Tuesday, March 6, 2012

How It Wants to Be

I am a big fan of Charlotte Selver. Every day, I take in a bit more wisdom from her book, Waking up. Here is an excerpt that speaks directly to the importance of being honest with ourselves:
In exploration, whatever should offer itself as a problem is just there to be explored and to be gradually evened out, and that evening out, that resolution, comes all by itself when we accept the problem as a part of the way. It is not what you think 'should' be, but what is, that is interesting. When you have the expectation that something 'should' be in such and such a way, you will never learn what your nature wants. 
You have a very beautiful indication yourself, each one of you, which always tends toward more functioning, even if we don't understand how. It very often goes for a while through not more functioning but less functioning. In other words, the process doesn't go in a straight line, it goes only the way we can already permit something, no matter where that leads us. And when there is a 'no' in you, a barrier, don't try to force through it, but find out what wants to happen instead. In other words, follow up what happens in you. I say "what happens", not "what you try to create". Have you ever noticed that sometimes when you felt, "This is it," that a little moment later you felt, "No, it is a little more this way"? You thought you had it all, and then something more comes yet, and so on. That's the development of human nature. . . . How we start doesn't make any difference. When we come on the way we are on the way, and we continue to be on the way probably until we die. Every step which we make, and which we feel, unfolds us further. The question is whether we take the first step. [...] 
When you begin to wake up you feel more what is hindering you - what is 'not you', so to say. And only by following your own feeling can you get to what your nature actually wants. [...] There is something in us which can give us exact information as to how it wants to be. This is built into every person. We have been thoroughly educated not to listen to it. We are educated to follow that which should be, or ought to be, but not how it wants to be. How-it-wants-to-be follows our own way of orientation. The other way follows our conditioning and education, and since we are from our youth accustomed to "Father or Mother knows better," or, "Teacher knows better," we have been thoroughly deprived of trusting this inner wisdom, which each person has in himself, and follow rather the advice of others. There lies great unused richness in us which we gradually have to dig out and develop. And when you get to it you will be astonished what all comes into the open which you didn't know was there. 
A while ago, during an interview with a dharma teacher, I talked about the knot I had been carrying around for so long, in the pit of my stomach. The truth is I didn't know what the knot was about, but I let myself be led by the teacher's questioning, "What is the knot about?", and I rushed into a mind-made conclusion of 'self-hate'. Real wisdom would have been to stay with the 'I don't know', and stick to the raw experience of sensing the knot, letting it tell its story, instead of throwing an opinion at it. 

How open are you to the truth unfolding within?

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