Smoking Mirrors — Oct 9, 2018
Dog Poet Transmitting…….
Apologies again dear friends for letting some measure of subjectivity enter into my post. In defense of that I will say that there is often a great deal that can be gleaned from the study of another person’s experiences and their resulting thoughts and behavior that follows. I believe that will prove to be true on this occasion.
This was one of the hardest years (the year is still in motion) in my life and given what has preceded this year, that is saying something. I broke my ankle. I had my gall bladder removed and I broke my other hip. This provided me with dueling broken hips and this most recent one has required a greater length of rehabilitation with which I am still engaged. Throughout, I have had to deal with the most protracted period of pain heretofore experienced and periods of pain that have proven greater and longer running than anything in my life so far.
Before anyone gets the inspiration to recommend to me any alternative methodologies of dealing with my situation, let me say… I was on that from the beginning and though someone suggested I should just pray to God to remove my pain and effect all necessary healing, I have not heard of any broken hips that have been healed without medical treatment. I could go into all sorts of farcical, fanciful and realistic digressions now but I will not do so. God is involved in my life to the very limits of which I am capable ( something sounds off about that sentence- grin) and it is my most sincere and intense commitment that the divine will, sooner, rather than later, be the sine qua non of my existence. In many ways it already is but there is nothing in my memory, or that has ever been revealed in my research, that offers me anything other than this and I suspect there never will be.
I did not come here for sympathy for my condition. For the moment the pain is merely lurking but off around the corner. I do not doubt that there are many who have suffered more grievously and over greater lengths of time. It is probably just my turn in the barrel.
Somewhere in the midst of all of this, I was metaphorically throwing my hands up in despair. “What is happening to me?” I cried. “Why is this happening to me?” I wondered. The voice of the ineffable within was always comforting but there was a space of higher frequencies of thought that I could not decipher. I had been told that I was going to be expanded; widened out in the interior and though it would fall short of frightening and sundry, it would most assuredly be startling but… I should just rely on the ineffable and accommodation would ensue. This has been happening.
I wondered about many things through this ordeal. This morning the divine said something to me that shook me to the core. It might seem ordinary to some of you but.. when it was said and how it was said gave me a tremble. I had been sitting in my chair and watching a morning sports program and I found my mind drifting into negative meditations. As I was ‘made aware’, or ‘became aware’- in that instant, the voice that serves as the oracle of the divine for me said. “Son, why don’t you try this? Whenever you find your mind contemplating anything of negative aspect, turn your attention to me. Immediately turn your attention to me and after a series of such events, consider what might have occurred and ponder it as it compares with how it sometimes used to be.”
Something about the way this advisement was delivered to me and my level of receptivity dovetailed and I could hear the echo of it ringing in my thoughts for some time. This, I fully intend to do. I expect some degree of wonderment and surprise to be the result. It is near palpable to me at the moment.
I had mentioned doing a reading of “The Lord of the Rings” for those visitors who come here and who might be inclined to experience. I had an amount of interesting and also humorous manners of presentation in mind. This idea had entered my thoughts prior to the latest blow that laid me low. I have taken that and other ideas that were on my mental Rolodex of a menu and put them in a cabinet in a further room; not discarded… simply transferred into a temporary state of abeyance, until such time as they may become relevant to action.
Something moved me to ask my friend for “The Practice of the Presence of God” which I had given, along with some number of other books, as presents for last Christmas. Here I add an ironic and perhaps surprising note. I have never read the book. I did skim it some decades ago. It is a very short treatise, composed of a series of brief letters along with some reflections and the like. One can easily read it in less than a hour. Strange to say, I am often recommending this book to people. You might wonder why I have done this without subjecting the book to a greater amount of attention. The truth is that the title says it all. The truth is also that I believe practicing the presence of God to be one of the most powerful and rewarding spiritual disciplines that one can engage in. I have now read the book and I know why it was put into my mind to do so.
For years I have been writing on the subject of the ineffable and how the metaphysical interacts, or can interact- or mirror- the manifest… the physical. All through the reading of the book, my mind was filled with addendum’s I could add. Finally it came fully into my thoughts that I should compose a book entitled “Practicing the Presence of God.” I cannot presently sustain the speed at which my thoughts on the matter attempt to process through the keyboard and into Open Office which I use for my compositions. It is, often now, as if the entire book that I am already engaged in composing is fully born already in my mind. Sections have automatically materialized and it, quite frankly, astonishes me. It is my nature to use the intuitive faculty whenever I am engaged in creating with words, whether it be a post, a poem, a song or anything that might be coming through. In this instance, the force of the mind behind the project has been startling in both power and clarity.
I do not wish to minimize Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection at all. I will make clear in the preface what my intention is. I doubt that any of you can read what he wrote back in the mid-17th Century and not find yourself feeling unfulfilled. It is as if the book is crying out for the absences. There is no set of spiritual practices. I was left with a probing and reaching and near instantaneously all of what I felt was missing began to organize itself in my mind and continues to do so. The readers can tell me what they are thinking and what ideas for improvement and enhancement might have come to their mind as they read the book. My level of excitement for this endeavor is exceedingly great. It is as if I were standing in a open desert and the wind was whistling by me on all sides and the text of the coming tome were contained in that wind which spoke to me the while as it blew by.
I will be unable to communicate to the readers how profoundly all that I have been through has affected me. I experienced certain emotions that I have had little engagement with for decades. One of them was fear and then… there was confusion and apprehension (which is another word for fear) and all of it was wrapped in a cloak of mystery that was then placed upon my shoulders.
I am feeling no fear now. There is something in me that does not allow for backsliding or departing away from my course well set. Something much stronger than myself is engaged with all of this. No matter how often I forget this critical feature, I am reminded in ways that cannot be argued with. Perhaps my routine forgetfulness is for the purpose of my being reminded, continuously. More and more I suspect and have come to believe that this must be true.
Though some of you might think all one has to do is pray and all conditions will be resolved. I believe this in essence but I am not deceived into thinking that God directly repairs everything. If you break a leg- and I have done this- you need to get it set and put in a cast.
I know that some of you, perhaps all of you, are at a level of awareness that seeks on its own for some measure of the presence of God. We are all at some point on the spiral stairway of consciousness. Below is darkness that may well increase in density and above is an area of luminosity that increases in density. None of us want to fall back into the Dark Splendor. In this age of grasping materialism and the madness it engenders, it is very difficult to resist the pull of the minds around us in a direction that it is not safe or sane to go; given that misery loves company.
My mind is much clearer now. I suspect that has been the point of the Purgatory through which I have been passing. I also suspect that life and so much of life that has been concealed from me until now, will soon begin coming around the corner and mayhap I will hear; “Dr. Visible, I presume?” (grin)
In any case, I will, with the next posting, return to similar roads on which I have passed in the process of these postings. I expect that …although there will be much similar to what has become familiar here over these last 17 years or so… there will be some noticeable differences as well. It is my fervent prayer that all of these differences are improvements.
Finally, I wish to say that the true intention of this posting is to assure the reader that all is well, whether appearances seem to contradict this or not. I intend not to write further on this aspect of my personal struggles, with my pending, complete surrender; this is unavoidable; the surrender that is. The relying upon is the road followed, that appears in concert with the degree of reliance being engaged in. As purposeful as the one is, that would be mirrored to similar degree by the road it generates between the brows above the eyes on its way to the fathomless reaches of the heart’s most arcane chambers. I suppose if the journey had been easier, the value of that encountered at the journeys end would be remarkably less than what it is; not that journeys end, of course.
Song for Today- Iridescent Dreams