Rainer Rilke Says It All…
Between now and the solar eclipse occurring on 29th at 6:15 am GMT we have an opportunity to take stock and maybe even relax a little, if we choose to that is! Once we arrive at the eclipse there may be some decisions to make and some truths to accept, but between now and then we can take a moment to really feel into what’s been going on for us, not only this past intense week, but these past few months while the Cardinal Cross was building.
I use the term ‘feeling into’ specifically and with great care, because it is the ‘felt sense’ of this time rather than what we think or believe about it, which is of the utmost importance right now. Sometimes we can believe ourselves to be ‘feeling’ something when in fact we’re thinking about it, coming up with theories and ideas, concepts and beliefs about it. All of these, no matter how noble they may seem, serve to separate us from the direct experience of right now, and it is direct experience – of ourselves, of life, of everything all around – which is the essence of this time. The more we can be truly and fully present – conscious in each and every moment of the very breath which leaves and returns to our body, of the air on our skin, the thoughts passing through our minds, the emotions arising and passing away – the more deeply we can come to know the truth, the deepest truth, of this powerful time.
This truth, this deep, abiding truth, is not one that lends itself to words, which speak first to the mind before they enter the heart. Whilst words can point to it, we can only ever know it through every cell of our being, every beat of our heart. We cannot know it through thought, concept or understanding, no matter how sharp our mind may be. For this truth is not of the mind. Instead it places the mind in its rightful place along with all other conditioned things. This truth is of an order beyond all that appears so solid and real in our world. It throws everything into sharp relief as it reflects back to us the fleeting nature of anything which we dare to call ‘mine’. For there is no possession, no ownership, in this place of truth. Thought is just thought. Emotion just emotion. Identity becomes something we can pick up and put down at will, as and when we need to. And the need becomes less and less the more we can dwell in this still abiding.
And yet, here we are as human beings with these busy lives, full of striving, stress and activity. How can we ever reach such a place of peace and knowing when we have so much to get through each and every day?! These coming couple of days are a good opportunity to find out, because it may not be as difficult as we think. Which is a wonderful example of how our thoughts frequently work against us! Yes, energies are still intense and there is constant change happening within and around us, but what better time to commit to being as fully present as possible? To step out of thought and into awareness. To look out at the world not through the eyes of the mind but with the vision of the heart which knows without thinking and cannot put into words that satisfy the mind, what it knows without doubt.
When life is imbued with a feeling of urgency and there is so much to be addressed, processed and responded to, we can easily struggle to recognise the ultimate truth which underlies all things, a truth which my favourite poet, Rainer Maria Rilke, recognised when he wrote:
‘We are the driving ones.
Ah, but the seed of time
Think of it as a dream in what always remains.
All that is hurrying soon will be over with.
Only what lasts can bring us to the truth.
Young man! Don’t put your trust
Into the trials of flight
Into the hot and quick.
All things already rest.
Darkness and morning light,
Flower and book.’
I can’t top that!
Have a peaceful weekend everyone.