Accepting the Darkness

OK, so I’m in a funk.
That’s probably the right place for me to be.
And I guess I’m going to write about it.
Industrial Civilization is going to be in a funk, too, in my humble opinion, and I’m claiming
“It’s about time,”
so I guess it’s appropriate to share my funk-process here.

This is not new ground for me.
And part of my inner committee is willing to trust it.
In meditation this morning I sang myself one of the songs I shared on my 50th birthday coming-out party. (Coming out as a Gaia Troubadour.)
I learned the song from a tape from Catherine Hall. She got the words from T. S. Eliot, and created the following song. I repeat it here with the running subtext from my inner committee.

I said to my soul, “Be still now, and let the dark come upon you,
Which shall be the darkness of God.”

3A: Oh no! I am not still! I don’t want to be still. I won’t be still! [This is the voice of one of my inner committee members, speaking for a faction of the committee.]

I said to my soul, “Be still now, and let the dark come upon you,
Which shall be the darkness of God.”

3A: Oh no! I heard this verse already. Do we have to sing it again? It’s so slow, and it takes so long to get to the end of the line!
3B: That’s the point, dear friend. Relax. Accept.

I said to my soul, “Be still now, and wait without hope,
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing.”

3A: At last, something different.
3C: And it does have a ring of truth.

Wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing.

3A: Oh dear, I am afraid that this is true.

There is yet faith, but the faith and the love and the hope
Are all in the waiting.

3C: Oh, music to my ears

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought.

3A: Yes, I suppose it’s true.

And the darkness shall be the light.

3A: Could be. Could be…

And the stillness the dancing.

3C: Yes. I WANT this. This faith. This quiet.

I said to my soul, “Be still now, and let the dark come upon you,
Which shall be the darkness of God.”

3A: Oh dear. Are we going to sing this again?

I said to my soul, “Be still now, and let the dark come upon you,
Which shall be the darkness of God.”

3A: Alright. I can submit to this. It WILL pass, eventually.
3B: That’s the point, dear friend. Relax. Accept.

I said to my soul, “Be still now, and wait without hope,
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing.”

3C: Yes, yes, I know that. It’s true.

Wait without love,
For love would be love of the wrong thing.

3A: OK. You win. I accept.

There is yet faith, but the faith and the love and the hope
Are all in the waiting.

3A: And it is reassuring to think, to believe, that important, good, things are happening, and all I have to DO, is be patient.

Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought.

3A: Yes.

And the darkness shall be the light.

3A: I feel it.

And the stillness the dancing.

3C: Yes. I dance with my stillness.

I said to my soul, “Be still, and let the dark come upon you.”

3A: I will. I do. I accept.

I said to my soul, “Be still, and let the dark come upon you”

3s: [silent, accepting, waiting]

I said to my soul, “Be still, and let the dark come upon you,
Which shall be the darkness of God.”

There.
Now that I’ve calmed down a little, I can tell you about my last week.
Putting things up on the Quaker Community Forest (QCF) website offers new challenges.
For one, I need to learn how to work with photos on the website, both technically, and how I can use them to best advantage.
And then there’s the pressure of promised performance: I said I would do it. Can I come through?
However difficult getting the photos and text up on the QCF website may be, at least here, on this website, I can share my process:
When I’m in a funk, when I can’t see how to get where I think I need to go, and wonder even if my destination is a proper one, I typically go (am going) through these steps:

  • Look at what needs to be done
  • Identify a next step
  • Set ourselves the task of doing it (for me a separate step from the above).
  • Try to do the task.
  • Do of it what I can.
  • Identify the stopping points, where we can’t do what seems to be needed.
  • Wait.
  • Wait in prayer, with longing for THE solution, or at least, for A solution.
  • Hold onto first principles; have faith in the process.
  • Move forward, as led.

(3A: Alternatively, far too often, we simply get distracted, forget what we were trying to do, and go do something else, instead.
3B: Oh well.)
4: I think something like the above process is what we –groups of us– will need to go through as Industrial Civilization itself goes through the process of shaking down into a post-industrial state.

  • Faith in the larger process;
  • longing for what we want but can’t see how to achieve;
  • a prayerful attitude and a willingness to accept the truth of “what is, as best we can co-create it,”
  • rather than getting stuck on the loss of “what was.”

About Richard O Fuller

Quaker, living in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.
This entry was posted in About Richard, Guidance, Industrial Civ.. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Accepting the Darkness

  1. Dear Richard,

    Looks like posting works.

    A question that comes to me is, what kind of faith is it that you have, or hope to have, in this work or elsewhere?

    Is it a confidence in some positive outcome, eventually?

    Is it “faithfulness”, or a willingness to act as your truest and deepest impulses lead you, even if you don’t have confidence in a positive outcome?

    Or something entirely different?

    (Also, I would be glad to sit down with you and help you with posting images.)

  2. Betsy Raasch-Gilman says:

    I love getting an insight into your personal process, Richard! Since I know you so well, I’m familiar with the concept of “inner committee”, and I find it very useful in describing what happens inside me, as well.

    I also remember you describing what the numbers of your committee members mean: the number 3 being kind of tippy and unstable, the number 4 being more solidly established. You used the image of a three-legged stool as opposed to a table, I think.

    I probably wouldn’t have posted this, if I had a similar web site — and I’m not you. At the same time, I’ve really learned to value the concept of holograms from you. The possibility exists that your funk is a piece of a larger process going on in our society; you are a piece of the whole, and what is true inside you may show exactly the structure of the whole. I’m not explaining that very well, and that’s what I think holograms are about, basically.

    I want to challenge you gently on the last line — “rather than getting stuck on the loss of ‘what was'”. You and I relate differently to grief, as we’ve said many times. Grief is a big issue in my life, and I even became a chaplain (for a brief time) to explore death, the ultimate loss and ultimate grief. “Getting stuck” on loss doesn’t ring true to me. Or rather, maybe, my experience is that “getting stuck” on loss is more likely to happen when one tries to AVOID “getting stuck” by by-passing the pain of grief, the exploration of loss, than when one simply takes the time and psychic space to experience it. I think that we “get stuck” — maybe, we limit our own options for action — if we don’t realize that we can survive grief, and live with grief. If we don’t know that, we constantly avoid actions which might result in grief and loss.

    As an industrial, imperialist country (hemisphere!) coming to the end of life as we enjoy it, I don’t think we can afford the privilege of avoiding loss.

  3. catherine pruszynski says:

    I am so touched by reading Betsy’s response to you Richard. I am touched to witness such loving openess and generosity of you and her.

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