Glory And Terror Of It

Irina Tweedie

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The realization that every act, every word, every thought of ours not only influences our environment but mysteriously forms an integral part of the Universe, fits into it as if by necessity, in the very moment we do or say or think it, is an overwhelming and even shattering experience.

If we only knew deeply, absolutely, that our smallest act, our smallest thought, has such far-reaching effects; setting forces in motion; reaching out to the galaxy; how carefully we would act and speak and think. How precious life would become in its integral oneness.

It is wonderful and frightening. The responsibility is terrifying and fascinating in its depth and completeness, containing as it does the perplexing insecurity of being unique and the profound consolation of forming part of the Eternal Undivided Whole. And we all have the right to, and can achieve, the realization of this wonderful meaning of life; one is quite simply part of it all; a single vision of Wholeness.

Very acute it became after my teacher's passing away. And I could not reconcile the torment of the heat, the mangy dogs, the filthy children, the sweat, the smells; for they were THAT too ...

But it was here, in the stillness of the mountains, that it gradually crystallized; distilled itself from a different dimension into the waking consciousness. And now I must live with the Glory and the Terror of it ... It is merciless, inescapable; an intensely virile, intoxicating Presence, so utterly joyous, boundless and free. It is blasphemy to attempt to put it into words.

I know that the states of Nearness will increase, will become more permanent; but also the state of separation will become more painful, more lonely, the nearer one comes to Reality.

Irina Tweedie was a Russian-British Sufi and teacher in the Sufi tradition. Excerpt above from her book, Chasm of Fire.

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion that 'one is quite simply part of it all'? Can you share a personal story of a time you experienced the intoxicating Presence, utterly joyous, boundless and free? What helps you accept the wonderful and frightening responsibility for even the smallest of your actions?

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8 Previous Reflections:

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    On Sep 6, 2020 Kevin Decoteau wrote:
    Perfect day, perfect time. It seems to me so many are chasing ghosts of who we were or could have been, and knowing? that we can never be that, chasing it pushes it furtheraway. These days are just like you and me, one we are just not able to know it, it is impossible to see our oneness because it is too big for us to take it all in, yet, when we close our eyes, with no words, no expectations we can know the truth.

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    On Sep 1, 2020 Patrick wrote:
    “Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.” ~Rilke~

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    On Sep 1, 2020 Patrick wrote:
    “Oh no dear one, he’s not safe, but he is good.” Mr. Beaver

    There is more good going on than we can see, and in it, in Divine LOVE, we are far richer than we know. }:- a.m.

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    On Sep 1, 2020 Deven Pravin Shah wrote:
    It reminds me one more time that I am part of connected consciousness.

    I am part of an energy field, and I am also creating an energy field with every thought, every action I take consciously or subconsciously.

    The reading also inspired me to be compassionate to myself and others, and let those positive vibrations be part of the space.

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    On Sep 1, 2020 Billie wrote:
    The responsibility of it is crushing from the standpoint of identity. A thought in this human mind simply comes. Who is this mind to choose and pick? When I step aside there is something greater which holds this me and mind and all of it. Then I see I'm part of the weight crushing, or are we all being lifted against our will? It's rather like that. Will falls within the whole and it too is seen. So then, what am I? I only am just here. I am nothing. I am still here. It is okay.

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    On Aug 29, 2020 David Doane wrote:
    For me it is a factthat all creation is one whole, and we are simply part of it all. There are moments that I experience the intoxicating presence. For example, that experience has occurred in moments of present loving relatingwith another, in a moment of looking out over the Grand Canyon, in a moment of deep meditation. Those moments seem to be characterized by my being totally immersed in the here and now and in the I am that is my source. Responsibility for my actions isn't frightening for me. It is wonderful or awesome for me. For me it is a factof existence that every action affects every action and that I have some amountof responsibility for my actions, and my experience and awareness help me accept that.

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    On Aug 28, 2020 Jagdish P Dave wrote:
    Wisdom traditions point towardthe Wholeness of the Cosmic Order. We are an integral part of the Eternal Undivided Whole. What we think, speak, and act makes a big difference in how we relate to the Cosmic Order. When there is alignment or harmony in what I think, speak, and act I am an integral part of the Cosmic Order. My thoughts, words and actions have a strong impact on my internal environment as well as external environment. The inner and the outer become ONE. When my life follows this path I experience the intoxicating Presence, joyousness, boundlessness and freedom. When my thoughts, words, and actions are for serving others with no self-serving expectations I feel deep joy, contentment, andfreedom and fullness.My actions are for the welfare of the whole Cosmos. I feel an integral part of the Cosmos. This way of living is called Karma Yoga in the BhagavadGita. All wisdom traditions teach us to awaken from the sleep of ignorance. Awareness of my thoughts, words and actions keep... [View Full Comment] Wisdom traditions point towardthe Wholeness of the Cosmic Order. We are an integral part of the Eternal Undivided Whole. What we think, speak, and act makes a big difference in how we relate to the Cosmic Order. When there is alignment or harmony in what I think, speak, and act I am an integral part of the Cosmic Order. My thoughts, words and actions have a strong impact on my internal environment as well as external environment. The inner and the outer become ONE. When my life follows this path I experience the intoxicating
    Presence, joyousness, boundlessness and freedom.

    When my thoughts, words, and actions are for serving others with no self-serving expectations I feel deep joy, contentment, andfreedom and fullness.My actions are for the welfare of the whole Cosmos. I feel an integral part of the Cosmos. This way of living is called Karma Yoga in the BhagavadGita.

    All wisdom traditions teach us to awaken from the sleep of ignorance. Awareness of my thoughts, words and actions keep me awakened for walking on the right path, the path of selfless service.

    May we all learn how to be an integral partof the Eternal Undivided Whole!
    Namaste!
    Jagdish P Dave[Hide Full Comment]

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    On Aug 27, 2020 Susan wrote:
    The title grabbed me on this read and caught my imagination with all the difficulties that we are experiencing in the world and especially in the US right now from the effects and deaths of COVID, to unemployment, the racial divide and crimes, to fires, and hurricanes and the effects of all of these things on the citizenry, on the attitudes and outlooks of my fellow citizens... But the writing feels like it is an excerpt of a larger piece... like some things are missing... more info on the passing of her teacher maybe... I felt let down by the content... Still the title and what that meant to me is perhaps enough for me... the glory and terror of 'it' is real these days for sure, wherever we find ourselves. There is that yin and yang in everything, and our response to 'it' (thoughts, feelings, actions, interactions) does have a far-reaching impact for sure, I feel that personally residing in China going on 5-years now and especially during the outbreak of the virus a... [View Full Comment] The title grabbed me on this read and caught my imagination with all the difficulties that we are experiencing in the world and especially in the US right now from the effects and deaths of COVID, to unemployment, the racial divide and crimes, to fires, and hurricanes and the effects of all of these things on the citizenry, on the attitudes and outlooks of my fellow citizens...

    But the writing feels like it is an excerpt of a larger piece... like some things are missing... more info on the passing of her teacher maybe...

    I felt let down by the content...

    Still the title and what that meant to me is perhaps enough for me... the glory and terror of 'it' is real these days for sure, wherever we find ourselves. There is that yin and yang in everything, and our response to 'it' (thoughts, feelings, actions, interactions) does have a far-reaching impact for sure, I feel that personally residing in China going on 5-years now and especially during the outbreak of the virus and the global pandemic.

    Many years ago I learned the word equanimous while learning meditation on Wednesday Nights and attending a silent mediation retreat. I still grapple with that process, every day really. it is difficult at this time of difficulty to accept and be equanimous with things, it is also difficult sometimes to find the positive and goodness in the moment when you're standing in the middle of really difficult circumstances.

    For me, the key has been 'service', the doing and being for others. This in itself helps me to put someone else and their needs and the effect of what I do at the forefront of my thoughts and actions. Also choosing the company I keep and that means being with, chatting with people that in the midst of difficulties in their life still find goodness and have gratitude for many things! Also reading and writing about goodness and there are many sources for this like the Karuna publication of good news.

    With the title of this reflection in mind the Glory and Terror of It, I can definitely relate to it... I suspect most of us can.[Hide Full Comment]

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