What needs to happen in any situation conflicts with-- and stands in contradiction of-- what we want to happen there. This is the story of the Garden of Eden and the Garden of Gethsemane. It is the story of the Buddha under the Bo Tree and of Jesus in the wilderness. It is the story that is repeated ad nauseam through all of the ages of humankind-- and all the lives of each of us in all those ages. Truth is found, and life is lived, "between the hands." On the one hand, this. And on the other hand, that. I want this, and I need to want that. Which will it be? The theme is at work in each situation as it arises throughout time. And here we are, now what? We answer the question best when we ask it with full awareness of what we are doing. We default instantly to what we want to do, to what we want to happen, without considering what needs to be done, what needs to happen. We live to have our way in each situation that arises until we die. We live our life in a lifelong conflict of interest with our life. We want one thing from our life and our life wants another thing from us, and it is within this tension that we live moment-to-moment, day-by-day. But. Don't take my word for it. Simply be still. Sit quietly. And wait. Wait to become aware of the conflict of interest at work in this moment in your own life. Be clear about what you want to happen. Become open to what needs to happen-- to what the moment is calling for beyond what you want for the moment. Do this with every moment following this one. And see what you do. This simple process calls into question everything we think and believe about living our life. Our sole motivation for living is to have what we want, to do what we want. We talk of Freedom and Liberty, but it is always the freedom and liberty to do what we want, to live our life the way we want to live our life. And anything that stands in our way is interfering with our freedom to have our way. What does wanting know? Wanting has led you to this point in your life. What is your batting average? How often has your wanting known what it was doing? How often did you want yourself to a rock wall, or a cliff edge? How often did you want yourself to the end of the line? And what did you have but more wanting to lead you to the end of the next line? Wanting is a very short-sighted guide. Near-sighted-ness is not a particularly sought-for qualification when interviewing potential guardians and guides. It isn't what we want that matters, but knowing what we ought to want, what we should want, what we need to want-- and doing what we know needs to be done, regardless of what we want. This is the quality that will direct our living past all concerns for our best interest, our good, our gain, our advantage and what is in it for us-- and deliver us into the service of what is crying out to be done in each situation as it arises, moment-by-moment, day-by-day, all our life long: "Without hope! Without witness! Without reward!" (Steven Moffat) If you are going to hitch your wagon to some horse, let it be that horse, and give it the reins, or, better, forego reins and bit entirely, and just go along for the ride!
"The Church of What's Happening Now" is the companion blog-page to this page, and can be accessed through the menu above. It is offered in light of its absolute necessity in the work that we are to be doing-- the work that is ours to do-- here and now, moment to moment, situation by situation, day in and day out, because being both involved/immersed in, and aware of, what's happening now is more that any of us can do alone. There have always been communities of the now-- I call them "communities of innocence" because they are completely sincere about their work-- and of all the institutions that have been developed through the ages of our accession, they alone stand apart by having nothing to gain and nothing to lose, beyond helping the individuals they serve in living as those who, themselves, have nothing to gain and nothing to lose. "Sincerity without contrivance" is the motto of all communities of innocence. Alcoholics Anonymous separates itself with its "Attraction not promotion" slogan and its recognition of "a higher power" with no theology or doctrine to cloud and conceal the essence of "that which has always been called God." For me, "The Church of What's Happening Now" is AA without the Alcohol (or the substance Abuse) part, helping us to stay focused on being here, now, doing what is ours to do-- what needs to be done-- what the situation is calling for, throughout the "Eternal Now" of our existence. As I say in the introduction to the page, "The Church of What’s happening Now is intently focused on, and involved with, the present moment, which, of course, is eternal and unending because it, in fact, never ends. It evolves, morphs, transitions forever into nothing more than the present moment right here, right now, forever. The Church of What's Happening Now is a Community of Innocence dedicated to helping its members maintain their focus and clarity-- their balance and harmony-- while walking two paths at the same time, being involved with the conditions and circumstances-- the "just so-ness"-- of the present moment, while being intently aware of the "also is-ness" that connects this moment with all those that have preceded it and those that will flow from it. Lawrence Tribe has said, “Every possible future points back to and is contained in this moment in time and space, and every possible past culminated in this moment. So all that ever was or will be is right here right now with you and with me.” The present is eternal. It is the fulcrum, the pivot point, "the still point of the turning world" (Eliot). It is the place of our acting, or of our failing to act, in the service of what needs us to do it with the gifts/genius/daemon/virtues that are ours to share as blessing and grace out of filial devotion and liege loyalty to the good of the whole.