Saturday, April 17, 2010

Be Satisfied With Who You Are

It is seldom easy to understand what should happen next. I stand in the Buddhist sensibility as much as anything, though my devotions are eclectic. I look at the west and find the power grabbing and the controlling of things offensive. “I am the captain of my soul.” So says one of the cores of the American ideology. I believe this is delusional thinking.

On the other hand it is utterly clear, completely and thoroughly demonstrated that the consequence of the western dynamic has resulted in an easier life for more people on the planet than there have been people on the planet for most of our time here. Unfortunately, it has also increased the numbers of the desperately poor by a much greater amount. The accusations of imperialism were once literally the truth of empire and they remain true in terms of economics. Oligarchies otherwise named corporate structures are far too influential in human affairs. Politics lurks in this and I have no wish to go there.

Instead, I say the heart of the Judaeo-Christian-Islamic complex is evangelical and exploitative, but also dynamic and results oriented. The heart of the eastern religions tends to hold the status quo in place. I believe it is built in to the philosophy and theology in east and west that this is so. There is very much more to be said on such a topic, a whole book in fact, and more. I am not really qualified to write it. Instead I write this inner truth stuff in fairly short work.

That is actually my attention span at work. The other day I revisited chess, a game I was willing to try in my youth but left behind for virtually all of my adulthood. I have quickly remembered why I quit the game. I can be much better at the game if only I am willing to pay attention, but I do not want to. I don’t want to. I really don’t want to.

Another example, I don’t even want to write a book, not really. I did it to get my degree. That’s enough. I can. I know I can. I don’t want to. That’s paying attention to one thing way too long. The only way that can work for me is at God’s command. He so rarely commands me. It’s not about the money, not at all.

Sometimes a lover or friend, or even a stranger, jumps in my shit and hands me something to do. Sometimes I get it and respond with alacrity. These are the commands, God with skin on saying, “do this, do it now.” I am pretty good at following these moments in the right circumstance and most of my life has happened that way, truth be told.

Be Satisfied With Who You Are

Breathing is felt deeper
below the surface, where all
becomes a fleck, foam
floating on the work
of the universe, not my
breathing, not at all,
nor is it my thought.

Delusion and truth are one,
the same ocean shore.

May 10, 2009 12:10 PM


  1. Was it Mother Theresa who said she was a little pencil in the hand of god and the story he writes? It is a learned skill to discern who issues the commands. You really have to have your listening ears on. Learned that on Romper Room boys and girls. "floating on the work of the universe, not my breath at all." Loved this. I am thinking of Laminin.

  2. You might be right about the skill involved in listening. I certainly didn't take a course on it or anything remotely like that. Instead it is as if someone speaks and the words take on a special hue that makes it easy to see them stand out. I know I switched from sound to sight there. It is like that, like a switch from sound to sight. Or in books, it's the italicized sentences. I would say it is not so easy to miss the change in divine words from ordinary words, but it is easy to not be paying attention at all at that moment.

    I think Mother Theresa's statement would be an extreme faith statement applied to my life. I can accept it true for her. I go months and years at a time without conscious divine intervention. The stuff I am writing about is not common in my life but it has happened several times, mostly at key moments.

    I have chased this kind of direction. I want more of it than I get and I have worked for years in certain areas of prayer and oracle in order to increase my connection. I haven't received the gift of being the pencil in God's hand or any variation of it. I am too enamored of my own self, and not only that, I believe self essential for the work. Thus while I have worked hard in prayer and oracle, I have never found it easy to meditate. The object of meditation appears to me to remove the self as much as possible, and that has not been my plan. Something inside of me believes implicitly that I am not here this time to upset the basic rules of engagement, however much I chafe under them, however much I argue and moan. I was born with self and shall keep it, seeing how far I can take it with me, believing it came in with me largely formally intact. My life has filled my self with current content but not altered its form.

    My myth says I came in with self and will go out keeping it somehow. In this sense, I am thoroughly western. I truly doubt the Christian fundamentalist vision of heaven, but I do not doubt that in some sense God is after companions. He is trying for equals in some way, the whole point of all this travail. It is my job to work toward being His companion, a good one, interesting and engaging, a work of art in this sense, excellent perhaps, but not perfect, which is no more required or possible in me than in any other work. The distance of self and God is required in this work.

  3. All we can be is alert at the wheel. We respond to the ocean. Who are we to control oceans? Even our hands. Who are we to control our hands? I do believe that it is our alertness, or lack of it, that tells us how to steer. Do we control even this?

    It is my intention to be alert. It is my intention to receive the ocean.

    Sometimes, I admit, I have fallen asleep at the wheel.


  4. Right along with my claim that every critical moment in my life is really a collaboration of me responding to a divine suggestion, I must also claim that every unhappy accident I have ever suffered on the road and elsewhere is based in part on my failure of attention.

    My lack of attention has caused damage on the planet not only to myself but to others as well. This adds to my karma and sours my hope for progress. Lack of attention is infinitely grave. I have a feeling there is small room for mercy in it.

    This is part of the problem of human fallibility. We cannot be perfect. We must enlist God's mercy before the fact of our inattention so that we are harmless in it. It does no good to gain His mercy after the fact because His justice must be perfect as well.

    Karma earned through accidental inattention must be balanced in this life or somewhen.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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