Confessions Week 1
Many of us write journals, diaries, confessions. These are each different in tone and in self-relationship, yet each is personal–we speak to ourself. I write daily in my journal, so it could be a diary (the word ‘diary’ being a daily record of events and experiences, coming from the Latin ‘dies’ for ‘day’) but I am including the notion of confession not for its connotation of sin but rather of disclosure. I write to know what I think and feel, to hear myself, sometimes to reveal myself to myself. Here are excerpts.
Doing a thing for the sake of doing it opens the door to the capacity for ‘non-relevance’, which may be another way of saying ‘moving beyond ego’, beyond the Hungry Ghost self. Do this without descending into flatness, depression, without giving up. I remind myself. I talk to myself. I bolster myself. Be in vitality as its subtle brilliance flickers…A wise friend remarks to me, “‘Relevance’ is only a part of a human’s existence.” So helpful to hear this. We put too much emphasis on relevance which consumes us and makes us blind to exploratory, random, expanding experiences. Wanting to be relevant (code for ‘wanting to be loved’) corrupts my art and my meditation, yanks me back onto the main thoroughfare so that I miss the path in the underbrush snaking down to the jade waterfall…
Artists wander around in nudges and intuitions, assembling and sorting and piecing together the enigmas they collect yet cannot be satisfied with. Exploring. That is so much of it. Current society imagines it knows everything and there is nothing left to explore and that exploring is very 16th-century. Not so. Always, what is known is not all there is to know. A round dimensionality—possibly exponentially subtle—billows the more we attempt to nail our existence to the wall with information.
Often what I share with others (in performance or teaching) is process rather than a finished jewel of arrival and mutual delight. Its my mission–and my pleasure–to make cracks in the edifice of self. I trust that my audience feels release and relief in getting, through the chinks, a glimpse, a sniff, a lick of Reality.
When I write things about Ravenrock I dislike that I sound defensive and sanctimonious. I don’t feel that way. I feel that spiritual life is graceful and natural. How can I express the comfort in living a relaxed and holy life? The literature of most spiritual traditions emphasizes the difficulties, makes it severe and punitive, over-extolls its ecstasies and glories. It makes spiritual Path appear dramatic and uncommon. We are full of appetites and potentially unruly forces, but is developing our spirituality primarily a corrective process? I haven’t found it so. I suppose winnowing down our involvements and extricating ourselves from unsuccessful experiments of cultural life can take energy and decisiveness, and require fortitude. Yet this has always been a relief to me, not a regret. It seems to me that relaxation and appreciation are the heart of the spiritual existence.
Relaxation and appreciation are the heart of the spiritual existence.
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