We all go through life Oblivious. Our illusion is that we believe ourselves to be awake. We’re not. Most of life is un-lived, on autopilot, where we skim over the depths of reality as we are dragged along by our creaturely appetites. Throughout this repetitive, self obsessed stupor, there are punctuated moments of awareness which jolt us out of our dream state. A death. A sunset. Stillness. Being out in nature. The right words or the perfect notes which serendipitously bypass our fingers which are plugging our ears.
These moments of sobriety are not coincidence. These are THE start. Each moment is luminal space which is not to be dismissed. Each is an invitation. These moments are portals which open up a boundless horizon of beauty, clarity, authenticity and Truth. I’d show you if I could. I’d describe it if I could, but words are pathetic gestures to say what is unsayable. This can’t be figured out. There isn’t a formula. This graced experience is illumined by our rational mind, but the mind cannot possess it. To call this an emotional experience is an under appraisal bordering on insulting. What removes us from ourselves like emotion?
I know I’m grasping here. My appeal to all who hear this is desperate. In one breath I’m pointing to that which is unknowable, while everyone who exists can perceive, even in a small way, that this experience is where we all start. Bigness pokes through to us in little illumined flickers which are camouflaged in a hurried life. We hold our loved ones. The rays of the sun strike our face. We want it to last. To see it fully and continuously. We want to possess it. Own it. Capture it….alas, we cannot.
We start by asking questions to those who might know something. Do you know? Do they? How can I go deeper? Possess more? Institutions, religions, and systems offer frameworks, anecdotes, and metaphors, and gurus, but these are only the styrofoam containers of the sustenance which so easily escapes our clutch. Be careful. Those who are certain can consume our lives and make us certain too, and if I have learned anything, it’s that I know so little. I am closest when I am so far away.
Your start will be just that…yours. The start isn’t a place, or a thing, or a knowledge, or a feeling. The start points to experiential Truth. This means your experience is not mine, though it can be like mine. Start with your questions. Start with your curiosity. Start from your struggle. Your dream. Your illusion. Start by stopping. Stop and be with the next moment. Then let “something other” create a thirst for “something more.” Find the next moment. Wait for the grace imbued in the present, the Presence. Start in silence. Return to stillness. Say nothing. Think nothing. Do nothing. Just be. Here. Now.
“Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10