The Call of the Intimate Way


While researching for a sermon I ran across the following publicity description of someone whose, says the blurb, “life is rooted in the belief that when we come from a place of love, anything is possible.”

Now there’s a certain sweetness in cockeyed optimism.

It’s particularly charming in children.

And, I guess it has a place in life.

But, anyone who has lived a real life has to feel, when hearing a line like this, somewhere deep down that at some point this is utter nonsense. Actually a rather stronger term floated up in my consciousness turning on human biological necessity, which perhaps points to the issue. The real issue…

My problem is how it reduces love to a fix.

Let’s get this straight. The real isn’t nice. Or, only nice occasionally, and only for a moment.

Rather…

The real is powerful. It creates and destroys.

Now…

It also, in our human experience, turns on an encounter that can indeed be called love.

But that love isn’t puppies and kittens.

And, it doesn’t make our individual lives a bed of roses without thorns.

And it doesn’t guarantee success.

Rather…

The invitation of life, a real life, is constantly calling us to engagement, to intimacy.

To grow larger. To discover the realities of our boundaries, of what is me and not me.

And from that place of genuine intimacy, from the wise heart it births, to actions small and large.

We were born to be still and notice, and then to get up and act.

In this world where everything will not turn out okay, where the anything that is possible is not in our hands, the real deal is to, nonetheless, look deep into who we really are, and then from that place, reach out a hand, to act, to live a life of care.

That’s the better way…

The intimate way…

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  • Wayne Grachow

    …coming from a place of love, anything is possible.. This
    is a good example of what can be called (in the lineages of tantra of the Nyingma school) a bit of flagrant eternalism. One of the 14 vows of tantra has the form β€œIt is a downfall to adopt the posture of any of the four philosophical distortions: Monism, Dualism, Eternalism, or Nihilism.” One thing is meaningful, true, real, etc. Or two are. Or everything is, or nothing is. These terms have wider uses in the Western tradition but do well for their Sanskrit partners. Such postures are static as opposed to a stance which is much less so and they are both perfectly natural and not invariably unhealthy to fall into or adopt, with many variants and combinations of these four on a continuum. One freezes into a posture or pushes off momentarily from a stance through symbolism, language, art, etc. within a lifetime of a person, religion, history, theology, movement, etc. So you can have a vow about this natural tendency which gets broken and repaired over and over… and then it’s the stuff of practice/learning/teaching to figure out what is going on when one or more or, especially, none of these is at work.


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