in my life. Joseph Campbell said that reflection is the path to new realizations, and that is certainly the case with me and my wandering around in my memories of them, expanding my understanding of them and their influence on me and my continuing development through the years. They very definitely "passed on" to me gifts that are continuing to be "very present helps in time of trouble," and helping me even yet, even now, to find my way. Their gifts were those of presence, acceptance, insight, comfort, safety, humor, confidence and a sense of the goodness and trustworthiness of life, and our ability to take life as it is and make of it what can be made of it with what we have to work with in our nature and character. We are enough! It is only a matter of trusting that to be so and exploring what we have that might be useful to our time and place, our conditions and circumstances, and experimenting to see what can be done. It is a matter of playing confidently with the possibilities, and dancing with the days that mark our time upon the earth, enjoying the wonder of life, and living, and being alive! Thanks, gratitude and appreciation to all who made this the reality it is in my life!
Jesus said, "Why don't you decide for yourselves what is right?" We are afraid we might be wrong. We don't want the responsibility. We crave reassurance and certitude. We can't take the chance. Just tell us what to do! Just tell us what to believe! Just tell us how we can be happy and have it made! Lao Tzu said, "The path that can be discerned/designated as a path, is not a reliable path." That means there is no one but us to tell us what to do. We are the only ones who can know which way is the way for us, what is right for us, what the moment is asking of us, what the situation is calling us to do. The path that someone else tells us is the path is not a reliable path. We are the only ones who can be trusted to know what we need to do, where we need to do it, when we need to do it, and how it is to be done. The catch is we have to be right about it. That is why we sit in silence, watching, waiting, confirming... and even then, we can be wrong, or circumstances can change, but we continue to return to the silence to see what arises, emerges, unfolds, beckons, directs... And to consider whether to do its bidding. Learning as we go to read the signs, attend the signals, and know what is calling our name.
Let the silence guide your boat on its path through the sea. Have no preferences, no desires, no opinions, no ambition, no agenda, no intention, with nothing to gain and nothing to lose, just curious, just interested in seeing where you go and what you do without trying to exploit and control, manipulate and direct situations and opportunities, but just watching, just seeing, just experiencing, doing what needs to be done the way it needs to be done when it needs to be done and letting nature take its course. Simply relax into the silence, attend the silence, serve the silence, by waiting and watching what arises, emerges, occurs, beckons, directs, leads, calls... and continuing to wait for the mud to settle and the water to clear. Then, wait some more for the right time to act, in the right way, in the right place-- dancing with the moment as it responds to you, living from the silence (Which by now has become a part of the matrix of life, and you have learned to be quiet in the midst of the dust/noise of the 10,000 things). In this way, context, conditions, and circumstances blend to form the umwelt within which you live, and move and have your being, directed by your service to the silence, led by your sense of "Yes," and "No," coming from the place of instinct and intuition, communicated to you through your body, your nighttime dreams, and the things that occur to you out of nowhere-- out of the unconscious milieu of psyche/soul/self/who-knows-what-else that is part of the invisible world sustaining and supporting this world of concrete and steel, visible, tangible, apparent reality. Become a citizen of both worlds, walking two paths at the same time, attuned to what time it is, and to what it is time for. Living Here as a surrogate of There in an "in the world but not of it" kind of way, as a full participant in the Great Adventure of Being Alive.