How We Discover Who We Are

Summer                                         Waxing Grandchildren Moon

Sl-o-w-i-n-g dowwwnn.  Ah. Life returns in the emptiness.  Doing gives us fuel, puts us in life, covers our lives with experience, action, momentum.  Without doing we would not live, not be different from the rock in the garden.  But.  Without emptiness, without ceasing from action, from planning, from expecting, from measuring ourselves against markers important only to us or, worse, to others, we will not see the experience, we will not see where our all our momentum and flurry takes us, we will have no way to tell the movement of heaven.

On a blog about Taoism I read that Taoism says the universe is our body and the tao of the universe our nature.  I don’t know if this accurately reflects taoism–so much I birthplace-of-starsdon’t know–but no matter, it does speak a truth, at least a truth that speaks to me, to my journey.  This Hubble telescope photo of the birthplace of the stars–Star-Birth Clouds in M16: Stellar “Eggs” Emerge from Molecular Cloud–is our own fertile womb, our own site of elemental fecundity, our own inner world changing and becoming the outer reality, the 10,000 things.  Fertility lies at the heart of our nature, then, and we need not worry for our nature will see us born and reborn, this time as queens, that time as infant stars, the next time as stellar dust.

Our purpose as humans lies not in the doing, but in the opening of ourselves to wonder, to the awesome majesty of our nature, letting it guide our being and our doing.  How?  By being still, by sitting in emptiness, by slowing down, by waiting, by humbly accepting the matters and tasks that come to us.

The doorway and the window, the room and the tea cup are all useful because they are empty.  To discover our own way we need to become empty like the room in which we sit, the doorway through which we move, the tea cup from which we drink.

This lesson has come, or should I say, comes, to me with some difficulty, born a man, a white man of privilege, a man of whom things are expected, for whom life has a path governed not by my nature but by accident of birth. Note that in this I differ from no one.  Each of us has a life path laid down by the circumstances of our family, the particularities of our person, the exigencies of our time, yet this path is not the way, it is not our way.  Our way lies in waiting upon our body, the whole universe, to reveal our nature, the nature of the whole universe, to us.  Then our life will unfold as a flower in the spring sun.

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