There are seven things: Seeing what we look at. Hearing what we listen to. Knowing what's what. Doing what needs to be done. The four are held in place and nurtured by the three: The right kind of emptiness. The right kind of stillness. The right kind of silence. The seven produce Right Action on the Field of Action everywhere, all the time. How long has it been since Right Action bestowed its boon and blessing upon us? The world is a wasteland languishing for the lack of noble hearts and valiant spirits strong in the service of Truth, Justice, Liberty, Equality. It is incumbent upon us that we empty ourselves of fear and desire for wealth and personal gain, enter the stillness, embrace the silence and wait to see, hear, know, and do what needs to be done, from the smallest occasion to the greatest necessity throughout all levels of human endeavor from now to the end of time. It starts with us. The world is waiting.
It takes starting over with a completely revised way of looking at the world. For that to happen, something has to happen to wake us up. To shock us awake. To slam us to the ground with the realization that nothing is as it appears to be. That no one knows what they are talking about. That everyone is wrong about what they say is right, and is heavily into diversion, deception, distraction, denial-- thinking their way into not thinking at all. We have to be empty of everything before we can begin to be truthful about any of it. Until you have been there, you can't begin to know what I am talking about. This flows into the continuing refrain defining my ministry (of 40.5 years) in the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. In every stop along the way-- five churches in forty and a half years-- someone would ask me some version of, "Why don't you talk to us about things we can understand?" That translates into "Why don't you just tell us what we have already heard?" And I would reply with some version of, "I don't know, Sam, I wish I could-- it would make things so much easier for us all." People have to hit the wall before they can understand "Hitting the wall." Truth cannot be told. Explained. Defined. Laid out. Spelled out. Clarified. Stated. It can only be known. The hard way. Which gets me to my favorite Zen story, and if you have been with me long enough, you have heard it, perhaps, several times before. If you have been with me long enough, you have heard everything I say before. So bear with me, again... A Zen master and one of his disciples were walking across a bridge when his disciple asked, "What is Zen?" Whereupon, the master picked up the student and threw him into the river below, saying, "That is water! Swim in it, bathe in it, drink it or drown-- but don't talk about it! To talk about water is to not know water!" And, Heinrich Zimmer said (via Joseph Campbell) "The best things cannot be said, and the second best things create confusion and disagreement. We can only talk about the third best things, news, weather, sports, commentary and gossip." I was always paid to talk to them about God, with the stipulation that I could only say things they had already heard. It would have been a snap if I could have done it. Which leads to this little story: A man fell into a well, and tried everything he could think of to get out. At the end of his striving, he gave up and prayed, "O God, if there is a God, if you will save me from drowning in this well, I will spend the rest of my life leading people to you!" Immediately, someone lowered a bucket, the man shouted for help and was pulled out of the well. He spent the rest of his life walking through the country pushing people into wells.
The standards of confidentiality keep us from being completely frank and truthful, besides that, it would be more than people can hear, or need to hear. Besides that, there is a legitimate place for the understated and the unstated in serving The Mystery and honoring the wonder at work in the unfolding of our own personal story within the story--the stories--of the species as a whole. There is more to everything than meets the eye, and shallow judgments and summary statements wrap things up that cannot be wrapped up because they are still working their way out in the consequences that are on-going and unending throughout what remains of time. Nothing ends. Everything leads to something else always, continually, eternally, forever. World without end. Amen. This is the miracle of being alive, participating in the kaleidoscope of existence, marveling at the radiance and wonder of it all. It is amazing. Wow. Just wow.