Yes! Sweet Nowhere, where my Heart has long longed to return, My Love, Home from me, from all, to One only alone.
* * *
She asked, during the interview, "Why should I hire you, let's say and not another I would have interviewed?" I had anticipated being asked, had already anticipated the response. The content of the response had lived inside for many months, really years, as I had sought to make sense of how persons had responded to me, and how I felt within and about my work. I had come to see that what I would say was absolutely true about my work, including my life, as well as the work of many, and the life of many. I knew, furthermore, to say it would risk being unclear and, so, the response would not necessarily assist in getting approval for a job, even though Chaplain work within a Hospice is primarily work with intangibles teeming unseen around dying and death. The society I live in seeks tangibles, focuses on what can be measured, and that is a reason it cannot well-appreciate the intangibles around dying and death. Even many religious persons see death only as a blessed escape into a paradise. Death is so much more. What can be measured, in the general society and workplace, as well as most religion, has increasingly become the mark of success.
A Contemplative comes to live back into tangibles, but, now, to live into tangibles from the Intangible. So, Mystery imbues his or her seeing and acting, the Intangible moves through his or her work, silently, but surely. The Contemplative learns to trust the unseen Grace moving, connecting, and loving. The spiritualized man or woman is sensitized to the subtle breathings of the Unseen, he or she knows that to lose contact with that receptivity will hinder being a conscious conduit of Grace. In a sense, one surrenders ownership of action to be a means of being acted through. In truth, he or she desires to do nothing, and that allows receptivity for cooperation with Grace. Doing happens, with no owner of doing, no doer, and, at least in some moments, no receiver of the doing. This is a unification of Grace, to Grace, by Grace - so, no doer, no being done to, only Doing.
Sitting before her, and the other interviewers, I looked at her and grasped for some way to point tangibly to this Invisible. What came surprised me, but I had heard it before, again within the Silence as I worked quietly toward some idea intimating this Intangible working subtly and powerfully, but not in terms most would begin to appreciate. I said to her, "You know, there is a real difference between seeing the sacred within you through you as a person, a personality - as many would say they do -, and seeing you as a person, a personality, through the Sacred within you, through Essence, who you truly are." I looked for her response. She seemed contented with the reply. I was not sure I was, for I just tried to give tangibility to the Intangible, and that is always a leap and a risk - which sadly, most fail to appreciate, as they talk so confidently of the Intangible in tangible ways. - Even in writing this, there are written contradictions, for we use tangible language to point to Intangibility.
What I replied to her implies a shift in consciousness - not a denial of person or qualities of being. Rather, in spatial terms, there is a shift in worldview, of consciousness, from seeing through outside into inside and seeing from inside to outside. Now, this dear one who asked me was female and black. From inside to outside would not deny race or gender, or anything making up person. However, the Contemplative vision is a seeing of the tangible qualities from the Oneness prior to qualities. The Intangible has no qualities, and is neither personal nor impersonal, for even these terms refer to qualities of experience. The Intangible is not a quality and has no qualities, so is able to manifest through qualities, while qualities can witness to the Intangible.
Even writing this seems to point to some intangible implication that I feel is not clearly expressed, for it cannot be. I am not really saying anything for certain, but that remains true of anyone pointing to the Intangible. Indeed, to be taken more by Grace into the Intangible, one becomes more intangible himself or herself - and this confuses persons grasping for tangibles. I am pointing to a brief, tangible episode in life, a scene that reminds of the power and beauty and, yes, the mystery of Grace, a Grace that, we could say, transforms from seeing through the eyes to seeing through the Heart. And why is this shift so important? Partly, for seeing through the Heart is accompanied by a Love that has transcended the personalized, or egoic, manifestation of Love that is the generalized expression of Love prior to this new way of seeing the other not as other, but as One with qualities of otherness. This new way of seeing, when transitioning from seeing outside to inside, is a major leap (And, recall, many persons never shift from only seeing outside), and one that we may need years to transition into fully, if ever on Earth. Again, however, even the use of words like "outside" and "inside" can easily mislead, for they are expressions only intimating intangible Presence. And all this has said what I have written of over many years, and that is that we ourselves are a diverse manifestation of one Communion intangible, which means this Togetherness has nothing to do, first and foremost, with traits by which most persons seek to relate to other persons. We could claim there cannot, and will not be, Peace among us on Earth at our present consciousness, even if we do grow more into cooperation and tolerance for differences in qualities. Communion, however, transcends tolerance, for Presence does not prioritize or give the same importance to qualities as the person, or self, does. Communion is selfless, and the source of every self.
* * *
*Move cursor over pictures for photographer and title.