Conduct and observance



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Thursday, December 7, 2006

The inner structure


I've been very fortunate of late.

There's a lot of serenity in my life. I'm blessed by a great deal of work to do, challenges to meet, family and friends to support.

This means I have to be active a lot and do a lot of things I don't want to do, and deal with difficult people like my wife and children and friends and co-workers.

And myself.

So my plate is full and I'm under a lot of pressure: financial pressure, pressure of relationships, pressure at work.

Technically speaking I should not feel serene at all. So I've been trying to figure out just how, and just why, I can have a hands-down, yell-at-each-other fight with another person and still feel pretty darn terrific inside... and not even really be mad at them. How I can be under tremendous pressure at the office, with certain situations absolutely melting down, and yet still feel that life is... well.. fundamentally OK.

Certainly a large part of it comes from working to form a support structure inside- which is very different than the external structures I discussed yesterday.

After all, an inner structure, if it's sound, can be far more durable than an outer one. It has a resilience born of the fact that it's built out of my natural parts: not ersatz mental concepts I imported from books about psychology or architecture or even my various esoteric disciplines. It's tangible and immediate and more practical than that. It's built out of breathing and digesting and eliminating. Out of loving and thinking and exercising. These are pretty durable qualities.

So part of this improbable serenity is the inner support structure, all right. But perhaps more important than that is what the inner support structure connects to. That's much more subtle. And it's up to each seeker to discover that for themselves, because the reflection of one's inner gems cannot be put into words. Collectively they call on something much more essential- and expansive- than the corner my personality usually backs me into.

Serenity may be felt by the emotions, expressed by a quality of mind, and sensed by a relaxation of the body, but it's born of seeing the rich pasture of relationships within my organism, and seeing the relationship of the organism to life.

Within this pasture, gratiutude arises. I see that my wish is to become ever less of a warrior and ever more of a farmer. To take those swords of my negativity and not beat-but coax- them into plowshares of support and compassion.

It's no fun hacking people up, anyway. Competition does not serve- it demands. Some people never seem to get tired of it, but I for one am increasingly worn out. Sure- I can, and will, play that role as long as it's demanded, but, as the ineffable Mr. Gurdjieff once put it,

"only with my left foot."

These days I just want to raise a little maize on the back acre.



Have a terrific day, everyone!
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