For ages man has thought that spiritual joy diminishes physical joy. While there is no physical joy that is limited to the physical—no joy felt by the physical form alone—the joy that comes of things physical can certainly still be experienced and expressed. This is no call for judgment upon the physical. How could this be true when the physical is now called upon to serve the greatest learning humankind has ever known? T3:19.2
As I sat poised to write in my journal this morning, my fingers hovered over the J’s of June and July. What month is it? My reflection thus far has had nothing to do with the recent, but has already traveled over the terrain of about twenty years of writing, “Justifiable Madness” (an incomplete memoir) particularly, for it beginning with the things you “can’t not do.” My astrological chart, my numerology, what I’ve lived so far and hear repeated by friends who have known me for decades, is all about work. My way into even my own heart is through my work: the creative work of writing and the vocational work of A Course of Love.
It’s Sunday morning and I’m about the “work” that doesn’t feel like work, the writing of my 30th or 40th blog of the year, a post that will join the others than number together well over 100.
I am in the cabin where I feel the wonder that this week’s internal reflection is so different than last week’s while the outer scene is so unchanged. The unchangeable and the ever-changing mixed together. Which is which? This is the reverie I crave.
Now the first of the squirrels are out. It’s amazing how hard it is to tell the difference between the four-footed squirrels and my three-footed Welcome, the one who has given my usual bread-tossing a sweeter focus. It is not a missing paw he has, but a stumpy paw with no nails, and so until I get a good look at a passing squirrel’s paw, I can’t tell if the one I’m watching is him. He got the name Welcome accidentally, from a time when he seemed to turn to face me as he ate, as if thanking me. I said “You’re welcome,” and then I heard it as “You are Welcome.” It is so poignant to see the way he protects his paw as he goes about his squirrel business, tucking it in against his white belly. And I’ve watched him now through appearing to have gotten a little beaten up, and so hope for seeing him more as time goes by, just to know that he hasn’t succumbed to “survival of the fittest.”
Some years ago I realized that the things I write as preambles to writing become the things, in retrospect, that I most appreciate. They weren’t what I “wanted” to write, but what I wrote. It’s a good metaphor, isn’t it? Out of the lack of having an objective, the objective (external) fades and the subjective, (the inner), comes to light.
This morning it has become a contemplation of “the physical.” In “A Treatise on the Personal Self” we hear:
You must not fear the changes that will occur within your physical form as it begins to be guided by the thought system of the truth rather than the thought system of illusion. You will fear these changes less if you realize that all that has come of love will be kept and that all that has come of fear will fall away. You have no need to fear that the end of the special relationship will separate you from your loved ones. You have no need to fear that the joys you have shared with others will be no more. You have no more need to fear the loss of physical joys than you have to fear the loss of mental and spiritual joys. T3:19.1
I love reading the line about the “changes that will occur.” As I speak with fellow travelers of this way, I hear of many . . . odd . . . physical changes that mirror many of those I’ve been through. Many of them are not much different than Welcome’s stubby paw. They’re not easy to see. They’re not easy to live with. They cause us to feel vulnerable, and in our human way to question: What’s really going on here?
What’s really going on here? What’s happening? What’s this difference I’m “feeling?” What is so “new” about this experience that I am having? They are all wonderful questions, the same revealing questions whether they’re about what leads to our full embrace of who we are (and at times experience as “something wrong”) or the embrace itself (the homecoming of all the parts we’ve so patiently explored). Our questions and our inner answers reveal our Selves to us and allow us to know ourselves in the reality of truth.
At the end of this month I’ll spend a day exploring the experience of A Course of Love with fellow travelers in and around Santa Fe. If you’re interested, you can find out more about it here:
Please see the attached flyer, http://spibr.org/Mari_at_Unity_Santa_Fe_Aug_27_2016.pdf).