In Stability

One of my earliest memories is about the way words, the way their letters form so many meanings in various combinations.  It’s been a lifelong habit of mind to play with words, taking them apart, pondering their origins, seeking the paradoxes they often contain. Like the state named connect i cut.  Or instability.  It occurred to me recently that when we think we are in stability, we are actually experiencing instability.

This, too, is a lifelong habit of mind.  The constant search for stability, for the bubble in the spirit level to hover just so, in a state of balance.  I’ve learned that the deeper my inclination toward a condition, the more profound the lessons that Being will bring forward to disabuse me of them.  It’s one thing to recognize intellectually that there is no stability and quite another to know it in the body, the belly, the heart, the very cells.

No matter how good or strong our intentions, we are not in control of outcomes.  I remember some years back teaching the Bhagavad Gita to college freshmen and grappling with Krishna’s teaching to Arjuna to “do without doing.”  Over time, I was able to inhabit a way of being that allowed me to act without attachment to the outcome.  But even this is only a stage in realization.  Outcome is a process.  It’s very name suggests its flux.  It is an out coming.  An on going.

Daily living is a process. Its very nature is unstable.  It is porous, fluid, untamable and unnameable.  All of our myths and much of our science point to this.  When one strand of Indra’s web is plucked, the reverberations travel through all of them.  When we identify a particle, it’s already a wave.  When we set goals and intentions to bring about a product, it’s like pinching smoke. Ideas, actions and intentions live in a realm of unpredictability–literally, they cannot be spoken before they are spoken. un–pre–dict–able.  The philosopher Martin Heidegger said in Poetry, Language, and Thought, “What is spoken is never, and in no language, what is said.”  It can not even be dict-ed, let alone pre-dicted.

This will either make sense to you or not.  I don’t know.  But I do know now the truth of it.  We are all surfers on the ocean of Being.  Sometimes we are the wave, sometimes the water.  We are both of it and in it.  Rolling, breaking, reemerging, Broken and whole.