Wouldn’t it be something if when you get home today you find a letter waiting on your pillow! And the letter tells you just what you’ve been longing for: how to pull your life together, the name of the right person, directions on the career path . . . Oh, let’s go for it: The gift that’s waiting tells us where to find pure happiness, ecstasy, blissed-out love.
It’s an old letter, waiting so long; and simultaneously it’s brand new, arriving every instant. All we have to do is clear ourselves enough to stand up fully present to truth. Of course, true happiness and love may not match up with our pictures. Mr/Ms Right never has fit the narrow frame of selfish desire, and our imagination’s horizon sits far too close. Pervasive smog limits our vision.
My wife came in and read the preceding 130-ish words. Knowing me pretty well, she asks, “Did you write this?” It’s a bit too sunny, rainbow-endish, not sufficiently real world. That’s my assessment, but along the line of hers. She also wonders, “Where are you going with this?”
The trail glimpses into the essence of what I love most. That’s where this comes from, and where it’s headed. I believe the words plumb the wellsprings of what’s been and is most compelling in my life: riding dressage, making love, reading great literature, co-composing digital media that advances peace and justice in the world, gnosis, and similar things. At their best, all share a full-being absorption in and by the sublime; they’re distinguished by a willing captivation in a quality of goodness. This might be the divine.
To look for that life-letter can bring along some dangers, also, because human longing for the divine includes susceptibility to imitations. But instead of not looking, why not do it consciously? Because most everybody is drawn or driven toward the ecstatic anyway; and when we’re less than at the edge of our individual and cultural consciousness, we may not discern the fake and might tolerate the lukewarm. Yes, the real world is full of false lovers, of seduction by alcohol or drugs, of selling out to materialism, of the endless chase pleasing dad, of chasing down the hippest guru, and finally of flat-out giving up. Even fairy tales warn of wolves.
To follow the passionate life, this longing for absorption, we need discernment, a good guide. Even though my reality check confirms that the world’s a dangerous place, I still believe in going for it. I love the lines that follow “Today, like every other day . . . Let the beauty we love be what we do.” Treat yourself to Coleman Bark’s performance of this Rumi poem:
Rumi flows down the ecstatic path that opens each moment. In another poem, he promises the dedicated seeker that the door at the threshold is wide and open. But we do have to let go of the fake attachments, give up feeling betrayed, let go of disappointment and disillusion. We have to look for each moment’s letter with hope. Sometimes leap.