Active acceptance is what allows the great transformation from life as you have known it, to death of that old life, to rebirth of new life. By clinging to some of the old, you prevent its death and you prevent the rebirth of the new. You prevent the very life-giving resurrection you await. You prevent the elevation of the self of form. This does not have to be. D:Day3.60-61.
August is more than the in between month on the calendar. In Minnesota, at least, it is the jungle-like time, the claustrophobic and close-feeling time of heavy air and equally heavy foliage all around. The trellis grapevine between house and cabin hangs low with weight, the part of the grapevine that spreads along the fence does so in a middlin’ way, never quite achieving its former height. It is weighed down with itself.
Sometimes I feel that way too. That’s when there’s that need of a move from “acceptance” to “active acceptance.”
For two weeks it’s been hot and humid but the wind has kept it from being unbearable. Today, the wind is still, the movement has stopped. To walk out the door and not have any sort of coolness, to meet this heavy, wet, still and dark presence of a day beginning to come awake, may have started me on missing the wind and the movement of “active acceptance.”
I have spent mornings in the cabin for ten years now. Once, about five years ago, I felt so accepting of new life that I gave my old life a burial. Somewhere, a few feet away from and beneath the ground near the cabin door, is a shallow tin that represented that burial, that feeling of death and renewal. I’m sure it’s in a journal somewhere, but without looking for it, I can’t recall what I put in the tin. I’m pretty sure there was a picture, probably one of me.
The times of active acceptance feel to be getting more and more lengthy, and to be leading to stranger and yet more ordinary realizations. The one I’ve been being with lately is the concept of “home.”
Home has been a place that is not about me alone. I have felt that home is meant to be a place of common concerns. That feeling has undergone a change. How many women or men starting out in life, or women who leave work earlier than their husbands or vice versa, feel this sense of a common concern having become a solo concern? While the family has been left behind, or while the other is off at work, leading his or her life, a life takes place “in the home” that is not particularly related to the other. It is an odd place to find yourself in. A solo concern. In a time in which unity is so desired, is there a conflict? What is the place for such a feeling on the path of unity?
Home is also about the “daily” living that occurs there—the home-based feeling of safety and structure that allows closeness with the small and seemingly inconsequential, whether it’s the putting out of birdseed or the making of a loaf of bread or a bed. There is a familiarity and a regularity that . . . allows an everyday newness that invites the creative spirit to soar.
I’m glad the word “solo” came to me to describe it, because it feels so different than “separate.” It brings up an image of each having their own song to sing. It is in home “coming” that I am able to embrace the solo, the solitary, the inner life and the intersection of the inner life with the outer.
The power of home and the power of creativity are linked. One of my most treasured realizations with this Course is that we are here to be creators. This realization calls me to have a different sort of relationship to “home” now . . . a relationship that can leave behind “a” home’s structure to venture off into an unknown that holds a new sort of creative potential. From home base, especially an inner home base, active acceptance can cast one free of anchors and bring new vision.
With active acceptance, the time of learning ends, the time of reaction ends, a new response, and creation of the new, can begin.
You look outside the doors of your home and, whether you see suburban streets bathed in lamplight, streets that steam with garbage and crime, or cornfields growing, you say that is the real world. It is the world you go out into in order to earn your living, receive your education, find your mate. But the home in which you stand, much like your inner world, is where you live the life that makes the most sense. It is where your values are formed, your decisions are made, your safety found. This comparison is not idly drawn. Your home is within and it is real, as real as the home you have made within the world seems to be. You can say the real world is somewhere outside yourself, as you picture the real world being beyond your doors, but saying this cannot make it so. C:5.16
To look inward at the real world requires another kind of vision: the vision of your heart, the vision of love, the vision of the Christ in you. C:5.15
Active Acceptance…home or/and at home
Here is another aspect of “home, like “moving home”…which obviously does not mean moving bricks and mortar! So, what is it that we move? all the stuff you take with you, to make a New Home? Yes, the life to live that makes the most sense! representing the life within…interesting, when I consider that since I was born, I moved house 23 times! in three different countries…the list of dwellings reads as my autobiography! Some were owned ( well, on a mortgage), more were rented, but in all of them we lived happily. What does it mean: “”your home is within, and it is real” ?(C.5.16). …like the original home of the Prodigal Son? What is the meaning of my wanderings? Does it matter? God (the Source of all joy) goes with me wherever I go (Acim L41). In Day 39.43 Jesus , gloriously, agrees : “I am with you as well as within you!” That’ll do for me!
Ben, I am so appreciative of this post that both shares of the personal and asks questions of a universal nature. Having moved 23 times over 3 continents! That is amazing. As are the events, inner or outer, that make new chapters of our lives. I believe that we can feel them–the new chapters arising–just as if there was an idea for an actual chapter of a novel beginning to come in that creative way that inspiration is. Before “it” … whatever it is … “Happens”–we are feeling it. The “happening” is a bit after the fact. (Did you say something like this to me recently?) Anyway, if you did, it is no accident. We share as we do here and elsewhere so that we realize we are not alone, and realize that each inner experience is shared in this “inner” way. You and I are sharing Day 39 (and many others are sharing this Day as well), and it is in the home “within” that this sharing takes place.
Remember how ACOL opens? With the image of the immigrant coming to the new land with her heavy baggage? We are seeing how to set those burdens down, even while appreciating the homes in which we live and those that house the ones we love. Both/and.
Dear Mari, I love this post for many reasons but especially for the outside home and the inside home.
For the last 12 years I haven’t had a personal home. I rent a living place all furnished to which I come back the next year or not. And I enjoy the freedom that it allows. In a parallel way, my inside home has developed itself. This is the home I will never leave, although it transforms itself along with the consciousness that grows.
I still am a bit perplex with the question of privacy or as you said solo or solitary versus communality aspect. I don’t feel the need for privacy. I do appreciate being in silence, but it doesn’t mean being alone. Presence is always there and welcomed.
I realize the most people appreciate privacy and I wonder what part of the self is implied in this search, if not the desire for separation, ownership, etc. To me, unity in relationship cannot really fit with the desire for privacy. Alone is a situation that is unreal as far as I’m concerned. Am I lost here? I understand that unity is not synonym with fusion. But isn’t fusion with God inevitable, once we accept and desire it? I long for it.
Dearest Jacques, I am so glad I have gotten to know you a little. It helps to answer this question about the “solo” or the private. As you have moved out of your time of being a parent, you have more of a “solo” or private existence than you had when, some years ago, you were a “family man.” This is the main gist of what I was feeling as I wrote this post, as my time within the “common concerns” of family has been a bit extended. Donny, my husband, built me the cabin ten years ago because even then, I was feeling called “away” — not in the sense of “moving” away, but a “step” away from being in the thick of things. I had such a desire for a space of my own. In that sense, this is more than about family or any kind of living situation, but often, a living situation can contribute or detract from one’s greatest desire. Still, this is ultimately about having the inner space and stillness to be in unity and relationship as a true self.
As I sit in the cabin to write my blogs, I write from a different place that I could possibly conjure if I were inside with a full house and perhaps the television on, or a meal in the midst of being made. Don’t you feel that tending to our own needs and desires as humans becomes part of this journey that we are on together?
Thanks so much for your response and your unique expression.
Thank you for you kind answer dear Mari.
We are getting to know each other a bit more and I celebrate it. All this question of privacy, aloneness, presence, sharing, et etcetera is moving and seen anew. I feel the silence more than ever and the presence even more now. All is finding its proper place.