We are meditating, during this time of the dangerous plague, on the sacred work so many in the front lines are doing amidst perilous conditions. Therefore on the holiness of work and the holiness of those who respond generously and bravely in dire times.
But this bravery is a reminder to all of us that our work is for others and is the telling of our stories, the “telling of holiness” as indigenous people speak of myth itself. Even when we have to cease doing our work temporarily for the greater good, that too is a telling of holy stories.
In yesterday’s DM we meditated on the oneness of work in the universe—ours and the cosmos’s work.
Consider another example of this oneness of work: A runner runs; she is breathing deeply. Where does her energy for this work come from?
The food she has eaten comes from photosynthesis and sunlight and is processed and recycled as proteins and carbohydrates that furnish the energy for the work of running.
The food also comes from the soil, which has been worked on interdependently by the sunshine and rain and worms stirring up nutrients of the soil.
The sun and earth and the nutrients were born ultimately of supernova explosions, of the birth of galaxies, stars, elements of the universe, and even of atoms, billions of years in the past.
Confusion reigns when we lose the sense of the one work and imagine, in our anthropocentric arrogance, that we are the sole actors in the drama of the world’s work. As the Bhagavad-Gita puts it: “The victory won by the person of wisdom is also won by the person of good work. That person sees indeed the truth who sees that vision and creation are one.”
Inner work and outer work feed each other. The many challenges of the present moment—whether you are in the front lines as a hospital worker or a grocery worker or a banking worker or a first responder—or whether you are working at home parenting kids home from school or trying to keep your business afloat from the kitchen table or simply withdrawing to stay off the streets and protect others as well as yourself from the virus, we are all doing our work.
And that work, in some mysterious way, links us to Source. It demands inner work of us—whether courage; or stillness; or creative interaction; or the grieving that the losses around us provoke in us.
Rumi advises the following:
Work in the invisible world
at least as hard
as you do in the visible.
The Tao Te Ching says
Each separate being in the universe returns to the common source.
Returning to the source is serenity.
Notice the teaching here—that all beings share a common source.
Queries for Contemplation
Do you taste serenity in returning to Source?
Are you working in the invisible world as hard as in the visible world? What are you learning there?
Natural Grace: Dialogues on Creation, Darkness, and the Soul in Spirituality and Science
by Matthew Fox and Rupert Sheldrake
Natural Grace, a 208 page inspired dialogue between theologian Matthew Fox and scientist Rupert Sheldrake, unites wisdom and knowledge from unconventional angles. Considering themselves heretics in their own fields, Matthew and Rupert engage the conversation from postmodern and post-postmodern perspectives, deconstructing both religion and science—while setting the foundation for a new emerging worldview. Having outgrown the paradigms in which they were raised, both Fox and Sheldrake see it as part of their life missions to share the natural synthesis of spirituality and science rooted in a paradigm of evolutionary cosmology.