A little over a week ago Linda nominated this blog for an award, and being Award Free here I graciously declined but expressed my appreciation for the recognition. Linda’s intent was clear and heartfelt, however, and revolved around expanding relationships and the threads of connection in this virtual realm. I felt I wanted to honor the intention in some fashion. So, I’ve been thinking since then off and on about relationship in general, and the role it plays in releasing the creative power within us. Having witnessed a number of persons in my limited sphere of awareness facing difficulties that seem intractable, Linda and myself included (though in what seem like very different ways), it seems a worthy topic to explore.
There’s a phrase that appears with increasing frequency as one moves through A Course of Love: unity and relationship. This jab-jab-hop…POW! is not only the means of accessing and expressing the power native to our being, but the most profound outcome as well. Like all good paradoxes, this phrase expresses a wholeness that seems to have two incompatibly shaped faces. One side is square. The other is round. And yet it’s a single coin.
The coin is tossed high into the sky. Call it! Square or round?
(Lands. Square side up.)
Square it is. Do you kick or receive?
Perfect. Off you go then.
Without unity, we are like a disassembled engine. A lot of parts twirling each other around and trying to figure out how we snap together. The worlds that stymie us are the ones where the parts have each decided to be an engine all of their own. Having come from engine, they know the power of engine. Knowing the power, they think they can bring it forth. They remember it. They feel it. But without reassembly, there is only frustration. No part can achieve independently, what already and only is. So yeah… Unity.
I think it’s important to bear in mind that Unity is the power itself, before it became the engine. Unity is the power that was always there. Unity is the power that can never be touched. As well, unity is meaningless without relationship. It doesn’t stand on it’s own in Creation. Without relationship, unity is everything at once, undifferentiated and nonexistent. And there can be no exchange this way. No movement. No expression. Unity is not relationship but nor is it fully separable from it.
To have an engine, you need parts, and to have parts working in connection, you need differentiation. You need valves and wires and cylinders and tubing. You need belts and gears and pulleys and a computer. But if you have all that, the relationships between them allow power to flow. (Everything in it’s right place. See footnote below.) The relationship too, is not quite what it appears, because it is also invisible. It is not really separate from unity. Relationship binds each to each, it doesn’t merely connect one guy to the next guy. Relationship isn’t about how many beings you rub up against if you swing your arms. All to all and each to each are contained in the invisible, timeless field of relationship. Each part of that whole engine emerged from the invisible, pure, audacious power of the formless engine. Directly. From unity. Each part has access to the whole idea and power of the engine, not just to a little piece of it. And yet each part expresses uniquely in the manifest realm as the power is made manifest.
But the world we experience on a daily basis is one where the parts aren’t quite set up properly, or so it seems. One idea I find mind-blowing is that our suffering is itself a type of wholeness. It’s a strange notion, but it makes some sense to me. We like to resolve our suffering into particular “issues”, and then solve them. This is how we think when acting and responding as separate beings. We think everything is separable. We think everything can be broken into manageable pieces and tackled. We think there is an isolable cause– one and only one cause– for each difficulty. I’ve come to view this as far too simplistic. Our suffering, too, is whole. It affects us in our entirety. We’re not just broken in specific facets of our lives, we’re broken everywhere. Suffering is simply a distortion of wholeness, and I think we can see that when we finally are overwhelmed by it. Then it’s everywhere-at-once nature becomes more tantamount.
Everything sucks all together.
Then Hafiz walks through the room like a one-man marching band, playing seventeen instruments at once. A finely polished kazoo. A belt of tambourines. And a harmonium. And the break, if it comes, breaks through everywhere. We can’t find ourselves at all… We’re gone… But we’re alive in relationship with all that is…
I love the sentiments of A Course of Love. I need the release of the power described therein. I need to be honest about this. The cessation of suffering isn’t a nice-to-have. If your suffering has temporarily reached the ludicrous zone, the breakthrough is probably marching right now around the granite walls you’ve built around your heart. In seven days time, the walls will come tumbling down. Things will snap together.
I feel close to the sun, and there’s the sensation: you either dissolve into a gentle, living warmth, or you burn to a crisp. There’s a phase change to my being that I both desire and sense is proximate, but before it is complete it feels like the wheels may fall off.
That’s okay. Hafiz is a good band. Worst case I carry the sheet music for him.
Unity and relationship. Linda was onto something. If you’re scrambling to pick up the pieces, you’re in good company. Remember your part has a unique little widget function thingamajig that no other part quite has, and it’s needed to make the redacto-flux-wave guide-dip tube function properly.
But your part is also everything.
Thank you for that.