During this time of Thanksgiving Holiday here in America, I had occasion to sit with friends, family, friends’ families, and family friends, to share a meal (or two). A side effect of the modern family and its bifurcating reality is that there are Thanksgiving meals going on for the better part of the week. I participated in or heard about gatherings taking place on just about any day of the past week and at one point I thought- what a miracle that all these different ‘sides’ of all of our families can orchestrate all these events so all the required combinations and permutations of beings can occur. A quantum computer could not have solved the problem more efficiently. Stepping back, we were like one big whirling, swirling, recombinant half-time show of giving thanks.
At one point a discussion came up. One of those discussions. The solution to the problem of the world is… [blank]… I enjoy these conversations mightily but I was struck by the difficulty of sharing my current “position” on the subject. You know, the one that says, “All of our brilliant ideas and good intentions won’t do it- not if we don’t heal our perceptions, allow ourselves to discover the world isn’t what we thought it was, and allow ourselves to remember that we are simply and powerfully… Love.” I experienced the challenge of espousing a view that is “different”, of espousing a view that is not obviously “logical”, of espousing a view that is not even clearly “actionable”.
I did speak up and say- along the lines of Herbert Spencer’s quote “In vain do we build the city, if first we do not build the man”- that the only real problem we have is within our own minds. Mild bit of disagreement on that point there was. Understand this do I. Where do we go with that one?
I think the dissenting perspective is based, at least in part, on a sense of the intractable difficulty of modulating “human nature”. We need, therefore, solutions that work in spite of who we are… Also, aside from and beyond the difficulties inherent in “getting people to change”, for some persons there is the issue of what is real and viable. In other words, if there is not a solution rooted in the tangible- in the proper analysis and diagnosis of symptoms and systems, leading to the subsequent technologies or policies they inform- then one faces the even greater dilemma of there being no solution at all. For, if it is not something we can build, construct, fabricate, write down, outline, or sketch out on the board- it is not real. How often have we been told that we need real solutions…?
I cannot sketch Love out on the whiteboard. Does that mean it is not a real solution?
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What I do know is that I’m past the point of no return. I’m past the point of enjoying healthy discussion for its own sake, as if it were one more feather in the persona’s cap, as if the debate of ideas were a vigorous and worthy past time, like exercising or going to the art museum, growing heirloom vegetables, or refining one’s taste in literature. I’ve gone off the deep end and bet everything on the Invisible. It’s simpler that way. I’ve placed a small but utterly comprehensive wager on the notion we truly are changeless. During these days I see a few of those items I’m holding in reserve, and I gently push them into the middle of the table, too. This is how I spend my time. I find those parts of me that remain on the outside looking in, and I take them by the hand to walk them into the middle.
We’re doing this together, actually. No one can do this alone. It’s not logical, but it’s how it happens.
All around us, bets are still being placed. We’re bringing our scattered bits and pieces to the Center.
Somehow we discovered: Grace is the dealer of this hand. We suspect She may have stacked the deck… We’re curious what card She will turn over next, knowing it will be from an altogether different type of deck, and that it will remind us this isn’t the game we thought we’ve been playing at all… It’s been That One all along…! Ha…!
(She’ll turn the card, once we get all our wagers into the Middle.)
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(I walked out the front door today to take a walk and it was beautiful. And for a moment, I was needless. There weren’t any reasons for that, either. This is how we practice. This is how we allow ourselves to quietly dissolve into a new rationale.)