Looking Beyond Meaninglessness

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Christ / Course Ideas

For nearly a fortnight this little outpost in the electronic landscape has been a purveyor of radio silence- a dot of ink indistinguishable from the backdrop of the night sky.  Only an expert in this tiny slice of the night sky would have noticed the absence of a star in the heavens, the one eclipsed by my corpuscle blot of quiet.  Jesus, for instance, standing in a meadow beneath the night sky, observing the vast, banded glow of the Milky Way, would notice this miniscule sign, and then put on the headphones that listen to the bug we installed together on the inner wall of my heart.

There He would hear the following signal: sleep-sleep-work-sleep-work-work-work-sleep-sleep-work-sleep-sleep-work-work…  He would understand.  This is what a fortnight spent with a sinus infection sounds like on the inside.

He would also understand the questions the changing seasons of our lives generate- the questions fostered by both the short term unpredictabilities and the longer-term weathering of time.  And He would recognize these are both but cover stories for the still deeper transformation unfolding in our hearts.

One of our deepest questions is: how do we relate the two seemingly real threads?  How do we correlate the external whorling to the inner experience of being?  When the inner warmth wanes, and we find ourselves walking (seemingly alone) on a narrow street punctuated by the sputter of spent lamps and streaking, hungry cats, how do we get the inner glow back?  When the inner fire is strong, how could the external whorling not have settled down?

Unexpected difficulties foster questions of causation.  A nuisance illness begs the question: if my practice cannot control this, how futile is it really, as a defense against the things I really fear?  Has something gone wrong?  You see, having recognized that the world as we know it is attended by suffering that cannot be explained or solved by rational dialogue, by committee or expert, by anything we know about, (other than Love), my strongest feeling- the type of feeling that comes to your rescue when you are suddenly confronted by danger, the type of feeling that means surely an archangel has entered the moment you inhabit with sublime power- is that Love is the only plausible solution.  This is the principle to which I return, like a ball thrown periodically into the air.  If this doesn’t work… then what?

An unexpected and unwelcome whorling in our lives begs the question: is Love really working?  I confess having succumbed briefly to the notion that such a question deserves an answer.  It didn’t stay with me long this round, and the truth is that it doesn’t deserve an answer.  The part of us that begs this question doesn’t need to be treated as an equal.  This is our core difficulty: we treat nothing at all as an equal to Everything.  We haven’t yet fully given up our own interpretations…  The unwelcome sort of unpredictability in our living- as opposed to the joyous, creative unpredictability of discovery- is symptomatic of the places within us where we still carry this question: what if Love doesn’t work for this type of problem?  All the weight we carry in our lives is in the form of this uncertainty.

This uncertainty interrupts the correlation between the inner and outer worlds.  It is like static on the line that binds one to the other.  While we entertain this question, the external whorling is cut off from the cause within us, free to evolve as if under the direction of some foreign power.  But there is no foreign power.  Meaninglessness arises when we assign the whorling a cause it doesn’t possess, and thus isolate ourselves from meaning.  So long as we are willing to entertain the question, “what if Love doesn’t work for this type of thing?” we will experience the whorling results of meaninglessness.

It is one thing to forgive this question when the offending symptom is a ramified head cold, a harsh word, a broken cell phone, or a fender bender, but when it is a typhoon, a flood, the loss of a loved one, a war, or a shattered economy it seems more difficult to look past meaningless and back into Meaning.

My experience is that this Love is a feeling within us that is larger than the whole world.  I have never encountered a circumstance into which it couldn’t quietly flood, if I would but invite it.  Sometimes offering this invitation is easier said than done.  Yet Love waits patiently for our return, knowing there is really nowhere else for us to go.  Moment-to-moment we give ourselves back to it.  As we do, we wonder if anything is happening.  All this looking for evidence of progress- it is time to give that back to Love as well…


    • Thanks, Wayne! A little dash of chaos it is!

      I enjoyed the link as well, but found myself feeling that the emphasis on the notion that the body and the physical world in general are so unreal as to be not even “made of” or simply “of” the one Awareness that was being described is limiting in some way. I prefer the notion that the world we experience each day is indeed an expression of Love, albeit one that we have misperceived and misconstrued in such a way as to make of it a real dilemma for ourselves. This view maintains the understanding that it is the non-physical, invisible, Truth that is ultimately real and unchanging, and our true identity, and the revolving wheel of forms but a mirage. But it allows for the idea that what is ultimately Real and True, e.g. Love, enjoys making movies to share and give of itself…!

      Does this distinction matter? I don’t know. I think the tendency to try and separate ourselves from what is right in front of us can be difficult, but that opening ourselves to identify with something greater than ourselves, which we can become at One with, and allow to flow through us, is more palatable.

      Love beckons always! Michael


  1. Love being bigger than the entire world, awaiting our return sounds the alarm of truth! Hard to distinguish that which encompasses all, so close as to make me cross my eyes to see it 🙂 Sending strong healing vibes to Michael; so glad you are on the mend!


    • Thanks, Marga. That which is bigger than the world is bigger than the world, and also living right next door… I love the recognition that it is so close as to be alive within us. Michael


  2. What a wonderful finish to your piece. This looking for evidence of progress before the realization of giving back – for what choice do we have?

    And love as a feeling larger than the world…perhaps love is a way to envision the world itself, an embrace of itself and all that we are, both the elements we prefer and those we would rather progress on past. Can we offer our love there? Is it ours to offer, or is it simply accepting it gratefully however it appears?

    Such wonderful questions you have provoked this morning. Be well~


    • Thanks- I love your description of the world as love in an embrace with itself. That really resonates with me. Your questions are heart provoking. Think I’ll enjoy sitting with them… Sometimes an open silence is the most profound response, and it is that I offer… Michael


  3. “Cover stories for the deeper transformations unfolding in our hearts”… I ADORE that observation! Recently I have caught myself using birds and benches as part of those stories. Really for me, it is NEVER about the actual items created themselves, but what they mean to their creator. Is there a bench manifest in my new home? -yes… but it is not about the bench at all. Rather it is about the transformations in the expression of love that I am made into a bench for all those blessed bums that will find themselves sat there taking their coats & boots on and off while sat with me over the coming years. 🙂

    Does the inner warmth wane? …or after a certain amount of inner “work” has been done, in those moments are we standing so close to the fire that the temperature gauge goes wonkie for a moment? …like that time in 114 degree Phoenix, AZ when my body started shivering uncontrollably?!

    Oh, the slow and sometime pain filled sputtering death throes of the illusion that “I as M” control anything. At all. Ever. 🙂 🙂

    Love for me is the feeling of the concrete power found from BEING from home at all times, in all places and with all things while doing the dance with the physical world.

    What do I really fear? I leave reading here asking myself that brilliant question.

    Thanks M!

    (Don’t know how, but during my time away, your blog disappeared from my following list ??? This was not something that I asked for. I do tend to take up quite a bit of comment real estate when I respond here, but I find I just can’t help myself. So if it was an un-following initiated on your end, I totally understand. You inspire deep contemplation and thought, and in my world, that is one of the rarest and most precious gifts one can be given. I am however still learning to accept those precious offerings without feeling compelled to have a cup that runneth over at the finger tips in responding in return.)


  4. Maren, first off, I didn’t do any un-anything. I’m not sure I know how to even do that. Ha! Your presence here is a gift. Bring it on! The servers have the space, and we have the words!

    I love this description, “Love for me is the feeling of the concrete power found from BEING from home at all times, in all places and with all things while doing the dance with the physical world.” Beautiful. Now if I don’t move on and start reading your other replies, I won’t make it, so I’m off to read more of your delightful replies!



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