Sunday, April 22, 2012

the mystery

Somehow there is a need to find assurance in the mystery.

I call it a "mystery" reluctantly, but because it seems to have qualities that are hidden or unknown, "mystery" sidesteps the icing that might be involved with calling it "God" or something similar. "Mystery" has its own icing, its own trip-stones -- as I say, it seems to have qualities that are hidden or unknown -- but it's the best I can come up with and since I think the longing to be at peace finds its resolution in mystery, I will call it "mystery."

For starters, everything is a mystery. Or, everyone chooses the mystery that suits or invites them. But the deeper anyone looks down the "mystery" rabbit hole, the deeper it gets. A caterpillar moving along a leaf, a small pile of dog shit on the sidewalk, a frying pan soaking after some breakfast bacon, the single hair growing luxuriant off the top of a big toe, the baby sleeping in a crib, the wry smile of a poker player ... there's no need to try to see everything as a "mystery," but with a little (sometimes spiritual) practice, or perhaps just with a little living, the mystery seems to make its own assertions and the mystery is always just the mystery... something known and unknown all at once.

Christians say, if I'm not mistaken, that God cannot be known. But God can be known through His works, they asset. Perhaps that is sort of what I am saying, but that gets into the whole ooooeeeeoooo scenario, the holy scenario, the religious institution bolstering its needs scenario, the good and evil scenario ... and all the other scenarios which the mystery can acknowledge and perhaps dance within, but never succumbs to.

For those with a spiritual practice -- a practice they do practice -- I sometimes wonder if they wonder what I wonder, which is this: The mystery is perfectly clear as a basis, but if the mystery wanted you to know more, wouldn't it just tell you? I think it would. The mystery is not mysterious or withholding like some staid Englishman or unduly circumspect Japanese. Who cares whether its doors are locked or unlocked. Locked or unlocked doesn't change the mystery.

And maybe that's the usefulness of practice -- the actual practice... getting used to the fact that the mystery is never missing, always just goes about its business, both when it is called a mystery and when it is not. My job is just to get out of the way and enjoy myself. When I know, the mystery is apparent. When I don't know, the mystery is apparent. You got a problem with that? And the answer is yes, sometimes I do have a problem.

But bit by bit and grain by grain and snippet of evidence by snippet of evidence, I get more accustomed to the mystery. It's like having a nice dog. Take care of it. Feed it. Pay attention to it. Ignore it. The mystery won't let you down, any more than your peace will. When you understand it, that's fine. When you don't understand it, that's fine. Whatever and whenever, still, the mystery jumps up on the couch beside you to watch your favorite TV show or weep your bitterest tears.

Around some mysterious corner up ahead, Rumi's wondering words are heard:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.
Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.

Somehow there is a need to find assurance and peace.

How mysterious could that be?

No comments:

Post a Comment