NOTES FROM LOLLYGOG
By William Samuel
A COURSE OF ACTION IN THE MIDST OF TURMOIL
The honest action of our daily experience appears to be a gentle middle ground, a delicate balance. Consider, for instance, the cautious balance between not yielding and not contending --- or not contending and not yielding.
In the human scheme of things, the refusal to yield to something we have cone to perceive as a false authority is accompanied by the world's moral demand to do battle with that authority and set it straight—always for the benefit of others, of course. Such action is the product of education and has become the intuitive reflex of a society geared to "progress". But there is another course of action open to us wherein we quietly refuse to yield to any authority but the Divine, yet we remain careful (for our own peace and the benefit of the world) not to overstep that refusal to contend with the false authority.
The world holds this course in contempt and even the world's metaphysicians, by and large, attempt to rectify appearances, but our tangible freedom in daily experience will never be found outside this delicate balance. No, we do not cow before the supposed power of signs and symbols that have no power; we do not act as floor mats nor yield ourselves servants to obey the appearances of the world but neither do we take those actions that constitute a battle with the world's authority. When this delicate point is perceived and lived (and lived!) our vision of war and rebellion is ended.
BY WAY OF EXPLANATION
A growing portion of my mail concerns itself with this matter, as is evident in the following quotes: (1) "My children (or grandchildren) have gone wild! They are anti-establishment, anti-adult, anti-social and contemptuous of nearly everything that is conventional. What am I to do?" (2) "My organization (school, business, church, body) is woefully caught up in the dictatorial emptiness of old thinking and would attempt to enslave me thereby. What am I to do, pull up stakes or battle for an improvement in my organization?".
As appearances go, our response to the second question has given rise to the appearances that motivate the first. The answer to the one is the answer to the other—but that answer does not exist out there among the rebellious youth and their destructive actions, nor with the recalcitrant, dictatorial organization so many would like to see reorganized to fit a new pattern. It has altogether to do with THIS action the reader is right here---no one else and nowhere else. One does not have to "pull up stakes" or "battle for an improvement". There is yet another course of action, a barely seen center ground upon which one my stand and find himself having cleared up both situations at once. As THIS action—WE—stop the battles with organizations, THIS awareness sees the meaning behind the world's turmoil and sees it without fear or loss of equanimity.
For me it has been helpful to learn the hard lesson that challenging the pseudo-powers of the
world does not mean a battle. To challenge the authority of a power that is not God is to stand firm on the single ground of God's omnipotence, therein discovering the powerlessness of the pseudo authority—and finding it in the first-hand language of my own experience. To battle with the pseudo-authority in either action or argument is to give it (in my own experience)
very power it does not possess outside my belief that it is a power
to overcome, change, heal or paste in the mouth---as if there could
be a power beside God! Even then, the battle is with belief---a
personal determination that a power beside God exists capable
binding us and doing us in.
The faltering heart, the swollen joints, the fractious groups and warring nations are the evidence of that fictitious belief. To see the end of the mischief "there", we end the contention with our own images "here". Do you see this? It is not the people in our world who must do this, reader. Rather, this consciousness that "includes" those people does it FIRST, then we see "others" doing likewise. We be the lifted up, pristine Awareness smiling at itself HERE and find ourselves living the Christ of our Self-perceived, Self-inclusive universe smiling back from the mirror.
The images of perception, whether they be institutions, people or feelings, are not the masters of the consciousness (Life) reading these words. Rather, institutions, people, feelings have their apparent existence because ISNESS (God) is aware as this awareness we are. Dominion resides where THIS one exists. To be dictated by a false authority is to yield oneself servant thereof and to sleep enslaved. To let our own images lead us around by the nose just because "they say" thus and so, is as senseless as the television set that trembles in fear that one of its images will smash the picture tube. In our daily affairs, the unchallenged slave master appears most nearly successful in smashing society.
Lest we be fooled and find ourselves adding to the pictures agony rather than seeing the naught of it, we awaken to the narrow pathway between the challenge of external authority that would bind us, and doing battle with it. The present rebellion of youth will stop its senseless destructiveness and come out from its subverting, perverting nastiness only as this awareness—being-I ends its own contention with its included images. Within the cause-effect arena of mental manipulation, the appearance of a society being ripped apart by freedom demanding youth is the inevitable consequence of our own effort to elevate a mistaken sense of Self up to a Perfection that is already All.
The time is ripe to stand fast as the witness of the ALLNESS we know to be the Fact of existence. We pull in the nutty reins of contention here-as-I before our images appear to stop going off halfcocked in all directions out there. We live and act the Christ-Comforter we are to our own perception of existence first. We do not save our world by doing battle with it, tearing it down, burning it up, creating doubt or suspicion, undermining it, healing it, manipulating it or trying to resign from it. We "save" it by seeing it as it is, seeing ourselves as we are, and acknowledging GOD to be the basis for all that is, has been, or could be.
WHERE THE AUTHORITY IS
God, the reality being this single and only AWARENESS I AM, is the authority that blooms the bud, scatters the seed and flashes its Cosmic Light around the universe. This authority has never been vested in a human organization, be it a body with organs or a smother church. Furthermore, none of us has ever been unfaithful to this Divine Authority being Identity, nor "lapsed from the faith". How, in God's name, can Identity lapse from Itself.
Undoubtedly, organizations (even as the body) perform legitimate, worthwhile services, but those services are abrogated to whatever extent the organization enslaves its members or to whatever extent we claim a position of superiority for our own appearances for our own appearances of organization.
Isness, not people, is the genuine authority for individual action. The consciousness that reads these words stands as its own self-evident proof, Deity's awareness of existence. Its relationship to Being is not governed by the man-made laws of any intermediary, no matter how correctly (Divinely) authorized it is or professes to be. The communion between Reality and this consciousness—we—are is not now, and has never been, routed through any external church, philosophy, system, leader, ritual or book to include the bible. Intercourse with Reality is DIRECT, as direct as ALLNESS is ever its own SAMENESS. Enlightenment, the "mysterious agreement", is between IS and AM, the single ONE, Self-evident to and as THIS Awareness—I—am. My proof of this fact is the Light I live as, and see enlightening my Experience.
The "authority of the organization", whatever its appearing, resides in That being THIS consciousness. That which presents itself as intermediary—pope, church, institution, society, bible or canon of ancient law—exists powerlessly in "us" (Me) as images of this awareness-I- am.
"SO WHAT DO I DO ABOUT MEMBERSHIP IN MY COLLEGE (OR CHURCH OR BUSINESS OR WORLD)?
The golden Thread of the Absolute exists still. We know because we have found it. We feel, know and see the Fact of Singleness---evidence of God's ALLNESS. We who discern the Thread are come as the savior of our own appearing, the Christ to the Experience we are. As I see it now, it makes no difference whether we are inside an organization or outside it, provided we do not feel a sense of restriction. Even then, cutting ourselves away does not mean we will find the restriction gone. It is the sense of being an identity capable of being restricted that appears to me as a "me" bound by an ailing body, oppressive organization or a flat pocketbook. The axe at the root has to do with this one's position, not the "Church’s". Identity is a matter of SELF determination and in the end, no organization, not even the body, can prevent the discovery.
Therefore, I do not presume to tell any of my own images whether they should join a church or leave one. We each follow what seems the Heart-directed course of action. For myself, I once thought the wisteria vine was the most beautiful of all the flowers in the garden. As a gardener, I worked with my wisteria to the exclusion of all else and awakened one day entangled, no longer free to follow the sunlight outside the shadows. For me (though not necessarily for "thee") it seemed wise to come out and be separate from that clinging vine because I could not speak of my own identity without violating the rules to which I had willingly agreed. So I cut myself away from the organizational rules and found the more distant purview of the wisteria lovelier than ever! And more: I found the beauty of the orchid! I found the larkspur, the rose, the dandelion and the wild woodland outside the boundry of the garden! Every flower in the garden is Me and I take my nectar from any book or blossom I see I be at the moment. Only those organizations that permit such freedom can survive.
In all fairness I must point out again that my entanglement with the wisteria was not the
wisteria's fault. A vine is a vine—neither good, bad, right nor wrong— but who can make wisteria into heather or a dandelion into a rose? If there isn't enough shade beneath the pine, we sit under an oak. We don't cut down the pine or strip it of its limbs. Its shade may be quite enough for the tufted titmouse or the bushy tailed squirrel.
Which is easier: to play the role of a big cheese contender doing impossible (and miserable) battle with everything, or to stop playing that role and rest in the happy Already? For myself, I prefer to let pine trees be pine trees and wisteria vines be wisteria vines. If, in blaming the vine for my own entanglement, I should succeed in pulling it up by the roots, what will I have to shew for it except a hernia, a sore back and the sight of a wrecked society ripped apart by excessive zealousness?
God's Phoenix of ALREADY does not have to rise from the ruins of a shattered society. It will appear to, of course, but those who know the forthright way of the middle ground—of the ALREADY INFINITE—will not be troubled as the dream’s last soliloquy is sounded, as the curtain falls with a crash and the mortal arc lights give way to the Light of the Eternal, sunshine of the Real.
See you next month, William Samuel