Following Joseph Campbell's lead, it is ours to understand that it is not enough to live a merely correct life, but to aspire to live a life that is perfectly apt, moment to moment, in each situation as it arises. A perfectly apt life requires us to be alive and alert to each moment, like a cat stalking a bird, or a bird searching for a moth. A merely correct life only has to make sure we have toed the right lines, and made our mother happy. To be correct, we only have to know what is expected of us, what we should do in this case, or that one, by the book, following orders. We don't have to have any idea of what is being asked of us, of what is called for, of what is needed, of what it is time for here and now. A perfectly apt life has to read each here and now. not in terms of what ought to be done to please some external authority, but in terms of what must be done to meet the moment's need for the right thing done at the right time in the right way, as a dancer might flow with the music, or the cat might pounce on the bird, or the bird on the moth. Aptness is a different level of life, far removed from basic correctness, and intent on achieving an Olympic Gold quality of perfection in being the unique answer each situation seeks all our life long. Aptness is not content to just "pass muster," but lives to be so attuned to the situation at hand that nothing escapes its view or eludes its vision. Seeing, hearing, knowing, doing, being are its tools. Eternal presence is its goal. Tireless service in the sense of filial devotion and liege loyalty is its sole concern. Every moment pines and languishes for such attentive allegiance. Few moments are so blessed-- leaving the great majority to lament, "There is not one who does right-- no, not one!" Yet, all the doers are sure they have done well enough, and wonder why the hue and cry.
When you don't know what to do, wait to see what you are going to do. Practice by standing before your clothes on their hanger, and without deciding what to wear, wait to see what you reach for. When it doesn't matter which road you take to home, see which one you turn onto. Let yourself surprise yourself. We learn to trust ourselves to ourselves that way. Our primary relationship has to be with ourselves. We have to be able to read ourselves, know ourselves, collaborate with ourselves. The way opens before those who are open to the way without insisting upon a way. Like deciding what to wear or choosing a route to take us home.
Facts are the great enemy of truth. Religion, to be worth anything, has to be grounded in and based on the invisible world. What world would that be these days? There is no world but the world of concrete and steel. Wall Street and Madison Avenue. Our work is to create the invisible world! To rediscover it! To live in it and out of it! How do we do that? How do we live as though the invisible world is the Real World? How do we resurrect the world of intuition, instinct, charm, wonder, magic, delight? How do we come to believe again in invisible hands opening doors, and guiding our steps through our days? We could do worse than investing ourselves in the work of establishing an intimate relationship with ourselves! No one is more invisible that the one Carl Jung was talking about when he said, "There is in each of us another, whom we do not know." Humor me this: The Other within is the source of our dreams, our moods, our spirit, our lilt and our light. We have nothing to lose by believing it is so and making ourselves available for communion with The Other on a regular basis. How would you go about this? Ask The Other for suggestions, and sit quietly awaiting what arises from the silence.
One thought on “April 27, 2021”
I needed this, at this time… —Jim