My grandmother once told me a story about the road to heaven. She explained that everybody is climbing a knotted rope. Each person on their own rope is at a different knot height that corresponds to their level understanding of God, or spiritual development. She went on to explain that when you meet other people you will find those who have climbed a little higher than you. Conversely, you will meet others who have not climbed as high as you have. In her model, you can desire to climb as high as others you see at a higher knot, but only one knot at a time. There is no skipping knots. Then there are those who you desire to bring to your knot level. It can be a very slow climb, and those people cannot go faster than one knot at a time. What my grandmother did not tell me is that there will be those people who are stopped and do not desire to keep climbing. There can be many reasons for this, but living in the present moment is a cure all.
Surfers, in this blog I will send you to a blog by a very frustrated person. The writer took their precious blog space to vent about a real life dilemma for people of faith. What do you do when you must interact with a person who is not at the same level of understanding about God, or spiritual development as you are? The blog author is no quitter. He bites his tongue and tries to be patient. I give him a lot of credit for taking his frustration out on his blog, and not the people in question. Surf over to his blog and send him a response to show solidarity. He is now part of our social network.
I have met teachers, artists, nurses, doctors, scientists, social workers, waiters, hairdressers, business owners, and salespeople who perform their work admirably without any self-seeking, fully responding to whatever the moment requires of them. They are one with what they do, one with the Now, one with the people or the task they serve.
This is the way Eckhart Tolle echos the teachings of Jean-Pierre de Caussade. Living in the present moment and acting as God’s agent moment by moment is the higher path.
I have also met many others who may be technically good at what they do but whose ego constantly sabotages their work. Only part of their attention is on the work they perform; the other part is on themselves. their ego demands personal recognition and wastes energy in resentment if it dosen’t get enough – and it’s never enough.
Surfers, you should be careful reading Eckhart Tolle, because in his writings he has replaced the traditional Christian role of Satan with the ego. It may be good for selling books, but not inspired teachings from God. But for the purposes of this blog he makes the point.
Here we have a lesson from real life, not just some etherial philosophical musings. The blogger has a real problem. I would steer him to Saint John of the Cross and Jean-Pierre de Caussade, just like I have all of you. Clearly God guided the blogger to avoid the conflict that was brewing, and still this was not enough for him. The past is gone, and all we have is the present moment.
A good relationship has a pattern like a dance and is built on some of the same rules… The joy of such a pattern is not only the joy of creation or the joy of participation, it is also the joy of living in the moment… One cannot dance well unless one is completely in time with the music, not leaning back to the last step or pressing forward to the next one, but poised directly on the present step as it comes.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh