My Cup Overfloweth With Joy!
Pause and Consder… My Cup Overfloweth with Joy
Yesterday (Thursday) I had a list of things to review with Moira, my helper, in our regular helper session. But the words that came out of my mouth as we attuned to begin our session were, “My Cup Overflowerth!” The words were spontaneous and not at all on my list of topics to cover. But Moira picked up on it and joy became the theme of the session.
And the session was full of joy! Moira was generous in her words affirming my work on my path. She reminded me that my joy was manifested out of my life, out of the degree of my faithfulness to the task of continuously and at times fearlessly facing myself moment by moment, out of my degree of passion for self-knowledge and Truth. My joy did not come out of the blue as a random act of kindness, or from fate, or by chance from the Cosmos or God. Nor was it a reward for “good behavior.” Rather, to whatever degree I experienced my joy overflowing it was the direct and natural result and effect from causes I had set in motion in how I was choosing to live my life – that is, to whatever degree I lived within the framework of self-facing and in other ways lived by natural spiritual laws. It is the way Grace works. This is the Grace given in the Plan of Salvation.
While I could hear Moira’s words, and feel the joy in me, I was still aware that I was not experiencing the fullness of Joy that I seemed to know was present. It was as if my energy field and body were not yet able to hold all of the Joy that wanted to manifest within me and be expressed through me into the world.
Then last night I woke up and was so full of adrenalin that I could not get back to sleep. Not adrenalin because of fear or worry, but simply from all the joy-energy in my body. How can I build my capacity for holding the fullness of Divine Joy, my capacity for holding the fullness of Life? How could my cup hold such Joy without overflowing?
From these observations and considerations I continued my meditation, again using my application of Pathwork Lecture 131: Interaction Between Expression and Impression
Focusing Statement: Pathwork Lecture 131 ¶16
The emptying consists of recognizing that the problem you struggle against is not a real problem, but an imaginary one — an image! Out of this imaginary problem arise a number of general and particular misconceptions and destructive attitudes. You will find the following factor connected with it, which I have discussed in the past but which needs to be discussed again in this context. When you have a desire or aim which is legitimate and realistic, yet remains unfulfilled, what blocks it is the struggle against the nonexistent problem. As a result of the struggle, a no-current works against your conscious wishes. It is essential to become specifically aware of this connection.
So what is my non-problem problem? Perhaps my non-problem problem is simply, yet profoundly, that I am wanting to be more spiritually developed than I am. Like an acorn striving to be an oak, which it is not. Such an impatient acorn would be forever frustrated that it was not an oak. It would experience the frustration of knowing all the time that this potential for being and oak was etched into its Essence and was its destiny and yet was not yet manifest.
So perhaps with me. I am that acorn struggling and striving to be more developed, purer, more transformed, more enlightened than I am. But this lecture says that this “problem” of mine is an imaginary problem and not a real problem. What? Being enlightened is not a worthy state to long for? Of course this aim and desire is real and appropriate, but not being there now is not a real problem. Why? Because I am where I am and where I am is where I am supposed to be just now.
My solution to my imaginary problem, my impatience in not being fully developed spiritually and pure in all ways, is to impatiently urge, force forward, and strive with effortful effort to get beyond where I am. But now, from this lecture, a voice of wisdom from within says, “Gary, do not struggle against being who you are right now.” The acorn can relax into its acornness and simply let the Life force take it to becoming a giant oak. Striving to become an oak when an acorn is an acorn accomplishes nothing and gives rise to great frustration in the acorn.
So my aim and my longing is to be fully awake, fully alive in my spiritual Essence. And certainly this is a realistic and appropriate aim. This aim and desire are as yet unfulfilled. Perhaps what blocks my growth is my struggle to be thus enlightened before I am ready, before I am purified and have the capacity to hold the energy of enlightenment.
What the lecture goes on to say is that when my aim is frustrated a no-current arises in me. What does this mean? What is the NO-Current that unconsciously blocks my growth?
I want so badly to be enlightened and so spiritual right now that I say NO to the process of unfolding, NO to the only way of getting there – which is to stop striving to get there, and stop pretending that I am there, but rather strive to be here now, as Ram Dass would say. Strive to be in truth and reality of who I am. Of course there is no striving required for the acorn to be in truth, to be an acorn, and there is no striving involved in my being who I am right now either. It is the effortless effort of just being who I am right now, just being in my truth and reality.
And the truth will set me free from the striving to be what I am not, set me free to be me. And in being me, really and fully being me as I am right now, it will suddenly be clear what my work on the path is.
And what is my spiritual and personal work in this life? My work is to purify myself so I can grow naturally into that of which I have the seed in me to become. But to purify myself I have to see and accept myself – see and accept my impurities (pride, self-will, fear, insisting on being separate, pretence, etc., etc.) and be willing to change, to grow out of these immaturities as I evolve.
So the origin of my NO is my refusal to be fully me, the me who I am right now so that I can know what needs to be done right now, the work of purification that is needed for me to grow into what I have the potential to become.
Perhaps this is how I build my capacity to contain and express all the Joy that wants to come through me. Purification is the answer to being able to contain all the Joy that wants to manifest in and through me! So my NO is a NO to doing the work of purification. I want to be pure now without doing the work of purification. I want to claim that I am pure already. I blind myself to any impurities that are left in me — deeper and deeper levels of impurity as I grow.
A lot to sit with, but I think I am onto how this path really works, this path of clearing out the mud in my life so that when pure water is poured into me it remains pure as it stirs and flows through me.
Later Friday morning I participated in a 4-hour journal-writing group. We began with a centering meditation, named the Quiet Center. During this quieting time I noticed that my mind was a flurry of mental activity. At first I judged this as being wrong – I had to quiet the mind. Then, suddenly, I could say no to my saying no to seeing and accepting my flurry of chaotic mental flack material that was blinding me and keeping me from my quiet center. My chaotic mind was my NOW. And I could dare to see it and be with it!
So I paused and sat with that chaos that seemed to permeate my mind and distract me from my quiet center. Then I paused again and sat with my critic who was objecting to the chaos in my mind — saying I was unspiritual and defective if I had a noisy mind. I was, in the words of Rumi, The Guest House, welcoming all guests – the chattering chaos, the critic, and all the other voices clamoring for attention and taking me out of quietness.
And as I entered my NOW of chaos, accepting, even welcoming it all, an amazing freedom arose in me. I was free to be me as I was in my “right here, right now” beingness. I could be, fully be and enjoy being, the acorn. The next step was not quieting the mind or chasing the flack pieces of thought away, but rather simply being with this all and experience the freedom of non-striving to be other than I was in that moment. The remaining 3 ½ hours of the writing group were magical. How beautiful. And I had the capacity to feel the beauty in a more profound way – and the Joy in each moment of the writing experience and afterwards.
Shared with love, Gary