Part of the developing trust and faith in the advent of truth and ultimate reality is built on our experiences, and so we construct our trust through glimpses and intimations of emotional truth but with the awareness that we might also be wrong. Our intentions to meditate and discover truth about ourselves is done in faith, and with some trust that we might be able occasionally to connect with what is beyond our representations.
It has been said that communion with O is an imaginative adventure, not something to be taken for granted. This realization keeps us honest but also gives us the added energy to continue our searching or as Michael Eigen calls it, ‘inspired groping’.
If we already know what we are going to find in ourselves and in the transitional experiencing in contemplation then the space is already saturated and there is no room for anything else to emerge. Sometimes anxiety leads to controlling the space or determining what will or won’t take place; there is then no open waiting – no opening to experience and no possibility of something happening.
It seems that being open is about being vulnerable and the setting down of the ego-self. To try to control where truth will lead is to put oneself above truth, and so this shuts out any potential opening to what may be happening and can be experienced.
This is of course standard teaching in meditation although it doesn’t make it any the less difficult. Wilfred Bion is saying the same sort of thing about opening to emotional truth in a therapeutic setting where from the position of the therapist he sees the intention to attend and perceive rather than remember and know or impose is the more fruitful attitude for creative unfolding. Faith in O means, ‘one does not hold on to either what one knows or one’s formulations, but is more deeply anchored (better, freely floating) in hopeful contact with the thing itself.’
To return to Thomas Merton who, just before he left for his Asian journey, spoke to a monk at Redwoods Abbey in California. The monk had asked Merton about dualism in intercessionary prayer. Merton in response had said: ‘We are not rainmakers, but Christians. In our dealings with God he is free and so are we… You have to see your will and God’s will dualistically for a long time … until you see it’s not there. Don’t consider dualistic prayer on a lower level. ..There are no levels. Any moment you can break through to the underlying unity which is God’s gift in Christ. In the end, Praise praises. Thanksgiving gives thanks. Jesus prays. Openness is all.’