I began by thinking to myself, “I will log in and write a few words about what is happening.” This is a reasonable stance for a first-year blogger. And I could do that… if I actually knew what was happening. But I don’t. For a while now I’ve been developing an interpretive disability. I see something. I hear something. But I can’t decide what it means. I can’t tell if it’s a win or a loss, a success or a failure, cause for rushing in or a good time to retreat. It’s not exactly shoe-gazing or becoming a bump on a log. I’m not sitting on the fence, uncertain of my position. It’s just that my Position is revealing itself to me and it’s not done yet.
At work I am a hive of productive activity. During my commute my blood flows in eager circles while immersed in the tonal forest of the new Pearl Jam album. My lower jaw is more relaxed than ever in between meals, but then I’m hot as an electric socket when the car won’t start and it’s time to go somewhere. (I can still dial it up at the drop of a pin, but sometimes my exuberance remains a tad misplaced.) Something is occurring in time with my name on it, but it doesn’t belong to me, and it sneaks up on me when I’m just being normal. Something outside of time is bleeding through the edges and into me.
I realize I don’t really know what is happening, and it is good. I can see there are others out there, too, developing this condition. When we make eye contact, we wink, recognizing neither one of us knows what the hell is going on, while seeing we share an understanding that it is, quite clearly, happening, and that it’s wonderful and a touch heady at the same time- like racing the wind towards the cliff at the end of the world in a borrowed speed boat. We’ve never piloted a speed boat before. Not those long skinny ones that burn rocket fuel and have a lot more torque than sense. Wind feels nice, though. We know something happens when we reach the cliff, but we won’t find out until we get there.
This is what we know, but cannot explain.
We are the Tribe of the Unknown Becoming. We are allowing ourselves to be remade on the inside. We didn’t have to become perfect for this Process to find us. We couldn’t have done that anyway. We’re simply beginning to recognize we’re down to the last option, the only one that could ever succeed anyway: grace. Our days are not spent prescribing solutions to the world’s problems. Our days are spent how they’re spent- yelling at traffic, washing dishes, writing legal briefs, assembling tractors, researching the nature of atoms- but we’re under no illusion that our use of time could be optimized in a way that would fix everything. We’re absolutely certain that the thing we can’t describe, the that we’ve given ourselves to, is comprehensive. But we couldn’t make that logically apparent to anyone who still thinks there’s a fix outside of grace that could work.
Don’t ask me to weigh in on health care legislation, for example, to call it good or bad, helpful or hurtful, timely or unfortunate. I said already, “For a while now I’ve been developing an interpretive disability.” Don’t ask me how anyone should be or live. Don’t ask me which philosophy is the right one.
I found a quote in A Course of Love that I liked. There are many like that, but I thought this one really got at the root of a question that has been going around: are we creative beings who shape our own reality, or are we in our various spiritual practices always surrendering and accepting the world in a way that brings peace, but renders us “powerless”? Jesus here is speaking about what he calls the “conditions of the time of acceptance”, meaning the conditions of life that we experience as we accept ourselves fully for who we are, warts and all, (as well as the Truth of who we are). He says, “Another replacement is that of control with grace. This occurs as you give up the control you have but thought you exerted over your life and its circumstances, and live in a state of grace, meeting grace with grace by accepting what is given for your regeneration.”
Until you’re in the speed boat screaming along the surface of the water at Mach 3 towards an embankment of emptiness, it is hard to understand how it could be possible that the things we desire most, above all else, are precisely the things grace would give us if we would but let it. There is no gap, no difference, no possibility that the greatest power in all the land could desire anything for us other than we desire.
Of course, we’re only now beginning to find out what that is…