“There is no need to control or try to dominate life. It only leads to me being suppressed or dominated…”
It is often said that we grow a great deal during difficult times. I don’t doubt that we “grow” through these times, but I do wonder whether or not the times themselves are difficult. All of my difficulty with time seems to emerge from the fact that I refuse to let go of my treasured self image, which the present moment has challenged. In other words, I have fallen on hard times when I fail to realize that my contrived self-image has reached it’s expiration date! So from an ego-centric point of view it is seen as painful, because with insight comes death—that is the death of the ego.
Life has a way of deconstructing the static images I project, and in those moments of insight everything that I think I am—positive and negative alike—is revealed to be little more than speculative fantasy. Being totally empty and insubstantial this self-conscious image provides no resistance to the flow of life, which tears through my ego-fashioned garments to illuminate the heart. Illuminate is perhaps to technical a term—it is as if life has reached out and quite literally touched the heart. In Buddhism this “touching of the heart” is described as faith…
The whole experience is remarkably intimate, compassionate in fact. Pain is sensitivity. Sensitivity, not to the self-conscious notion of existence, but to the direct experience of being. It is to this intuition that I pray, and as Thomas Merton suggests, this prayer “looks primarily at a transformation of consciousness—a transformation and liberation of the Truth imprisoned in man by ignorance and error.” Spontaneous prayer is an internal plea from humanity to humanity, welcoming itself home in a silent embrace. This home—the ground of being—is pure energy, of which “you” and “I” are mere reflections.
There is no need to control or try to dominate life. It only leads to me being suppressed or dominated because, I am life. I am truly praying when I observe and embrace this energy—when I listen to my heart. This listening is faith.