Friday, 25 April 2008

As long as we are satisfied with glass beads....we don't search for diamonds

I read these words this morning and they really hit home to me. So much so that I am going to make them the subject of this blog entry. Complacency is a big threat to the spiritual path. The glass beads of materialism can never assuage the deep inner hunger. The irony is that we ascribe this inner hunger to working for and achieving in many cases more glass beads. There is something very cruel in this from my way of thinking. To recognise an emptiness and then to fill it with something that may satisfy for a while but in the end leaves an even greater emptiness feels a bit like a Divine joke. But then the mystics have always said that this world is the playground of the Divine.

I can't speak enough of the reality of the spiritual path. Knowledge allows us to understand but experience allows us to know. I know because of experience. Until I had the experience all knowledge while interesting didn't shift my consciousness to any great degree. The shift of consciousness came when the path became alive. When I stopped walking the path and became the path. But what do I do with everything I experience besides write a blog. Then I ask myself is there a need for me to do anything else but this. All I need to do is to be honest with myself and others, for there to be no difference between how I feel and what I say. This vigilance over integrity and authenticity never ends. It just becomes a little easier to see as time as goes on and faith and commitment to the path grows.

A couple of days ago I lost it with a work colleague and became uncharacteristically angry. This shocked me to the core because I thought that I had control over all of my self-expression. What I saw from this when I examined it closely is that underlying the aggression was fear. We had been told of changes at work that involved a possible split from my work colleagues. The outburst was the expression of a fear that I wouldn't be good enough. When I saw that I could own it and accept it and let go of both his trigger which caused the outburst and even my own outburst. What was important was to get to the feeling which triggered the outburst and stay with that. Every thought and action has as its source a feeling. When we identify and stay with that feeling then it can move to the next level. (This was first a theory given to me by Manuel Schoch, I have verified it by my own experience therefore I will take it on).

I apologised to my work colleague, took total responsibility for my action and told him the truth that it wasn't personal. I didn't go into any more detail. What triggered it was the universal feeling of fear. But as humans we don't like to feel fear and we cover it up with aggression. That is what I did. I had the feeling, didn't like it and responded with aggression. Without seeing this the aggression once over is then held in place by the mind and a chain of resentment then builds up towards the other person and also oneself. At home that evening that fear because I stayed with it transformed to sadness and I cried. The important thing with sadness is not to turn it into self-pity because there is no power in self-pity.

This was a huge lesson for me. It made real for me the old saying of a finger pointing at the moon. Don't get hung up on the finger, look to the moon - don't get hung up on a reaction look to the source. Don't get hung up on a thought and its content, look to where it has arisen. For this I am very grateful. I also notice something else happening and that is that recently I seem to have a deep ease and connection with people especially strangers. I had a meeting yesterday and usually when it's over I have my laptop packed and am gone, leaving skid marks at the door! Yesterday when the meeting ended I felt no desire to pack up and go like I have done in the past. I just sat there with everyone totally relaxed and happy. I am clear that this is all possible as a result of staying with this path no matter what. It produces a relatedness to people without needing any effort, a natural relatedness where there's no need to rush anything. But achieving this is tough. It's hard and takes work. I am the first to admit that but the fruits when they come and they will come are beyond anything I can write. What I do write is a poor reflection of what is possible......

Today I leave to visit my family in Ireland. My nephew is making his first holy communion. Even though I left Catholicism many years ago there is something about those sacraments, that are powerful. So I will be very quiet and reflective for the time I spend in the cathedral tomorrow. I have often spoken of the tension I feel when I go home. It will interesting this time to see whether that will have shifted. This morning I woke up and I have created the possibility of listening (not talking!) to the members of my family from their greatness and not to listen to the continuous inner voice that is always finding fault. So let's see......

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