Let’s start this little report on aware living with a caveat: I make no claim to know anything other than love, and, like Walt Whitman during the Civil War, pretty much find myself to be all that really interests me these days. That “myself” includes you; we are not, and have never been, separate. And it includes all that’s going on wherever we live too – in fact, as well as in fantasy; in the media, as well as in our daily lives. We are Everyman and Everything – all the “noise” that our personal living generates. And of course, what’s behind that noise. And it may be there we find that powerfully delicate joy of living in chaotic times.
Inspiration in Madness
So the topic that presents itself today is, perhaps oddly, Inspiration In Madness! I find lots of it all over the place, in the strangest places, and I know you do too. So just for a minute, let’s leave the madness aside, and talk about some of the things that inspire us – that may help make those internal (if not external) guns go silent. You know, the things that really make us deeply, profoundly, happy. By that I mean sweetly yet simply content, and even inspired, to sing like a bird in a Newtown or Anytown school yard. (Or anywhere that violence erupts, like suffering, from our ignorance of who we are.) It’s here, or nowhere, that inspiration arises. This inspiration is a kind of communion; a singing without a singer, not so much above and beyond events, but with and within. A resounding compassion for all that is.
The singer is the song
Inspiration seems to arise from a simple dialoging with myself, me-to-me. In the middle of all that contemporary living in the US would have us believe – that life should be other than it is – we may yet find the hand of a loving presence, the movement of spirit perpetually healing itself.
A lot of Red Bull intensity comes out of the end of guns: The big guns that the media mouths fire day and night; the big guns that conflicted politicians pack into the nations courthouses. Yes, and the little guns that we – you and me – point, prod and otherwise misfire under the heavy influence of a drug called Desire. The desire to have and to hold what we, in our conditioned, conflicted and conflicting minds think, is real and right, good and bad. For it is in thought that we may find the source of all our suffering. (We could also explore power and greed, but they too, are desires, and the only antidote for the disease of all desires is ultimately, love.)
Perceiving the mind
It’s useful, and more than comforting, to move out of the usual and limited seeing of life with our mind – that is, the viewing of reality from our mental conceptions about it – to allow for a much deeper recognition of our direct, non-ideated perceptions. Our own direct perceiving is a tool to explore the many aspects of this precious jewel we call “life” and to see more and more clearly what it is by virtue of seeing what it is not –the minds’ ideas and ideals founded on concepts of right and wrong. And to see what is, is to look into the true nature of things – to sense the fundamental unity behind it all. It’s like the T- shirt my good friend Tom brought back from Thailand. The front reads: “SAME, SAME.” The back: “BUT DIFFERENT”
So, let’s explore ultimate perceptions for a moment. I use the word “ultimate” here and always with a bow to the recognition that I do not know with my mind; that knowing these things as truth, can only be intuited and never defined, measured or otherwise described, much less spoken or written about by the minds’ wording of the wordless.
An App called “Sincerity”
A little sincerity poured gently into old rusted, cast iron locks of the mind, opens the doors of perception. The cold stone threshold of truth is then and thereby crossed not so much with courage, as trust. An active trusting that dissolves the locks (fears) that personally, historically and habitually have kept us from exploring our RBQ’s – Really Big Questions. And ultimately, what we find behind these RBQ’s – and the thunder of the guns – is our personal, petty and perpetual Fears. Fears that only become visible in the fog of the war constantly waged by our minds when we see them fully for what they, in truth, are. For it is there, and nowhere else, we may find peace. And you’ll find you already have, and in fact are, this peace, once you sniff the truth of your own being. It’s the power there – in knowing for yourself the “perfume of truth” as Jean Klein puts it – that brings us into a graceful contact with reality.
Sincerity is the key that opens the door to truth. And Truth opens all doors. That truth is what’s being explored here; a reality that’s always and only perceived moment-to-moment – here and now .
“What’s going on here?”
Ever since I was about twelve, I’ve been really curious about the truth of “what’s going on here?” For four decades, I travelled the world in search of answers to my RBQ’s. We could say my path was the path of curiousity, but perhaps that’s the path of Everyman, sooner or later? Even if, maybe, just now, that curiousity about reality hasn’t presented itself to everyman – never mind, sooner or later, it probably will. (Indeed, it will surface – even if we don’t have that particular bewildering question now, in the course of things –as life would have it – we’re likely to get answers to questions we’ve never had!) But don’t worry about it, because, again, what’s ultimately going on here has only one answer: love.
Love is what we are and this is.
Real love is found when we find our self – our natural well-being even in the middle of mayhem. We find in ourselves all that is human, conflicted and delusional, and all that’s divine, whole and infinitely peaceful. We are both. The two are one Love, despite and inspite of, appearances. And discovering (or rather uncovering) this love begins with authentic inquiry about the real nature of what we are and this is. It begins not with reference to society, to laws, to authority, to others, but always and only, right at home – here, in our willingness to really see that, as J. Krishnamurti says, “we do not love.”
We don’t love because we think we do.
Turning on our inbuilt Sincerity App, we may find a lot of missed-understandings about this thing we call “love.” We may discover that we think that love is something like a merit that is given to some worthies and not to others; we think that love is a “forever” feeling even though our experience tells us that that love comes and goes. And we may find that we feel that this “love” is a relationship of give and take based on our fears – a trading off of desires for security, a manipulated and neogotiated exchange. But life in its very nature, is neither good nor bad, neither right not wrong, “except we make it so” as Shakespeare said six centuries ago.
Real love endures because it remains in adversity. We don’t learn to love; we don’t try to love; we don’t invent new ways to love – we are love. We find it when the guns go silent, when the smoke of misunderstanding clears, when we stop, look and listen inside to our real loving nature – our one and only self – the greater Me that is compassionate behind, and beyond, appearances.
Reality remains when thought
Truth remains when falseness
Peace remains when struggle
All that remains is love.