Make Meaning #09
Do things happen for a reason? Or are we simply driven to find reason in what seems chaotic?
When our hearts are cracked open by something achingly beautiful or wrenchingly sorrowful we see, experience the preciousness, the tenderness of life in that moment and we are driven to make sense, bring order. Man’s Search For Meaning, as Viktor Frankl wrote, continues. We must find meaning, open to life, connect in order to imagine a better sustained outcome. But more than find and imagine, we must as Carl Jung said, Make Meaning.
In this we are invited to engage, to participate, to make an offering in whatever manner possible in this moment and the next. We do so, not only to assist others, but self. This denotes action. How do we act, how can we act as close to our hearts with as much connection to our knowledge and value? More, how do we increase knowledge and open, expand perspective? We must hone our senses, open to life, become vulnerable. As Vyasa says in the Yoga Sutras, “the yogin becomes as sensitive as an eyeball.” Sensitivity, vulnerability is necessary to take life in, to permit ourselves to feel is prerequisite for any intimacy, for love.
If it were only this we might be ripped to shreds. But the practice of yoga is kind. We become more sensitive yes, but also strong and in that strength a steadiness, poise. Space is made to develop what Paul Muller-Ortega calls a ‘ledge of freedom’. A perch to stand upon and choose to engage in the best possible manner under the current conditions to the degree possible.
This requires awareness in the moment, an ability to both settle and expand. It also requires knowledge of every possible sort. What can I do? How? Then action follows. We offer our gift, skill, talent, attention in its most potent form because we have spent time deep in the source of originating matrix. This is the space where all sequence emerges and in doing so, we bring some of the light of that knowing out with us.
Finally, there is surrender. Ultimately we are not in charge, but there is something for us to do. I think of this like the sport of Curling. Sweeping the ice, I clear away any hindrance permitting the stone, in this metaphor the light, easy natural passage. As my perspective increases the space cleaned also increases and the light naturally expands opening a path.
The practice of surrender is challenging but benevolent in that it frees us. We care, in fact we care more, we do become as ‘sensitive as an eyeball’ but we also find less attachment to the outcome and in that we are free to do more, to gather our wits offer, refine and then offer again.
In its highest application we experience Karma Phala Tyaga of the Bhagavad Gita. We are most definitely entitled, says the text to our labor, but not the fruits of that labor.
In our expanded freedom we are able to increase perspective, see, hear more. We are able to access skills, talent, knowledge and to know where to go to increase what we need. A sort of innocence is brought to bear. How best to act now, in this moment, in this situation, with these tools?
Life is precious. Yoga is the practice that invites us to find, make and offer meaning. It is a two step process. First we go in, settle, connect, nourish. Clearing the accumulated debris of life lived, when we come out we bring the light more fully to bear on all we do naturally.
We are in a very real sense capable to make meaning out of suffering, out of joy, out of what is seemingly mundane because we have connected with what is most meaningful, most true in the heart of our very own being.
Meaning is really not given by other. It is for us to determine, find and make.
To love, to see love, to act out of love, requires a vulnerability an opening, a surrender.
Surrender to your Self. Meditate.