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Knowing what to do

For heavens sake, go and do something!, many a mother has cried. And: ‘Get off that sofa’. Doing nothing was just not an option for her. She herself was raised with the saying ‘the devil makes work for idle hands’. And work is still the necessary format in Europe. Unemployed older people have to apply for work that is just not available. Acknowledging that there is not enough work for everyone, unless it would be drastically redistributed, is not on the cards. Because of the expansion, especially in agriculture, the holy belief that ‘whoever has no work shall not eat’ no longer applies.

Our engrained work ethos should rather become an ethos of a fair distribution of work.Then free time could also be divided more fairly instead of wondering how we are going to fill in all this free-time.

We would then be free to fill it in to our own satisfaction. From feeding our Big Egocentric Me with its ingrained consumerism on the one hand of the spectrum to serving our fellow men on the other, or any gradation of behaviour in between these two opposites. Big Me is a term coined by the humanist Harry Kunneman. Big Me has the following three characteristics: he gets bigger all the time because of his gross consumerism – he blows itself up by making himself very important and he has a very thick skin.

Any moral condemnation of him bounces off this thick skin and these features relate not only to this symbolic individual but also to the economy, politics and ecology of our time. Mankind as a whole behaves like Big Me, says Kunneman.

At the same time there are also many people who choose the alternative, to serve others.This is often difficult to implement, as the needs are endless, both physically and mentally. Where do you start? A simple rule for this is: do what your hands find to what you have to do will certainly manifest itself. We have so many talents to utilise. The philosopher,Wilhem Schmid gives us this definition of work – ‘Work is everything I do in relation to myself and my life, in order to lead a good and valuable life.’ This statement it is not about paid or voluntary work, it is all about the intention with which my work is done.

In her book The Intention Experiment Lynn McTaggart gives countless examples of the influence of both an individual’s and a group’s conscious intentions in various situations and circumstances. In her book she describes many scientifically based experiments that show that our consciousness directly influences matter – a fact that traditional science hasn’t as yet accepted. McTaggart states that everything around us is influenced by our thoughts and intentions, and that this essential influence is much greater than we imagine.

The Rosicrucians view on service to others is all about an inner service.
and has its basis in a an inner state of peace and balance. J. van Rijckenborgh describes this in the Chinese Gnosis chapter 15: “You will live in perfect tranquillity of soul, whether in the temple or outside of it, and you will enter the stillness, the silence, the great calm.

In the times drawing near, we will really need this state of being if we want to avoid being drawn into the fierce turmoil of the material world.’

Relating to this peaceful principle, we may now understand Lao Tzu’s well-known verse better in which he states: “By not- doing everything is done”. Only self-surrender to the inner silence gives us the right intention for the physical work.

The Voice of the Silence states ‘There is space in you for acting and for non-acting’ and warns us at the same time: “Non-acting, as a result of selfishness, can only bear bad you shall harvest their fruit.’ But of course it is also: ‘For heavens sake, do something! Because if you remain passive where acts of charity are necessary, than you are in error and will fail.”

Do what your hands find to do. What you do does not matter all that much for unfortunately whatever we do in the material world is subjected to the law of opposites. The essence and the consequence of this is: act good and badness is near. The Only-Good is in this respect certainly our inspiration but we must continuously be aware that it is not a part of our material world.

J. van Rijckenborgh, in his book Dei Gloria Intacta, describes how this inner balance is reached in which the soul is enlightened by the spirit and adds: “I can imagine that there are even circumstances when a Rosicrucian may be a soldier.” He who understands how essential service is just has to do something. Even if there is no clear solution at the start and everything seems meaningless. The required insight is that through the ‘universe’, as the modern phrase is, or through Gods plan, as the Rosicrucians state, we are repeatedly given insights to see the true meaning of life for humanity as a whole.

What are your own inner values? We are worldwide pulled out of our comfort zone. The atrocities are all around us and its victims are knocking at our doors. So do what you have to do even if it seemingly brings you no results as yet.
The Bible states: “Should someone possess all the worlds goods and close his heart for his brother or sister in need, then where is the love of God?” And in the Voice of Silence we read: “If you ever want to harvest sweet peace and rest, sow then pupil, with the seeds of service, the fields of the future harvest. Accept the sorrows of being born.”

If we accept life as it is, then from the resulting peace within the soul we will receive the inspiration to act spontaneously from its centre via a ‘not-doing through which everything is done’.Then our humanness will shine through everything we do.We accompany our fellow men through life as human beings on the same road and we don’t hold ourselves aloof. The Voice of the Silence on this respect admonishes us: “Do not believe that living in proud seclusion, far from the people, will lead you to the goal of the ultimate liberation.

In new understanding, brought about by our self-surrender, we are suffused by a silent joy – the Light is always there! It is there also when you experience the hurt that your compassion with humanity calls up within you. It is a still joy, always present in the background. This awareness gives you the insight to know what to do.

Source: Pentagram 2016 number 1

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Hear the Bird Sing

God is the dancer
creation the dance
Be silent and contemplate the dance
Just look …
a star, a flower, a leaf, a bird, a stone
Look, listen, touch, taste, smell …
it won’t be long before you meet
the dancer in the dance.

The disciple was always complaining to his Master,
“You are hiding the final secret of Zen from me.”
And he would not accept the Master’s denials.

One day they were walking in the hills
when they heard a bird sing.
“Did you hear that bird sing?”
said the Master.
“Yes,” said the disciple.
“Well, now you know that I have hidden nothing from you.”
“Yes.”

–  Anthony de Mello, The Song of the Bird 

 

God is everywhere

God is everywhere-
In all things;
And in nothing.
God is in trees and seas;
In birds and in beasts,
In the soil under my feet;
And in my soul.
Why am I wandering from
Temple to temple
Looking for God?
When I stop searching I realise
That God is in me
And I am in God.

Kabir