Monday, April 30, 2012

Chapter 6

The Tao is called the Great Mother: 
empty yet inexhaustible,
it gives birth to infinite worlds.
It is always present within you.
You can use it any way you want.
(Tao Te Ching, Ch. 6)

I've been trying to reconcile competing philosophies, as one set of truths rings truer to me than another.  But, as Lao Tsu so perfectly stated above, the Truth gives birth to infinite worlds - you can use it any way you want.

So I stick by what makes sense, but keep exploring this other stuff, certain than certainty about the things I'm unfamiliar with is an artificial stance at best, and a dishonest one at worst.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Real Change Takes Time

I left the life of spiritual discipline behind about 5 years ago, feeling like I had escaped the suffocating weight of being trapped in my own good intentions and hopefulness for who I could be, be wasn't. 

And I thought I would fly free to my new life, full of easiness and lightness and good humor and joy and connection.  But really I've just disappeared more and more into myself, uncertain what I'm about, even though I'm more and more clear all the time about what I'm NOT about.

But I'm not free and easy.  I'm not open and connected and engaged.  I'm perched on the periphery of many different worlds simultaneously, looking for a community of similarly spiritually-minded people, and finding that I'm fairly alone, on a bit of a journey without many companions.

I don't know if my own internal isolation leaves me feeling alone, or it comes from so many years and so many habits of building a life around G*d, around ideas and philosophies and disciplines and knowledge that others in my life simply don't share.

Not loneliness exactly - but certainly the sense that I'm in this on my own, and I'll have to figure it out, and I have to go beyond myself and my own limitations to do so.  And that's not easy.

I trust human beings so little, certain that suffering accompanies all connection, and so naturally good at detachment to the point that I don't know what I feel other than that most of the time.

I see deep.  Deeper than most, with some special night-vision of the soul, allowing me to peer deep within.  But seeing deeper, understanding what's at the heart of another, doesn't bring me closer.  Just makes me clearer about why I want to keep my distance.

I have to find a comfortable place in myself, one in which hiding away and self-protection aren't the guiding values.

Real change takes time.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Sacred Text

The ultimate benefit of studying sacred text isn't in knowing the text, but in gaining wisdom and insight into the self. Whatever scripture doesn't offer this isn't sacred text at all.