Thursday, December 24, 2009

In the World but not of it

In my morning meditation today, I read from ACIM 27.III:

  • An empty space that is not seen as filled, an unused interval of time not seen as spent and fully occupied, become a silent invitation to the truth to enter, and to make itself at home. No preparation can be made that would enhance the invitation’s real appeal. For what you leave as vacant God will fill, and where He is there must the truth abide.
  • Reality is ultimately known without a form, unpictured and unseen.
  • In quietness are all things answered, and is every problem quietly resolved.
  • your state of mind, solution is impossible. Therefore, God must have given you a way of reaching to another state of mind in which the answer is already there. Such is the holy instant. It is here that all your problems should be brought and left.
  • Attempt to solve no problems but within the holy instant’s surety.

Today I ran 1:50 along the levy. It was a driving freezing rain that was painful at first. Going out, one side of my face was frozen. Coming back, the other side was frozen. I peed under the interstate. The Gortex did its job. I did this run because, well whenever I have time, I go running. I'm not particularly tapering for a marathon on Sunday because, well, with snow on the way I'll likely walk on the treadmill tomorrow; and I don't even know if I'll feel like the three hour drive to get to the marathon.

The guy with the book was out there too. This man trudges along reading a book and not looking up at all. Today, he was trudging through the grass on the leeward side, away from the wind, with an umbrella. His blue jeans were sopping up the rain. I don't think he saw me up on the levy, but his dog came and said hi.

I saw a heard of wild turkeys, a couple of cardinals and some other small birds.

I see Christmas all around me but am not angry at it. I have cut ties with the reality of the illusion if I can watch the illusion but not be involved with it. This ambivalence is to be in the world but not of it.

I know some thoughtful people who don't want to do Christmas but do it because of pressure from others; blaming children or parents for their involvement. Peer pressure justifies gang rape too! Others feel like they must give, so they go work at the soup kitchen. Others feel like it is terrible for anyone to be alone and offer loners a place at their table. Others feel the religious necessity of celebrating Jesus' birthday, a holy day of obligation as well. Some loners gather together anyway unable to stand the idea of being alone on Christmas.

I have 5 days in a row off work. Time to be in solitude and silence.

So I have broken free of the ties of peer pressure. It puts me in a vacuum outside the world. I have time and space to listen to the inner Voice. The vacuum is a void where a spiritual reality can flood in to my awareness (even if it is not Christmas this happens). The spiritual reality is quiet. It has no definition related to the material world. It is a place I know, where I exist as an abstraction.

Sitting in my apartment watching the thoughts float through my mind is no different than going out into the world and watching what is going on with other people. Neither the thoughts in my mind nor the world I seem to see around me are real. The spiritual reality, which is real, is eneffable, undefined, abstract, ungrasped, unperceived; yet known. The inner Voice does not speak in words. I invest less of my belief in the material world, thus letting go of judgment, fear, anger, hate and self centeredness. I invest more of my belief in the world of undefined being, existence without limit or terms.

It is somewhat difficult to keep the attention focused on the spiritual world. To be in solitude focused on the spiritual world is the lingering gift of monastic life. Physically divorced from ordinary life while in the cloister, I was never able to return to normal life exactly. I continued my spiritual quest into the Great Beyond, where nothing said in words makes sense.

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