Clarity: Examining the Edge
“Not to give up under any circumstances should be the motto of our life: we shall try again and again, and we are bound to succeed…” Sri Chinmoy
It is in our hearts to succeed. Every time we venture upon the day our desire is to succeed. It is a deep longing that motivates and moves us in life. It does not comprise thought, though thoughts eventually arise to inform us. Information we often do not need. All that we need is to know; that as human beings, receptacles of ‘divine essence’, shining forth from the place of stillness is our greatest moment, our greatest success. The Truth of this is what we wake up to every morning. From this place of stillness we need no information. Everything makes perfect sense or no sense at all. And then the day unfolds.
“The mystery of the moment is that it opens all moments.” ~Mark Nepo, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen.
August was an opportunity to set our thoughts aside long enough to attune to the deeper calling. To step aside that we might have a clear view. The deeper calling is always there. And so are the thoughts that obscure our ability to hear that. By now, we are accustomed to the ‘interference’ and can be less dominated by thoughts and beliefs, the conditioning, so that now we may explore areas less travelled in our psyches, daring to find our edges and push beyond. In yoga a practitioner moves gently into a posture, finds the edge of that posture, explores that edge and then pushes past it, a little at a time. Life can be like that, encouraging our selves to go further than what feels comfortable and familiar. This way movement continues and we continue to grow.
All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without benefit of experience. ~Henry Miller
Life requires us to constantly embrace the unfamiliar and to take leaps from that place of thinking we know something to a place of not knowing. In the not knowing we are like infants, relying on our senses to venture into new territory. It happens repeatedly this challenge. Challenge is not new to us only the untravelled space where we would go. We greet each challenge with a similar attitude and from the heart there is a ‘knowing’ of success; that because every challenge leads us closer and closer to Truth and successfully discovering our Truth (which seems like a complex task) is the simplest task.
We are that Truth. So we haven’t far to go in terms of leaping or challenging or exploring. Those, we utilize to discover what is limiting us from knowing what is essential.
For example, fear can equal resistance. We may be aware of some of our fears, perhaps many of our fears. Or we may be at a stage of life when we have conquered our fears—we think. Yet we continue to bump up against something as we move forward that impedes our movement; like every time we go to stand up we hit our head on the ceiling. We come up against an edge. Time to explore the edge, greet the challenge, and ‘leap’ beyond it. And if it is as Henry Miller says that, “We live on the edge of the miraculous”, to disappear the edge and be the miracle.
Miracles are life. We call them miracles because they continue to leave us in awe—the simplest things.
Life is a miracle.
“The commonplace miracle: that so many common miracles take place.” ~Wislawa Szymborska, The Poetry of Impermanence, Mindfulness and Joy
What ever stands between us and the miracle? Fear. Fear and resistance to look at the fears. Our fears—of pain, of loss, of lack, of aloneness. We are conditioned to create structures to alleviate our fears and yet these structures over the centuries can produce habitual behaviours that are limiting. We may approach the edge without having the courage to ‘press on’. The birth process is an example of our first encounter with the edge and powering beyond the edge for life’s sake. The infant without thought must face the risk or die. Babies born by Caesarian sometimes lack the drive or motivation in life to make decisions and power on. Rebirthing experiences have accomplished after the fact, the will to push on through and feel a sense of accomplishment that benefits our journey here.
The rebirthing process is a profound way of visiting our initial challenge of life and perhaps discovering fears from which we have created edges. Rebirthing is another kind of journey into deeply rooted sensations and experience. These journeys can be facilitated with guided imagery. Along the way we discover edges. Edges that may pertain to not just this life time.
As an exercise, allow your self to be guided through a space that is in total darkness. Allow your senses to precede you. The mind is at rest. As we let our hands guide us, take one step at a time into this space. Whatever images may appear in the darkness are remnants of the past and do not necessarily constitute the edge. They are not the edge. The edge is known, felt. Symbolically we press up against it or perhaps literally, we press up against it. Feel suddenly constricted, contained. We are not free. Continue one step and another. The exploration is yours alone. Takes you deeper.
How you process on this journey is something that occurs without the mind, though the mind will certainly be active. Remain in the darkness long enough to sense the organic dissolution of an edge. It need not fully disperse although it could in a moment—dissolve. We recognize limitation and desire to be free of that limitation. This is an ongoing exploration that does not cease, even when we leave the body. We continue to divest our selves of every bit of structure that we have created in the process of identification.
In Tarot, the Moon XVIII of the major arcana is the card which takes us deep into the essence of being. It is an inward journey to the core of our being. The Sun XIX, the shining Self is the outward expression of the core of being. Not so easy to look at as the brightness can be overwhelming. If you are a Moon admirer you have spent many nights staring at the Moon in all of its phases, perhaps in adoration of what shines upon us with such apparent grace. The allure of the Moon draws us into the depths of our hearts where the mind hasn’t passage. From here the confidence to Be rises into each day as the Moon sets, gives way to the Sun. During the night, in darkness we have wandered guided only by the subtle glow of this reflection. Here we have met many a challenge, perhaps over and over again, jousting with the same demons and yet always rising in the morning and then as the sun sets ready to pursue once more whatever lies in the way of clarity, of freedom.
In our dreams we continue our effort and find that everyday obstacles have less effect upon us. At times we present our selves with Herculean tasks that we overcome with sheer knowing that everything is possible. When we, in awareness, realize that all existence is seamless, the knowing established in dream time or in any moment of clarity remains with us. Every component becomes an impediment to awakening. We know this Reality as the illusion of all else is understood; that the Moon, and we, in all its/our glory are a reflection of ‘light’ that is everything and everywhere. Even in apparent darkness there is that and edges are simply a construct of the mind easily dissolved when the mind is at rest.
Once you realize this floating life is the perfect
mirage of change,
it’s breathtaking—this wild joy at wandering boundless and free.
~Han Shan, The Poetry of Impermanence…