Monday, January 21, 2013

Let Us Embrace Uncertainty

Being Uncertain

Padre Blazon to Dunstan Ramsey in
Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

"My own idea is that when He comes again, it will be to continue His Ministry as an old man. I am an old man and my life has been spent as a soldier of Christ, and I tell you that the older I grow, the less Christ's teaching says to me. I am sometimes very conscious that I am following the path of a leader who died when he was less than half as old as I am now. I see and feel things He never saw or felt. I know things He seems never to have known .... Am I at fault for wanting a Christ who will show me how to be an old man? All Christ's teaching is put forward with the dogmatism, the certainty, and the strength of youth: I need something that takes account of the accretion of experience, the sense of paradox and ambiguity that comes with years."

YES!!!   For now, uncertainty is a word I want to embrace, not banish. It's the bedrock of the logical scientific attitude, doubt, things are maybe not the way they seem to be, or are said to be, will not be the way they are forecast to be. When we seek a result, we find it isn't where we have gone to find it, maybe doesn't exist anywhere. Seeking a particular result, we live in the anxiety of not getting it yet. We cannot be at peace, as we could be, just following a path, interested to see where it leads. Being certain about my next step, uncertain about where this path leads. The excitement and aliveness of that. Seeking a result, I tie myself to words which may not be the truth of present circumstances, or what could be coming. I'd rather forget seeking results, and just aim to follow the path, discern the signs, be faithful to those, and take with gratitude whatever results lie on that path...Ride my bike into the unknown!!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Is this All There Is?

All There Is

Start with right now. This is all there is, ever will be. Whatever comes is just rearranging the furniture.  And we are afraid. We have fear at the root of our being... that this is all there is, the thought brings fear. We won’t go there, we’re afraid to, so we make plans and activity and fear and anxiety to escape, to move on. But nothing changes. We seek the Promised Land as a thirsty person seeks an oasis in the desert heat.
We imagine, when we get there, driven by our fear, our desire, we will be free of fear.

But there is no Promised Land out there. We can’t travel to a place that doesn’t exist out there. That fact we are dimly aware of, but we repress it, we’re afraid to face it. We know, at some level, that to Journey to the Promised Land, the land of bliss without fear, we must journey inward. A lonely journey, all  alone, with no guide. We  must find our own path. Perhaps, we will not find the path, will not arrive. We carry the fear of that, of what we might find, the difficulties of the journey. We are afraid we will find we don’t exist. if this is truly all there is, then all our activities produce nothing, no changes, so, we don’t exist. So we don’t go there.

All we do in life is make memories. All we see in life, unless we are Mystics, are memories. Everything we see, encounter, feel, we cobble together from previous memories. They don’t exist. We would rather make the same memory, over and over again, like hanging the same suit of clothes in the closet every day, than journey into our fear, than journey inward, seeking. We fear the Minotaur in the cave. We won’t go there. But the only way to the Promised Land, if there is a way, is there, on that path, the journey inward to the source of our existential fear. Abandon all the the old memories, everything we think we know, or have experienced, and determine to daily put together new memories from pieces of the old, on a path we’ve never yet travelled, the inward journey. And we may arrive at some instant, to a point where all the labels, all the names, all the thinking, all the memories, drop away and we see what truly is, and we are surrounded in bliss.... and yes, we don’t exist, any more than a drop of water in the ocean, which knows it is the ocean.

Donato Jan 2  2013