Greetings one and all; today is the day before I set out for France where I will be for most of the next three weeks. For some reason, many holiday homes don’t have phones and it follows that internet would be problematic too. The owner, who lives nearby, says we can use the internet at his house whenever we want but you know how that goes. So, looking at that and my plans for that time which include a lot of physical activity; an extended, daily sauna detoxification process, visitors from far away, a trip to Portugal to view a property I am seriously considering acquiring and the finalizing of a pretty extensive musical project, it is likely that I won’t be contributing much here. Heh heh, I’ll be lucky if I get those things done. But I will.
I’ll try to get by at least once a week. Upon my return things should even out even if focus turns to packing and moving and the vast complexity of home acquisition and financial juggling acts. It seems doable at this point though it could be squeaky too. I’m considering regular lottery ticket purchases. Writing this isn’t easy with the speakers blasting as I am reviewing and burning CD’s for commitments I must fulfill before hitting the road. Now I’ve been sitting here for a couple of minutes in an ironic exampling of just that.
Coming here and embracing the discipline of producing regular essays has been a rewarding addition to my life. I tried for a long time to practice this in another location but it was usually more akin to war zone correspondent work. It is a funny thing about life and projects and any directions a person may choose to engage themselves in or head off into that- life just seems to automatically accommodate them. There is a profound magic in concentration and application. No one thinks much about getting in their car and driving to the store for something, but it’s magic too. It seems so ordinary. Our repeating functions of eating and sleeping; our occupations and relationships, they are magic too. It really comes down to what kind of magic we get up to; what our intentions are, because life will follow them out whether they be good, bad or indifferent; though indifferent probably occurs indifferently.
The more I think about it, it becomes increasingly clear that we could accomplish most anything we wanted to if we could just decide just what that was. I think most people get bogged down by too many interests, with too little direct and consistent focus on any of them. We are made poor by a multitude of desires. Often we don’t even want what we think we want. We may not be always aware of this on the surface but a part of us knows just what we are about. One might ask, “Well what about world peace? According to you I can make that happen if I want.” Actually you can. We all live in a world of our own that inter-penetrates with all other worlds. You can achieve world peace in your world and to that degree it will influence the entire.
Not everyone has the same idea of what conditions will achieve world peace. This, itself, creates conflict. Every idea and intention we have is opposed to someone else; many someone else’s. This is why, in my mind, it is always best to align all of your ideas and desires with original intention. The one thing you do not want to be in conflict with is the divine; being in accord with the divine guarantees success in the right things and a natural forgetfulness of the rest. Again we can see where our problems come from. All conflicts arise out of a difference between the individual and the cosmic in terms of understanding and value.
One might ask how are we to comprehend the mind of the divine in terms of our personal thoughts and efforts. There are things upon which all of the major faiths agree. Surely these are a good starting point. Sometimes following the simplest rules will automatically resolve even the most complex issues.
Once again, it all comes down to whether there is a God or not. If there is a God then this God resides everywhere, within and without you; in it we live and move and have our being. This God regulates all activity according to its own absolute balance in the midst-connected to and aware of every thought, desire and action.
We hear the world around us because we are listening to it. A recording engineer hears an entirely different musical piece than the layman, even though they are listening to the same thing. A naturalist in the forest hears differently than someone out for a Sunday walk. We hear what we are listening for. We hear what we have trained ourselves to listen for. Add in the quality of our minds; a drunk hears and sees differently than one who is sober. A person of strong religious and political beliefs perceives the world very differently than one without them. One with an intense spiritual nature apprehends things differently than one with a strong religious nature. They are not the same. These things might be thought of as gases that rise up and affect perception. One with a strong objective reasoning capacity sees far more aspects to a situation than one who is subjectively inclined. Bodhisattva’s and psychopaths can both possess strong objective reasoning skills and come to very different conclusions.
What I am hoping to illustrate here is that if one were to practice listening to God, after a time one would get some evidence of God. It may be that the aperture is very narrow. The water moving through it will eventually widen the walls and the flow would increase. If one were tunneling to a location there is a constant effort toward that location. But why would one bother tunneling to a location they had no faith in the existence of? I can easily convince myself that if I tunnel under a house I can come up on the other side; mindful of obstructions of course. Some things require faith.
I’m trying to listen. I’m trying to comprehend where I am wrong as immediately as possible. If what I was after were more important that the needs and benefits of others then I wouldn’t be listening for that. I’d only be listening to and hearing what served my purposes. There you have it, ‘your’ purposes and ‘the’ purpose. This is the thing upon which our destiny hinges. Are you to become yet another example of self will set forth upon defeat, or an example of the divine will glorified within? Few people look long and deeply upon this matter. They should. Especially since the divine has their best interests in mind far more than they do. That’s odd isn’t it? That bears thinking about too.
Listening to and for God means often hearing that you are wrong and precipitous; listening to God means a sometimes uncomfortable fashioning and diminishment of ourselves. It means hearing what we don’t want to hear some times. Numerous New Testament quotes come to mind. For one who would persevere, continue to tunnel through their darkness in search of God, the rewards are incalculable; they beggar description, they transcend imagination; “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, those things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
The more that time ‘seems’ to pass, the more gratitude becomes my most constant companion. Sometimes just the smallest thing will set me off. Some mornings just a look around presents me with an aura of wonder shining from everything I see. I cannot imagine that anyone possesses anything better than this and this... is early on I think.
So, I hope you will all be nice to yourselves during my temporary absence. I’ll always check my emails when I can and I hope to visit with you again soon. Cave Dei Videt.
'Listening to God in the Morning' is track no. 13 of 13 on Visible's 2007 album
'The Sacred and The Profane'