• July 20, 2018

    By this I do not mean work on self, which is preliminary, to bring me to the point where I am reliable. I mean something else, the Work.

    Can I speak to you about the Work? Describing the Work is not the experience of it. The experience involves a completely different view of what life is for…that it is not about my personal aims and satisfactions, not about changing the world for the better. It is not about anything familiar.

    At this stage, what I say may enter you only as an idea. Ideas have value if they undermine your habitual view of things. What is obscure and confusing, what cannot be grasped now, becomes clear when the haze of self-interest has been lifted.

    The Work is Work for the Absolute. It begins with an understanding that there is something the Absolute needs from us, which in turn suggests that the Absolute is not all-powerful and perfect the way He is described in religion. How could this be? Let us try to think about this.

    Perhaps the Absolute was perfect and all-powerful before time began but He was unknown to Himself. Desiring to know His own Nature, He made the Creation as an expression of Himself. From what did He create? Why, from the only one existing, Himself. The only One entered the Creation by becoming the Creation itself, accepting limitation as the price of self-discovery. He became the possibilities within His own Nature and therefore, at least in part, became less than perfect.

    Having identified with His Creation, He sleeps within it as do we and all who identify with other than their own essence. At the same time, He never ceases to be the Absolute.

    What does He need from us? First, He needs us to be, and to realize in our life, the qualities He has manifested in us as His creation, so that He might know Himself. Each of us is a unique mirror in which He could regard Himself. For this, I must learn not to live for myself. I must learn to let Him into my life, allow Him to participate. As I begin to see His gifts in me, they become available also to Him. I see myself in Him as He sees Himself in me…a mutual regarding or mushahida.

    He sleeps within the Creation. He sleeps within me. If I awaken, the Creation awakens and the Absolute awakens.

    There is something more we can do for Him. Accepting the limitation of Creation imposes immense, unending suffering upon the Absolute. All the suffering in the world is His. His agony is unendurable yet must be endured. Did He know this would be the result?

    Mr. G wrote in his first series that the aim of this Work is “to have the possibility of consciously taking part in diminishing the sorrow of our Common Endless Father.” Can we who are His creatures accept some small measure of His suffering and feel compassion for Him and His Creation? Can we, despite our suffering, love Him, praise Him and glorify Him, which, it is said in our tradition, provides some small measure of temporary relief for Our Common Creator? This does not mean to seek out some new or special suffering…there is more than enough already…but rather to meet the suffering that comes my way with objective compassion for myself and Him.

    You might ask, if this is true, why He prolongs His suffering? Could He not wind up Creation? Reverse it? Or is He so immersed in the love of His Creation, and so caught in the shocking facts of His self-disclosure, that He needs the help of those who Work?

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  • February 27, 2018

    I find that compassion makes it easier to accept the world as it is.

    Perhaps I could suggest that you need to go deeper? There is nothing comfortable about compassion. The suffering in compassion has no limit and no corrective. This is why it is so powerful. There is no avoidance of the facts, no effort to change or improve the situation. Compassion is a deep penetration of the precise nature of the situation with all of its pain and hopelessness. And then it flowers in an exquisite play of love and sorrow.

    Isn’t compassion similar to forgiveness?

    Forgiveness is part of another stream, another remarkable avenue of human consciousness. Forgiveness does not stand alone. First there is the sensation of guilt or remorse, then confession, then contrition, then forgiveness, perhaps followed by expiation.

    Forgiveness is most often embedded in a process of correction. It is earned by agreeing to make a change, offering a sacrifice or recompense. It is focused on self…my misstep or yours. It offers the chance to begin again, anew. This is an extraordinary process of transformation. The challenge is not to become isolated in the self, its guilt and its need to unburden itself.

    I can see how the process of forgiveness unfolds. I do not see how compassion is possible.

    When self-importance and self-isolation are temporarily suspended, compassion enters naturally. Probably for most of us, it first arises from a deep connection to the suffering of another. In time, it becomes compassion for self. For some, it is a gift that flows from genuine prayer. There is no rejection in compassion, nothing to be changed. It is the deepest embrace of the way things are.

    You seem to suggest that there is no such thing as compassionate action.

    When compassion moves towards action, it becomes mercy. These are two different states, two different qualities. It is easier to be merciful. Mercy only requires pity in which I do not suffer with you. In zikr, the invocation begins: Bismillah ir-Rachman ir-Rahim. We begin in the name of the most Compassionate and Merciful.  He is Compassionate as well as Merciful. It is very sobering to realize that He also suffers.

    Compassion Prayer

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  • August 1, 2015

    Sorrow

    The clear light of presence is an open doorway to the frequencies of a thousand precious qualities, beings of another kind whose formless nature informs this world with both its beauty and its severity.

    Sorrow is among the possible qualities available within presence. This is not the sadness of personal difficulties or the melancholy that comes with disappointment in the world. This is a measureless depth of shared, impersonal suffering, a we-feeling that emerges from realizing that the separation we must experience as beings, the separation from our origin, cannot be completely healed in this life.

    There are many ways of turning towards the source. Sorrow is one.

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