Imagine a knob that can be moved to the left or right. On the far left is the number 0. Then there are ticks on a scale – 1, 2, 3, … all the way to 10 on the far right. I remember a similar setup on the dashboard of one of my cars, Jade perhaps (a 1996 Honda Accord). Maybe it controlled the heat. I can’t recall.
Jade’s sliding control started me thinking about my life. I’d had moments of bliss, of a great unwinding, of peace. They only showed up occasionally. What dominated my head was the usual: feeling bad about myself, and being afraid of disapproval, aloneness, poverty, ill health, plus a large dose of etcetera. As for the slider, I saw it set to 9 or even 9 1/2. That huge length to the left was normal consciousness. The itty bitty part at the right end hosted breakthroughs into something … different.
Then I got the idea to take hold of the slider and move it to the left. Was 7 and 3 possible? Sure, I could open myself to mystery enough to get there. What about 3 and 7? Ah … I doubt it. Who could be that open? (Well, I could, said the tiny voice holding up a tiny hand halfway to the sky.) Then there’s 0 and 10. Ridiculous. After all, I have to live in the world – make a living, have normal conversations, stay healthy. Not some little Buddhist guy ahh-ooming all day. Okay, granted. I have to place these feet of mine on the ground. But can’t I also soar to the heavens?
Can I live my life 1 and 9? Can I animate virtually every moment with Spirit, love, kindness and compassion – towards me as well as to others? I think so.
And is it really putting my fingers on the knob and intentionally moving things to the left? Or does that just happen by the grace of God? Maybe both. What I do know is that over the years the knob has headed west some, and the distance of better-worse, more-less, and this-and-not-that is less than what’s on the right: a letting go into bigness.