One thing I’ve been observing recently is the weather pattern of my psyche. There are dominant feelings that arise and then linger like a slowly fading echo, serving as the backdrop to a strand of days. It’s like visiting a foreign country. You’re still you, but everything feels a little different at the same time. This inner weather is always moving around, always shifting. Unpredictable. The weather of three weeks ago is long forgotten, but the weather of today is like a question percolating in the background, surfacing on the ride to work, in between tasks, or as I sit down to write. A persisting impression.
When I’m reading A Course in Miracles regularly, or A Course of Love, or translations of Rumi or Hafiz, or some other text dripping with traces of the Beyond, one of the benefits is the continuous calibration of my inner weather. Every such day contains a sunrise. I look out the window of this vehicle into the vast Emptiness surrounding me at least once, and my world is cleansed. I exhale consciously. I’ve noticed in the past that if I reduced my contact with these periods of reading, reflecting or meditating, my inner weather would drift. Sunrises could stretch into days or even weeks apart. Fog could sock me in and leave me witless, and I’d have to rebuild that warmth of contact with the Unknown. I think spirituality is ultimately about learning to keep in fruitful contact with Love on a moment-to-moment basis, as a natural way of being, even after setting these learning aids aside, but I think it can be challenging to try to fly too early.
Step by step we strengthen our connection to Truth, by giving over that next little bit of our old life and our limiting beliefs. The weather changes. We offer gratitude to the turning inner seasons. Eventually, we’ll have turned it all over, and we’ll be free. It is easy to consider this point a long way off, but I’m not inclined to consider myself an accurate judge of progress. It could be ten minutes from now. It could be my next breath. Love is like a saber-tooth cat coiled in the bushes on the side of the road, ready to spring as we walk by. We just need to quit thinking we live in a world where saber-tooth cats have been extinct for ten thousand years.
Lately I’ve been feeling myself able to sustain a view into the Distance, and yet… my inner weather has been simultaneously aswirl. I’ve been wondering, as I experience myself moving through events and as I observe my reactions to phenomena, why is it that I can tap into an experience of freedom and grace with far more ease than ever before, invite Hafiz in for tea in the evening, and yet I watch myself forsaking that experience for one less pleasant in moment after moment after moment?
I can see exactly what’s happening: I still give validity to the sensation of lacking something in particular situations. I watch myself do it. Then afterwards, I step back and start rebuilding the fire. The thing is, I think it’s possible to give up this recurring detour into the sensation of lack. I’m much more accepting of this idea than ever before. I can see how Love would have no need of presuming it’s own littleness to be polite, of strategizing to build a cushion of security, or interpreting any event whatsoever as evidence that if one is not careful or attentive, one could be left on the outside.
These are habits of thought. They run on autopilot. The right use of denial is to deny them… Jesus visits, and we stand together at the playground fence watching these children play games of pretend and act as though they’ve just been struck down by tragedy and loss, by the one disaster they most wanted to avoid, the one they knew would break them. They make it look so real, so close.
Don’t worry, he says, those types of thoughts are like signatures in a cloud chamber. You are like a sky-in-training, a being with no boundaries. As such, how could you not inevitably dissolve them? And when he says you, he means the One of us. There is no right or wrong in this, no way to train harder or accelerate this process, no way to increase my focus or nerve, no way to muster more dedication, no need for efforting and concentration. Christ has entered the room, and these strange thoughts have looked up, and just like that, they have seen each other. Oh @#$^. One moment, and everything changes.
Outside, the sun is high in the sky. It is so quiet you can hear spurs tinkling off the creaking slats of the boardwalk. Between buildings, the wind is coming in gusts. All I’m really saying, is this Presence within me can make for some interesting weather…