Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Striding Through the World with Light-hearted Unconcern

I am amazed at how yesterday unfolded. I began the day reading Lesson 92 in A Course in Miracles, Miracles are seen in light, and light and strength are one. I love being reminded that we think we see with our eyes and think with our brains; as the Course says, we think we think. Duh.

Your ideas of what seeing means is tied in with the body and its eyes and the brain.
You also believe the body's brain can think. If you but understood the nature of thought, you could but laugh at this insane idea. It is as if you thought you held the match that lights the sun and gives it all its warmth; or that you held the world within your hand, securely bound until you let it go. Yet this is no more foolish than to believe the body's eyes can see; the brain can think. W-p1.92. 1:3,5, 2

Later in the morning, I was leafing through a magazine, The Sun, and I came across this passage by Lewis Thomas(1913-1993 ), the biologist who wrote Lives of a Cell.

We are perhaps uniquely among the earth’s creatures, the worrying animal. We worry away our lives, fearing the future, discontent with the present, unable to take in the idea of dying, unable to sit still.

His phrase, worrying animal reminded me of this wonderful poem by Denise Levertov (1923-1997), Come Into Animal Presence.

Come into animal presence.
No man is so guileless as
the serpent. The lonely white rabbit on the roof is a star
twitching its ears at the rain.
The llama intricately
folding its hind legs to be seated
not disdains but mildly
disregards human approval.
What joy when the insouciant
armadillo glances at us and doesn't
quicken his trotting
across the track into the palm brush.
What is this joy? That no animal
falters, but knows what it must do?
That the snake has no blemish,
That the rabbit inspects his strange surroundings
in white star-silence? The llama
rests in dignity, the armadillo
has some intention to pursue in the palm-forest.
Those who were sacred have remained so,
holiness does not dissolve, it is a presence
of bronze, only the sight that saw it
faltered and turned from it.
An old joy returns in holy presence.

In this poem, we are invited into animal presence, a state of mind unconcerned with our body’s eyes and brain, striding lightly through the world, as demonstrated by the armadillo, trotting along his way, insouciantly, meaning with light-hearted unconcern, echoing the French phrase, sans souci, without a care.

Seeing like an animal, coming into animal presence, is an excellent analogy for our capacity to let go of our small body self seeing dark shadows, and embracing our Self as we were created by God, seeing only Its light reflection as we walk through the world, and in this state of mind, we are insouciant.

The strength in you will offer you the light, and guide your seeing so you do not dwell on idle shadows that the body's eyes provide for self-deception. Strength and light unite in you, and where they meet, your Self stands ready to embrace you as Its Own. Such is the meeting place we try today to find and rest in, for the peace of God is where your Self, His Son, is waiting now to meet Itself again, and be as One. W-p1.92.9

Ancient Egyptians believed that when a person died, the gods immediately placed his or her heart in one pan of a set of scales. In the other pan was a feather. If there was imbalance, if the heart of the deceased weighed more than the feather, he or she was denied admittance to the after world. Only the lighthearted were deemed advanced enough to merit immortality.

We know, of course, that we are immortal beings, God's Creations, having never left Heaven; we only think we did; however, the analogy of a light heart weighing no more than a feather is a powerful image.

And most importantly, as my unfolding day demonstrates, when I am in this feathery state of mind, I am receptive, receptive to the Holy Spirit, God's Voice speaking to me all through the day. Lesson 49