"In times of change, learners inherit the earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." --Eric Hoffer
In this experience, there is no such thing as a time without change.
There is a seamless openness underneath time which never changes, in which ideas like "time" and "change" are subsumed. Keeping communication alive between this "generator" of reality and the structure arising within it--otherwise known as "normal life"--allows a full, flexible range of response and action in a human being.
Our best descriptions for this full response-ability lie in words like optimism, persistence, tenacity, adaptability, compassion, or faith. These qualities are all related to a kind of intelligence which is cleanly accessed through instinct and intuition, but muffled by resistance.
Resistance is an attempt to maintain a seeming shape or boundary in the face of change. The boundary may exist in the form of a set of ideas (I am sure I am correct) wrapped in emotion (because I have earned it and am justified) and physically represented, or as just a comfortable habit or routine (this is the "real me") assumed to be permanent. Sometimes, resistance can be very, very subtle, in the form of "denial", which is a self-imposed sort of blindness adopted in the belief that sight hurts too much--or even kills. It's a fear-based, numbing psychic blister which is occasionally necessary for healing, but almost always dissolves on its own, if not maintained artificially by an "unhealthy" (incomplete) point of view.
We are like plants in that we have our times in the sun, when the soil seems optimal and nourishment flows, and a level of at least semi-comfortable, functioning growth is enjoyed. Things go "our way" for the most part, and it feels pretty good. Unlike anyone in the leafy kingdom, though, if a shadow arises where there once was light, or our preferred form of nourishment is cut off somehow, we tend to spend time hurting and resenting this change...often blaming, denying, and bemoaning our perceived loss of power or sustenance. We attempt to stand firm in our "knowledge", our conditioning (whether positive or negative), and our insistent feeling that we are RIGHT, while conditions and things "out there" are WRONG.
We defend our boundaries with education, with traditions, with what we think we have invested in our pursuit of peace and happiness. We fence ourselves with ideas about what kind of people we are, what ideals we hold, or how things should be according to our version of the truth. We can do all this while denying feeling hurt, defensive, uncertain or threatened (especially if we have an ego invested in appearing strong, certain, peaceful and wise).
A plant, however, is the other end of the sun. So it feels and responds immediately to lengthy shadows by reaching and turning, growing in a different direction. A plant does not question the sudden absence of the source, of course, lacking the apparently complex ability to reason. It responds in a fashion we tend to call "blind", but is actually the expression (on the surface) of unfettered and uninhibited connection. Below the surface, in a place before our nouns and verbs, the sun, plant, earth and water were never disconnected. They are all one motion. One action, perfectly still.
I am not suggesting that plants are "correct" and we humans are not. I am not debating whether we should or should not behave the way we do or react the way we do. Our thinking minds quite naturally discriminate in the same way a plant quite naturally grows toward the light. We obviously have a tremendous capacity for fear, resistance and all the things we call "suffering"; one could examine the whys and wherefores forever without altering this undeniable fact.
But coexisting immediately with our pain is the fact of our bliss. I am speaking of a "stable" bliss which has nothing to do with being right, or the successful defense of an idea, or security and power...all of these are lovely, temporary highs which, being temporal forms, all inevitably die. Bliss, freedom, and enlightenment (or any other opposite of darkness and density one can imagine) are not what we dream of while we are desiring to get out of whatever it is we are currently experiencing or denying. Escape, relief or cessation are also non-permanent states.
There is, directly inside our suffering (or anything else we experience), a kind of love and security which is somehow completely independent and inclusive. It is the basis of everything. It transcends all opposites. It is very clear and complete. It doesn't fight with or refuse any condition. It knows no distance or resistance. Your soul springs newborn from it every moment, as it has always existed. It is so all-encompassing, in fact, that there is nothing to compare it to--and in that sense, it cannot exist.
The utter inability to accurately describe this Intelligence with words does not make it null, void or irrelevant to living...it is simply too universal to be owned or contained.
It passionately wants you, however. It already is what you are, but is fulfilled like a closed circuit in the thorough human surrender and acknowledgment of itself. It delights in the return of the prodigal mind, reaching a new dimension of experience in which to play. That new expansion of sight is well worth the unflinching stare into the unknown, which we deeply sense must be attended... even at the risk of getting burned, or failing, or seeing nothing. Standing at the very edge of ourselves is the only drama actually innate to us, the only way to understand true intimacy, trust and confidence.
Resistance is futile, as they say. Resistance is a lump of sugar in the ocean.
When the resistance dissolves, so do the artificial boundaries which are both the result and genesis of fear. The ability to discriminate or choose, separate or individuate does not go away; in fact, a genuinely unique expression is finally allowed to unfold. We taste things in a complimentary manner--like salty sweetness.
From this natural spaciousness, it is easy to see that resistance to conditions "out there" was also repression of things "in here". These actions, we find, were not so much unnatural or immoral as just unnecessarily tedious--the tunneled detour, the excruciatingly tight squeeze that may not kill a person, but certainly makes it difficult to take a deep breath!
And now...circulation returns, and the tingle is immensely painful and pleasurable. A glow suffuses the world. Sensitivity opens up, as if nerves we never knew we had are communicating with...with...this. Awareness is heightened because we realize ourselves as the expression of everything and anything we experience.
I am this. There is no distinct and independent "me" in this awareness process. I am nothing but intelligence--information, the capacity for it and the energy carrying it--also the why, and the how. This is it! I really am the center of the universe!!
Yes--but that's one last catch, which will fail, thankfully, to hold the very last gate. And when the gate stands open--indeed, is falling off the hinges from disuse--I am an eternal beginner, a student of raw innocence, continually coming undone in what I weave, dying into what I birth.
One would think that this would give being a sort of thick, dreamlike, unreal quality. But it is never more real, more clear and sharp. Everything is full of intention, with the goal in a constant state of fulfillment. I don't know, with my thoughts, how this can be.
I no longer believe that I must maintain any gaps or blocks between the sun and its blossoming.
We can all see in the dark...