Last week one of my readers noted I’d not done a philosophical post for awhile.
Well… a few things happened mid week that lend themselves to this topic!
Out of the blue I’ve been voted onto the committee of the Upper Clutha Community Arts Council – an elected voluntary organisation to promote and support the arts in the Upper Clutha region, including Wanaka. I’ve attended the one meeting so far, and it’s fun – we give away money!
This seemed to come about maybe because I’ve occasionally posted 2-3 photo images in FaceBook to gauge reactions, and Susan the chairperson, an old time local and friend noticed and probably recalled I had the odd photography exhibition many years ago in town here.
I love art because it engages our hearts often to balance out our intellect [ego] – both seem best held in a sort of tension. Awareness of this has a lot to offer a very troubled world.
Also mid week I attended yet another Wanaka Search and Rescue training evening. I’m rather chuffed to be part of this wonderful group, not because it seems now locally to be regarded as elite, but for other more humanitarian reasons. Somewhere along the path of life I’ve learnt useful skills that can be used in ways never intended at the time!
In a way both disciplines give us avenues of enlightenment that can, it’s said, be gained most effectively by being in the service of others. The Dalai Lama for one preaches this consistently.
What’s interesting for discussion here is I’d not actively sought inclusion in either of these groups! So it’s struck me yet again that often the best and most interesting progress in life does not come from thinking, but more from a heartfelt awareness.
We can only ever be aware of the magic of this, because the moment we think about it we bring the formless into form. Form by it’s very nature is transitory, temporary and has a nature akin to illusion.
When we can observe the constant stream of events, situations, emotions, desires, ambitions, fears, drama, which all come pretending to be important into our brains daily, then be it even if we can notice the gaps, our lives can change to a more healthy state.
We can then be the dreamer observing the dream that contains events we look back on often asking “were they ever real?”
Mountaineer and author Aat Vervoorn sums it up in one way I can relate to:
Daoist concept of non action: Do nothing and there is nothing that is not done by Laozi. He means that if we come with fixed ideas and preconceptions, and try to impose our will on events, we are likely to fail. Action succeeds when it is, in a sense, non-action, when our acts are entirely in accord with the disposition of things, so that it’s as if our desired outcomes just happen by themselves. Successful action depends on correctly perceiving the innate tendency of situations (what does ‘the innate tendency of situations’ mean?) and understanding the importance of timing. This requires full alertness to what is going on around us and within
Mountain Solitudes by Aat Vervoorn
In the ’70′s a few of us pioneered [maybe?] a new route, the Hoophorn Ridge on Mt Sealy in the Mount Cook National Park.
When we’re sick, or getting very fatigued as in mountaineering, as we were as we probed this presumably unknown terrain, often our egos disengage. This opens up our intuition, or as I’m learning these days our hearts – the part of us it pays to listen too!
We’d been climbing on delightfully firm and warm rock [see image below] in the left background gully I’m traversing out of towards the photographer, when for no particular reason we decided it might be better to be on a more defined ridge behind him.
Upon my completion of the traverse a wet snow avalanche came down the whole gully – side to side. Such avalanches are slow on moderate snow fields, but in this environment it came [and went] like an express train. Had we not exited/crossed when we did, I’d not be writing this now!
Moral of the story: follow our hearts – listen to that awareness of awareness itself! Don’t try to understand it and give it form – just trust, follow and be grateful. God has a hand in it!
When I look back on this incident, and a few others like it, I always realise the intuition, the action or spontaneity came from a part of me, my core, that can’t be reached by my mind. It’s an uncanny realisation that leads to thinking that they come through us!
Please follow the story next by clicking on the first image…
Through nonresistance to form, that in you which is beyond form emerges as an all-encompassing Presence, a silent power far greater than your short-lived form identity, the person. It is more deeply who you are than anything in the world of form.
Eckhart Tolle ~ A New Earth