What Do You Want?
"Where are you?" That's a question I've been hearing a lot of lately. So I'll tell you. But first, here's a beautiful comment I received about the "I am going to die" newsletter.
"I haven't responded before, but you do need to know that I often find resonance with what you write. And I was touched enough by the clear perspective you presented on our human mortality to write myself a note and put it up on my closet door to see everyday.
"The perspective is one that assists me with the courage I need to step into the political world of today. I am running for [political office in Minnesota], and although I am confident of winning, I am also sure I will be attacked by some. That is simply the climate of the day.
"But what of that future moment of attack? Isn't fear of attack a kind of fear of death? Well, if all I truly know of the future is that I will die, and if all I know now is that I live, where is the sting?
"I live! And I will die. In this living moment I appreciate the balance between — and you. Thank you."
Where's the sting? Such a question! Thank you.
Where am I?
I'm in Unknown. Actually, I'm in Minneapolis. But I have no idea for how long. All our plans have fallen through. One by one, all of the opportunities we had for places to stay fizzled. I might have been frustrated, but "if all I truly know of the future is that I will die, and if all I know now is that I live, where is the sting?"
Then Deb returned to her job as a supervisor for an excavating company, and it all made sense. She learned that her boss has been put in charge of the out of town work. Which means that there is a high probability that she will be sent out of town to work. Bismarck North Dakota has been mentioned. And Carlton, in Minnesota, near Jay Cooke State Park, just south of Duluth. I have clients and friends in Duluth. It's not so far from Minneapolis — I could see my grandsons, maybe teach. Deb could be sent to either one, or some other place, and at any moment. Should I hope for Carlton?
What do you want?
I teach conscious creating. I teach people how to manifest what they want. I have students who are Masters at it. But over all these years of teaching it, I've not come up with anything that I want to consciously manifest. You'd think that now, with all this uncertainty in my life, I'd be practicing conscious creating. But I'm not. Why is that?
I don't know!
I don't mean that I don't know why, I mean that my awareness of "I Don't Know" keeps me from creating a future I think I want. What if I wanted Deb (and thus me) to be sent to Carlton and made that my clear intent? Is there something wrong with that? No, of course not. But there is so much I don't know! I don't know what might be in Bismarck for me to learn, or who might be in Bismarck for me to meet. It may be true that Carlton would be more convenient, but given all that I don't know, how can I possibly want that probable future over any other probable future?
It's my love of the mystery of life that keeps me from attempting to create a certain future. For instance, I'm going to Amazon Bookstore Co-op today. (For those of you who don't live in Minneapolis, Amazon was the first feminist bookstore in the nation! And it is still open.) Parking is scarce in that neighborhood. What if I consciously create a parking place for myself? No doubt I'll be glad that I get a place to park right in front of the store. But what if I don't create it, and I have to park far away? Who knows what opportunity might be waiting for me at that far away site? Who knows what might be available to me because I'm open to what shows up rather than playing it safe and creating what I think will make my life easier or better? Should I trade an unknown future for one I think I want?
Life is endlessly mysterious and unknown. If I would create anything for my life, it is that I meet the mystery of life with curiosity, gratitude, and generosity. All the rest is details. And, when we make them our focus, the devil is indeed in the details.
This discussion takes us back again to the "I am going to die" newsletter. "If all you can know is that you will die and that you live, what about all that other stuff you think you know? Begin to discern between what you think you know and what you do know." I think I know that Carlton would be a better place to spend the summer than Bismarck, but I don't know it. Just as I don't know that a close parking place will be better than a far one. I merely think I know it.
Every time we desire something, we head our life in a new direction. Try this:
to the best of your ability, be sure that what you desire is the truth.
Is it true that Carlton will be better than Bismarck? If I put myself in the energy of gratitude, and if I know that I will die, then the truth is more readily available. And the truth is, I don't know.
Do you see how wanting a close parking place and wanting Carlton over Bismarck is an attempt to feel safe? Can you see how it is an attempt to ward off the certain knowledge that I will die?
I know I will die. I know I live. In truth, what else do I really know?
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, event he phrase each other
doesn't make any sense.