We divert ourselves from the truth of our life by adding complexity and noise in the form of diversions, distractions, entertainment, busy-ness, and immersion in the 10,000 things. Interesting complexity is still a diversion. Beautiful noise remains a distraction. Interfering with our real business of experiencing our experience, engaging the silence, exploring the drift of our soul, the pull of our heart, the interests of our mind, the reality of our life having a life of its own and needing us to live it. There are worlds within us calling us to seek the treasures they have waiting to be found. In every situation and all circumstances, inner space has more to offer than outer space can begin to match-- and can match all of the chaos, anguish, fear, grief, loss, sorrow, and "the clashing rocks," and "the heaving waves of the wine-dark sea" of the outer world, with calming reassurance, consoling presence, guiding grace, peaceful confidence, grounding direction, anchoring purpose and the constant balancing of a nuclear powered gyroscope keeping us centered and focused on simply doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done the way it needs to be done in each situation as it arises, no matter what, day by day by day, throughout the upheaval, trauma and drama of our life. With all that going for it, you might think that establishing and maintaining our relationship with our inner world would be at the tip top of our list of things that have to be done now. When, in truth, it is the first thing that goes, and the last thing we think of. What a loss that is. And so easily avoided and averted. "Of all sad words of tongue or pen..."
We cannot establish and maintain a salvific relationship with the inner world without adjusting/transforming our relationship with the outer world. Which isn't going to happen until our outer world experience becomes intolerable and undo-able. People do not attend AA meetings because they are fun and entertaining. We have to reach the end of our rope before we can change our mind about what is important-- and change the way we live to incorporate it into our life. If the work to enter/engage the inner world doesn't interest you today, keep it in mind. Things are always changing. "Shift happens." And the inner world will be there when you need it, if you aren't hijacked by the easier escapes offered by drugs and alcohol-- which provide additional incentive to seek out the inner world and commit to its requirements for life and being. The doorway/threshold/portal/portkey is always with us, right here, right now. And is as easy as remembering your breathing while being still and quiet. You can do that in a crowd or in the privacy of your own room. On a park bench or walking along a stretch of beach. We can make anywhere we are still and quiet just by attending our breathing and closing off the world. The world comes immediately to mind. No place is as noisy as the inside of your mind. The preferred response is straight out of Rumi's "The Guesthouse" (Google it), welcoming all of the clatter and banging without engaging any of it-- without emotional response to it-- just watching, just seeing, just knowing, but not being swept away by it, anchored by your breathing to what you are doing here and now, waiting for "the mud to settle and the water to clear." Patience here is the key. We cannot hurry the process of settling the mud and clearing the water. We only wait, watching. The waiting and watching may be extended over time. You may have to leave the stillness and silence and return to it again and again waiting for the mud to settle and the water to clear. Your task is to do that, watching, waiting and breathing. Eventually "shift happens," and you begin to notice things-- ideas, images, realizations-- arising/emerging/occurring/appearing out of the silence with a special/unique value. These are the "strange attractors" that "catch your eye" and invite exploration. If you were on a vision quest, these would be the "visitors" offering guidance and direction at this particular time and place in your life, and calling you to see where they lead, like the white rabbit in "Alice in Wonderland," winking at you and flashing around a corner or down the rabbit hole. You have to be attuned to the difference between the normal noise and clutter that occupies the silence, and these sudden appearances of messengers from "out of the blue." Knowing when to "follow," and when to return to your breathing, is essential knowing, and is the tipping point between more of the same old same old, and the wild adventure of being alive. This is the initial evidence of there being something to this inner world business, and encouragement for you to devote time and attention to other areas of engagement/interface with the inner world. Those areas include you nighttime dreams and your daytime flights of fancy/fantasy, your moods, your intuition, instincts, imagination, your obsessions and compulsions, your recurring memories, thoughts, ideas, etc. Become aware of all of your mental activity as a treasure-trove of avenues to exploration and adventure. Do not discount/dismiss/disregard/ignore anything-- and catch yourself doing it when you are tempted to, and listen there, look there, poke around there... "The stone the builders reject," you know, "becomes the chief cornerstone." Notice everything. See what it has to offer, and how you respond to what you think it might be saying. "Everything is grist for the mill," and we are milling ourselves here-- our relationship with ourselves. And the future hangs in the balance, with everything at stake on how attuned we are, and how attentive we can be to what is going on on all levels/frequencies of awareness, moment by moment, day by day.
We are responsible for our own balance and harmony, sincerity and integrity, spirit, energy, vitality. But no one explains this to us, and very few prepare us to be so, by modeling for us what these terms mean and appear. From the beginning we all are unable to undertake, an much less, achieve, the fundamental characteristics/qualities of human being-hood. And the world is the mess it is because of it. How many people do you know, or know of, who dependably exhibits balance and harmony, sincerity and integrity, spirit, energy, vitality? Helen Keller, comes to mind for me. And Eleanor Roosevelt under the "know of" category. There are 26 in the "know" column, and I won't embarrass them by naming them (I will say more than half are women, and I am not related to any. We are on our own in figuring out the basics and working them into our life. "Good luck," as they say, "with that!" It comes down to what we do and how we do it, with what is in it for us not even coming into the picture. We live without an eye on what is in it for us. Jesus proclaims that with every word and deed. And it is the primary focus of life in the world. In this world, it is all about what's in it for us-- for every living thing. It is to be different with human beings. We are equipped to have what we need to find what we need, but we are not designed to sock it in and store it away. We all have to live out of the basic awareness of what constitutes enough, and keep one eye on that as we move on the scale between not enough and too much, and with the time not spent on making our "ends meet," we devote ourselves to the task of doing what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, the way it needs to be done because it needs to be done in each situation as it arises, no matter what. With balance and harmony, sincerity and integrity, spirit, energy and vitality, in each situation as it rises, all our life long.