Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Brian’s Reflection: Thursday, June 23, 2011

The more we persist in misunderstanding the phenomena of life,
the more we analyze them out into strange finalities and complex
purposes of our own, the more we involve ourselves in sadness.
But it does not matter much because no despair of ours can alter
the reality of things, or stain the joy of the cosmic dance which is
always there.

Thomas Merton

Surprise! There IS something bigger than little ole you or me. What a relief! (Are young people capable of seeing this, or only “maturing” people???) It’s far too stressful to think that we are “in charge”, that we can control things. Needing to be in charge and control things is a phenomenon I’ll call “Problem Solving Male-ism” - based on what many of my women friends have told me, and what I’ve read from counselors. This is the tendency to listen just long enough to think that we have understood the issue, and immediately leap in to solve the problem. That “long enough” is usually as short as possible. And I agree with Merton: it very often involves us in sadness.

OK. Yes, we human beings are problem solvers. That’s part of being human ….. but only part. The other part is what Merton speaks to. We must learn to wait upon the Cosmic Dance, upon Unfolding Reality. This honouring of the unfolding of the Cosmic Dance, of Reality, I will call the “Don’t Answer Your Email Too Fast” Principle. (I confess I am often guilty of violating this Principle.) I have found that if you let emails sit for awhile, one of two things will happen: either you will eventually discover that it does not need to be answered, or you will discover that what you thought was being communicated in the email was not correct; more will come.

I think it is important to learn to wait attentively and expectantly in Life. The Cosmic Dance will not stop. Reality will not evaporate. There is no useful purpose in rushing into “misunderstanding the phenomena of life” or analyzing them “out into strange finalities or complex purposes of our own”.

So, if you get a response from me that just says “Pondering”, you will know I am listening and open to further Enlightenment!


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