Wisdom & the Deepening Trust part 3

 
 
 

When we are perfectly honest with ourselves – and this means an honesty that has in its undercurrent a feeling of compassion – we can recognize how deeply it is we yearn to feel a Love that does not change.  We want so much to experience something outside the boundaries of time that is safe.  We want deeply to be loved and in love.  We project this deep yearning onto the things and experiences of this world.  This is why our relationships can become so very, very difficult, because they are made up of a projection of an intense longing for God’s Love, for God’s Grace.

A projection of that longing onto a human face, onto a human body always results in a feeling that either we are going to be betrayed or we have been betrayed.  It is inevitable.  My brother, my sister, my father, my mother, my daughter, my son, my friend can be there for me in a certain way.  They can support me.  They can offer me love.  But they cannot extend to me the Grace that transcends boundaries.  Only the compassionate Presence, only the power of Love as a Being, only God’s messenger can do this for me, or for any of us.  When we speak of God’s messenger, we are not speaking here of some ideological presentation or some purely religious articulation. We are speaking of a deep, deep experience which leads us to trust – trusting it and trusting ourselves in relationship to it.

How much time do we spend not trusting who we are?  How much time do we spend questioning our feelings and hoping that they don’t appear again or that they don’t exist at all?  How many of our difficulties are based on the belief that there is nothing to trust, that there is betrayal, that the answer to betrayal is control – making things happen a certain way?  Whenever we do that, there is tension, there is pain, and ultimately, there is loneliness, because our life is too big to control.  This life experience rolls on.  It is immense.  It is ever-changing.  It is unpredictable.  It is difficult.  It is mysterious.

To think we can control this life is monstrously painful.  To attempt to control makes the body enter into a relationship with itself that can become unbearably tense as long as it continues to try.  It bears a burden of summoning an energy to control what is beyond the ability of a mortal to control.  Yet when the ego hears the word “surrender,” it trembles.  How can I surrender?  Doesn’t that mean that I am going to have to face some terrible, terrible danger?  We can feel this inside of ourselves.  Somehow, on some level, trying to control feels much safer than surrendering.

Surrendering is far more frightening to the human being – at least in the ego experience – than is the attempt to do what is impossible.  It is impossible to control, and we know that.  So much of our life is made up of trying to get control over what inevitably passes out of our control.   Yet sometimes, we long so deeply to surrender, to let go in a fundamental way, to be at ease with our own inner life and with the world around us.  There is an urge for that.  Sometimes we can’t believe that we can trust that step, that we can let go enough to see whether there is something to trust, and furthermore, let go enough to perceive that all of our attempts to control simply bring us into an experience in which we are trying to use dust to quench our thirst.  It hurts.  It doesn’t solve the basic problem.  It perpetuates it.

In the desire to control, we can feel the great manacles of earth boundaries and life boundaries and the belief that the body is all there is.  In the desire to surrender, in the yearning to surrender, we can feel how it is to be outside of boundaries, to be outside of time.  This is the only way in which we are ever going to find freedom and release.  In the end, it is only freedom and only release we want, even though we sometimes think it is something in this world.  Beyond this world lies the great dignity of wanting freedom and release.  There is great dignity in being a human being yearning for truth.  There is great dignity in even misinterpreting our feelings.  There is great dignity in being who we are.  In our struggle to try to control, lies the pointlessness of trying to live according to who we think we should be, the pointlessness of living in a fantasy.

I am who I am.  I am feeling what I am feeling.  I accept there is within this, deep Wisdom.  Sometimes I don’t see it.  There is the barren body the ego sees, and there is the Wisdom body Spirit sees.  There are the barren feelings the ego sees, and there are the Wisdom feelings Spirit sees.  There are the difficult and barren experiences we see each day or some days, and there are the Wisdom teaching experiences Spirit sees.  They are the same experience seen in radically different ways.  To make the purpose of our spiritual search to either change our internal or external experience is to misunderstand where it is we will find Wisdom and Grace and Peace.    We will find it where we are and not where we think we should be.

This is my classroom; this is where the Master waits, in my heart and in my life as it is now.  It is here, in my heart and in my life the way it is now, that I can learn to pray.  And I do not pray to an ideological God, to a God speaking of sinfulness and disgrace, to a God reckoning with my pain.  I pray to a transcendent God whose only blessing is Love, forever and forever.

This concludes a 3 part “Wisdom” series that was spontaneously delivered in a Sunday Meeting April 1988, Valley Cottage, New York.

Copyright 1993: Estate of Stephen Robbins Schwartz

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