Monday, August 04, 2008

Monday, 04 August 2008 - Unknown territory

Dear God:

Today, I am thankful for unknown territory.

It is a basic principle of spiritual life that we learn the deepest things in unknown territory. Often, it is when we feel most confused inwardly and are in the midst of our greatest difficulties that something new will open. We awaken most easily to the mystery of life through our weakest side. The areas of our greatest strength, where we are the most competent and clearest, tend to keep us away from the mystery. ~Jack Kornfield

I think the "powers that be" are trying to tell me something. For the second time in the past week, someone has sent me a gift quote.

I ponder the idea of "unknown territory," trying to define its boundaries, describe its landscape, imagine its majesty, test its magic.

Physical unknown territories are easy to describe. A precipice, perhaps, as deep as the Grand Canyon or a craggy peak that rivals Mount Everest. Maybe a barren desert or moonscape that stretches from here to the distant horizon, shadowed, void of familiar lifeforms. Or an intriguing city, like Paris or Tokyo, awaiting my next arrival.

But, the quote's unknown territory, well, it's harder to define. But I know what it is - intuition, emptiness, gut reaction, raw nerve, sixth sense, pit in my stomach, heartache. My spiritual life's private battleground, schoolroom, playground.

Gain access not through competency and worldly success but through my weakest side, the one built of vulnerability, fear, anger, failure and confusion. Then, stay awhile. Visit and explore. Dig and discover. Remain as long as it takes to reach an understanding, to learn a new truth, to restore an ounce of faith, to unveil the mystery. Then, exit quietly through the passage marked epiphany and serendipity.

For this blessing, I am grateful.


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