We are alive, here, now, living in this world as it is—as well as spiritual world’s beyond—although we are only sometimes aware, so rarely truly awake and living. Mrs. Staveley, one of Gurdjieff's students, says we move about as if we were dead and that there is no one home in our inner worlds to relate to the worlds around me. Fortunately, we can tune our awareness to the reality of our aliveness and in this aim, to use these wonderfully subtle instruments which are our bodies, to connect with all of life. It is through our bodies—our movement or moving center—that we discover the language of sensation, gesture, and posture from the inside and it is a gateway to more subtle information, knowing, and capacity to relate to the world(s) all around me. Awareness is key to being awake and alive. Awareness that the soft yet vibrant quality of aliveness arising within me when I remember myself (a Gurdjieff term) is arising from Origin, the ever present spiritual source from which all springs forth into form (to use Jean Gebser’s language). Arising from the ‘Great I AM’ of which the particular little ‘I Am’ is manifested in and through and as me. That remembrance has some serious weight to it. I can be more aware of this deeper self’s sense of aliveness coursing through my being, beyond my typical personality and habits, and from this inner place of aliveness discover the world all around me afresh. I can listen to the intelligence in each and every part of this body, to as Mrs. Staveley encourages (see below for the full context), “know their strengths, their sensitivity, their intelligence,” and “all the things I really do not know about them,” in ways that my mind cannot comprehend. Let’s stop moving around as if we were dead. Let’s allow 'I Am' to be at home in our inner worlds, present in these bodies, aware of the world around us, and very alive. Keep leaning into all of it,
Here the Readings from this week's pauses:
“I am here, alive, and around me exists the entire universe. The life that is around me is in me. I feel this universal life, the force of the universe. And I feel myself existing as part of the world that surrounds me. Here everything helps, even the cushion on which I sit. I am present, awakened to what I am. And I see that the most important thing is to be. I know it— now— and as I know it, I feel related to everything around me. There is no before, no after, only life itself. I have the impression of emerging from a dream. Everything is real. I feel free, and at peace. In this state, I do not seek, I do not wish, I do not expect anything. There is only what “I am” in this moment.”
— Jeanne de Salzmann, The Reality of Being
“Try not to resist the changes that come your way.
Instead let life live through you.
And do not worry that your life is turning upside down.
How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?"
Most of the time I move about as if I were dead. There is no one at home in my inner world. I do not see what I look at; I do not listen to what I hear; all my senses, all the parts of me through which I’m related to the world around me are dull and as if blocked. What blocks them? It seems to be this false sense of myself through which everything is perceived.
Can I do something about this state of affairs? Yes, something is possible. I can begin to put this instrument which is my body in better order. I ‘can’ be more aware. When I speak to another person I can really try to see [them] instead of my reactions to [them]. I can cut down my own talking by half and listen —not only to what it said but how it is said. I can begin to learn to use this wonderfully subtle instrument which is my body. If I am aware of the world about me I am more alive. If not, I am already dead.
The world has been here a long, long time with all its mystery and wonder. It will continue to be here. But I will not. There’s no more time for sleep.
Let me take one thing practice awareness on today—my hands. They connect me with the world in many ways. They have their own intelligence. I will not identify with them—call them ‘my’ hands—but will strive to be aware of them as a thing in themselves. Know their strengths, their sensitivity, their intelligence, and what else? All the things I really do not know about them.”
— A.L. Staveley, Themes I
"Create no images of God.
Accept the images
that God has provided.
They are everywhere,
God is Change—
Seed to tree,
tree to forest;
Rain to river,
river to sea;
Grubs to bees,
bees to swarm.
From one, many;
from many, one;
Forever uniting, growing, dissolving—
is God’s self-portrait."
— Octavia E. Butler, Parable of the Sower
“FOR THE ROAD TO SANTIAGO [A Spiritual Pilgrimage]”
For the road to Santiago,
don’t make new declarations
about what to bring
and what to leave behind.
Bring what you have.
You were always going
that way anyway,
you were always
going there all along.
The sense of having something deep inside us that we might have carried with us all along, that can emerge on its own as we go, if we go with sincerity, if we go in the right way, with the right people to the right place; the understanding that what calls from the outside horizon has a correspondence far beneath the horizon of understanding we have established within us.”
— David Whyte