Thank you for the sweet support after yesterday’s post! I’ve been reading various posts around the internet and it may be that we, as a community, are falling into a low biorhythm. One or two other bloggers are stepping back and taking that in-breath. Who’s to know how many have just silently folded their tents and walked into the night for a while.
I think we forget what it means to try and be the barrier between good and evil. That may not be the exaggeration it appears at first read. Form and emptiness aside, we do conceptualize the world as good and the impingement of unskillfulness on it as evil. Maybe in our strong moments we can see that it is a flow of intentions and actions. But mostly, I think we are always defending against the potential of “what-might-happen-if” intention and attention waver at a here-to-fore-unknowable critical moment.
And that’s the weight, isn’t it? We can’t ever know what will happen – regardless of our intentions.
I’m struggling at the moment with a case of the “Lucy’s.” You know the Peanuts cartoon riff where Lucy holds out the football and Charlie Brown debates about her intentions. It’s such a model of testing our faith in Ultimate Goodness in the Other. Inevitably, Chuck opts for embodying that faith in Lucy. Inevitably, Chuck also gets to embody the sensations of being supported by the solidity of the earth beneath him as he lies prone on his back when she pulls the football away at the last moment.
Ironically, despite Chuck’s unending pessimism, he’s the eternal optimist when it comes to his fellow humans. What he isn’t doing (or modelling for us so we will) is trusting the Eternal Goodness in himself that is alerting him to his investment in an outcome. He truly believes that his relentless engagement in Lucy’s game will manifest Ultimate Goodness in her.
We can always talk ourselves into trusting that there is Ultimate Goodness in the Other. At least, I can… and do. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with that. I really don’t even need to talk myself into it. The problem is – and this is the sticky part of my practice – I assume behaviour will manifest that is congruent with that Ultimate Goodness. The reality? Behaviour often takes many light years to arrive after the initial burst of pure light. Worse, I sometimes believe that my engagement in the process will bring about Ultimate Change in the Other. And there’s the “not-knowing” bit. It may or may not be up to me to be the last step leading to change.
So, as I lie here on my back, having had that ego-football yanked out from my enthusiastic rush at it, please remember to remind me of this insight … again and again.