|SYDNEY GOODWILL UNIT OF SERVICE|
No 198/June 2003
We read or watch the news and momentarily empathise with others either rejoicing in triumph or suffering catastrophe. Our attention moves from one item to the next and each instance of human experience portrayed in the passing parade slips back below our level of awareness - until it happens to us. Yet, whether something occurs to someone else (however different their life appears) or to ourselves, the same principles operate, the same great Life is impacting our form "life", and the same human response mechanism is called into play - the same opportunity to know, understand and direct events according to the intention of that Greater Life that substands all currently visible to our limited, though developing, vision.
Karma, or the great Law of Cause and Effect, is the link through time to the point at which we share the impact of Life on matter. That one great impact reflecting through all the myriad forms it engenders, the one great breath rippling across the sea of matter, inspiring forms and then leaving them to expire as newer forms take shape, yet pervading all with the essence of its spirit which remains ever at the centre: "Having pervaded the universe with a fragment of Myself, I remain."
When immersed in the world of forms, our awareness can be swamped by confusion as we seek to connect with a pattern that relates them all to a directing purpose. This is driven by our inherent sense of balance, meaning and significance. So powerful is this sense that we can invent patterns of meaning to "make sense" of our form experience. But when looking only within the form (and so limited by time and space) our patterns are incomplete and based on assumptions rather than knowing. Yet even within those limits we try, test and gradually reject what becomes recognisably untrue. Making patterns of connection is our destiny, our talent and our trap - we are always building forms to relate newer understanding with the previous yet, in the process, inheriting the limitations from the past until we can demonstrably no longer countenance them and they are eliminated.
We are always on the edge of confusion on one hand and order on the other. Confusion renders us powerless, our energies are dispersed and we become ineffective in the world. It can motivate thoughts, feelings and actions designed to grab desperately at power and control. Under its influence we can forget that the power of forms is only borrowed, the real source is Life itself. Chaos breathes at our backs until we see the emerging pattern and plan of Life's purpose behind the worldly phenomena. And rather than looking through the broken glass of chaos and its kaleidoscopic fragmentation, we begin to see from the point of Life itself and the pattern is laid out. Then, as from a mountaintop, the beauty and order become apparent and all parts are seen in their place, their meaning, and their significance to the whole.
What are the forms that imprison us? We are accustomed to thinking of them as physical, material structures -something we can see and touch. But increasingly we are becoming aware of structures of thought, of concepts, of patterns of emotional response and habitual reactions to others and the world. Ideologies, ideals, values, beliefs are all forms that have begun with Life's inspiration and have then been given a life of their own by those who have not experienced the original inspiration for themselves. While we are immersed in the dynamic of the external world we are turned away from that source of inspiration and while we adhere to a set of beliefs, we can fail to be open to the constant flow of inspiration and only grasp, at best, a fragment of the original which then becomes hidden under overlays of our belief systems, philosophical views or action plans in the world.
So in the midst of riches and plenty we may yet be wandering in the wilderness and bleakness of a sense of being separated from that central source of life that makes sense of diversity, relates all things according to its intention and of which we are a meaningful and significant part. This source is the point of peace at the centre. From this point, no matter where we find ourselves in the world, we know we are not the forms we inhabit. We are in the world but not of it. Forms are the means of realisation and, in that, they serve Life's purpose. Spirit and matter are indeed one and the same, and no temporary form can control their inexorable purpose to bring that oneness into manifestation, expressing the one life through the many - without exclusion. And our form life emerges as an expression of their union.
The forms feel the pull between these apparent opposites. Succumbing to this pull divides us from our true interconnection within the one life. This experience of the "stretching" of form life forces us to create connections and so we make the forms that coordinate things in relation to each other - social forms, legal forms, political forms, religious forms - national, international and finally humanity-wide. This pull is always there for the form life but it does not contain us, only the forms we inhabit. The pull between the conservative and revolutionary forces is always there yet, through time and effort, there is movement into a new scope. The conservative view of today would be seen as radical a few hundred years ago. The tension is between the material existence of the moment and the impact of new ideas (or spiritual impulses). The tension is the same but human consciousness has changed.
This constant evolution brings us eventually to the "unbearable lightness of being" when the functions of the material world are allowed to happen without absorbing our consciousness. There is a sense of floating above or through the form world, of being free. Ordinary daily activities occur automatically without our having to force anything into motion. We think, the form automatically responds in line with the thought and our consciousness is free to be in the vastness of being. In that stillness of being we can touch omnipresence, omniscience and finally omnipotence. We are free from the grasping demands of now this form now that, and we are serenely present within all. We are beyond the demands of the forms we inhabit - beyond the motivation of fear and desire - we give up, make sacred, or sacrifice all that for the lightness of being, for life more abundant and for the Peace that passeth understanding. We leave behind the "slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" and enter the permanency of being and of that great heart that throbs through the universe, washing the shores of matter clean of the momentary forms that gather there, ever remaining at one with substance in that purposeful marriage of divinities.
The forms draw sustenance for their short term from the great reservoirs of substance and life and either leave their mark as true progeny of that great marriage, or become immaterial as having no relation to the divine purpose sweeping through all. Many seek to "leave their mark on history" as though the purpose is merely to make a mark, any mark, but these, if not divinely inspired, become lost forever in the divine emergence. We are not lesser beings striving for beneficent gifts that raise us individually but are truly part of the universe and seeking only to realise it. These words from an Old Commentary describe the transcending process:
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The Christ's Festival and World Invocation Day in Gemini will be celebrated
at a meditation meeting at 8pm on Friday 13th June,
at the YWCA, 5-11 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney.
The keynote for reflection is: "I recognise my other self and in the waning of that self I grow and glow."
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