We are all doing the best we can!
Sitting with Pat in our morning coffee time, our “P&G” time, I was reflecting on friends who are really facing challenges. Suddenly it arose in me, “We are each doing the best we can!” It felt powerful and true.
But Pat was not comfortable with this claim. Pat asked, “Are we all really doing the best we can?”
Her questioning was helpful and led us to explore further. What arose in me was that notion of accepting what is. And “what is” includes our positive creative divine energy furthering spiritual evolution through us as well as our negative places where we resist this evolutionary force from within. When I realize that I am not where I want to be (as defined by whom?) or think I should be, I have a tendency to force myself to move faster than Spirit is moving in me. Spirit is patient, allowing the negative factors to dissolve over time, but never forcing this dissolution. Yes, the negative brings conflict into my being, but I can just let that conflict eventually convince me, in the fullness of time (my choice!), to turn around so I can proceed with my evolution at a “faster” pace. All of this is the natural order of things.
When I want to move faster than I am as yet capable, or want to be more fully developed than I am, then my ego adopts a forcing current strategy. “Take this spiritual development course!” “Do this practice!” and so on. And this, of course, relates to egoic pride and self-will. And to comparison and competition. And in the end is counter to the path to fulfillment I say I want to be on.
But when I accept that there are positive inclinations within, as well as negative attitudes and beliefs, and let my Presence to these aspects guide my life, I am in the flow of the Plan of Salvation, the path of purification, the path of spiritual evolution.
And when I run into someone whom I think should or could be moving faster, I must pause. This whole idea of someone, myself included, “moving faster” is ludicrous! To say nothing of arrogant and off-putting to the other! He or she, too, just like me, is evolving perfectly, letting the positive and negative mingle in his or her life. No need for me to push, or “enlighten,” or offer “brilliant transforming insights.” Rather just be with, just offer my witness and my Presence. I can feel myself relax here. Each of us moving at our own right pace in the path of spiritual evolution. I can celebrate the natural evolving of each of us. Wow. This is a new and relieving awareness.
Pat: “Yes, surrender to evolving.”
Gary: “And even in surrendering, no forcing currents wanting me to be more surrendered than I am! I don’t want to surrender because I don’t trust Life, the Cosmos, the Grand Mystery, or God. And this ‘not trusting’ is part of my ‘as is.’ So no room for guilt over not being more surrendered than I have the capacity to be with my current level of trust and faith. Just being with my reality of a quite limited trust in God. That is what is true for me.”
Pat: “Our program would call this, ‘Living in the Unknown.'”
Gary: “How beautiful. Living, fully living, in the unknown.”
Pat: “I find I am hoping that my practices are helping me grow — and I know they are — and yet I am not quite surrendered to them. I’m not ready to be a Buddhist! I am not quite giving up everything to be this or that.”
Gary: “How exciting. You don’t know what you are becoming, except you are becoming free to be fully Pat! And I am becoming free to be fully Gary.” And the nearly 7 billion people on the planet are becoming free to be fully themselves!”
Pat: “Where do we find the pleasure of a better life, a saner life?”
Gary: “When you were reading Almaas’ Facets of Unity to me last night I was struck by the opening words of his introduction:
“Most of us believe that spiritual realization is a matter of becoming happier, freer, and more noble, while retaining the basic outlines and categories of experience of our familiar view of reality. This attitude underlies the popular conviction that ‘growth work,’ including psychological work, can lead to spiritual transformation. That conviction reflects a lack of understanding that the basic paradigms of our world view, which determine our everyday experience, are an intrinsic part of the web of ignorance that binds us tightly within egoic experience.”
I love his opening words and how he continues. So a ‘better life’ is not the goal, because we have no idea what is unfolding. Having a ‘goal’ in mind for a ‘good’ life boxes us in and greatly limits our expansion. In a way it would be like an acorn envisioning the giant oak with millions of acorns that it will become. Or my favorite, a caterpillar envisioning the butterfly it is going to become. So with us.
For us it is truly surrendering to the Mystery of never knowing who or what we are becoming. We have no capacity to imagine a level of consciousness beyond where we are. So having as a goal, ‘increasing consciousness,’ seems not to be helpful.”
Pat: “Almaas says being vs. becoming.”
Gary: “Yes, but ‘being’ is not a static but a fully alive, ever-becoming-something-new state. An acorn in its beingness is becoming, unbeknownst to the acorn, an oak. Not knowing what evolution is unfolding in and through us, wow. And maybe ‘God’ does not have in mind a ‘destination’ for evolution — rather just a forever unfolding. A truly timeless state — a foreverness that transcends the concept of time.”
Pat: “God, playing in form and formlessness. I can glimpse the possibility of freedom when I look out and Know it is all God. This isn’t where I am now, but I appreciate the glimpses when they come. This is why I like Almaas’ Holy Ideas — he invites me to surrender. I get glimpses!
But then I snap back to the old views, my old patterned ways. I do not know how to LIVE from the broader view. But my program says, ‘Live as many moments as you can in balance and presence.'”
Gary: “The glimpses, so beautiful. I celebrate them with you. And then the snap-back. I get that. But I see you and I coming to celebrate even the briefest experience of openness. Celebrating what is. For me, celebrating the feeling that may arise as I read a Pathwork Lecture or see a butterfly or hear a symphony. Knowing we are doing our best, resistances and all. Knowing that God is doing his best — his “seeing” his creation as being very good. And VERY ALIVE. The evolutionary plan is perfect, and we are an integral part of it, aware or not aware. This is where faith and trust come in. Trusting what is.”
This time with Pat was rich, as is usually the case with our P&G time. During this time this morning I found a shift in me in considering that we are all doing our best. This means no competition. No better than, worse than, higher than, lower than, faster than, or slower than. Rather all a grand unfolding. And All is ONE.
May you be blessed this day…