Friday, December 7, 2012

Acceptance


We are almost there now!  I read your words today with such a blessed sense of relief. 

Julie, what a deliverance you are to me!  "Focus is often a matter of deciding what things you're not going to do."  Yes.  Until that focus narrowed to converge upon Innermost House, deciding what things not to do was all I could do.  All I could say was no and no.  I could not accept the necessity of a world that was meaningless and Placeless to me.


I feel just as you say.  "No fine thing was ever accomplished by acceptance."  At least it has not been my destiny to arrive at anything fine that way.

Acceptance may be the last, best thingas it was for me at Innermost Housebut things don't seem to begin that way for me.  And I am now beginning again.

Leah you are as patient as a flower.  Let me return to your question about acceptance, because your comment today helps me understand what you were asking differently.  You said, "I have been trying to think what meaning I was trying to impart when I spoke of "acceptance" and I think it was an acceptance of what has happened.  An acknowledgment that the life you knew at IH has ended and your life would never be the same."

I so wish to say plainly what I mean.  Innermost House was in the world.  It is now lost to the world.  What I possess of it inwardly is all that's left.  I accept that unreservedly.  I even embrace it.  My course in life has changed. 


I mourned for a year the passing away of an eternity I believed would never end.  There have been days when I felt only an utter emptiness.  I feel now what that emptiness was preparing for me.  Innermost House is missing from the world, but it is not missing within me. 

Pam, when you are so nearly silent I feel that I have vexed you.  Give me your hands and let me speak to you.  I do not need or seek more peace than I possess.  I have enough to do the work that now is given me, and what will come will come when I plant myself more firmly on this new shore.  I do not need more happiness.  I already possess a lifetime's share and more of personal satisfaction.  My unacceptance is not what it appears.

I am not a worldly person.  I may never progress beyond forever beginning again.  I am stuck with it whether I like it or not, and thankfully I do like it.  


But because I have lived among the woodland birds and beasts and trees who share the beginning with me, it is easy to forget the people I have chosen for my daily companions.  I have lived for a woodland eternity in one room with Achilles and Hector, with Socrates and Pericles and Aristotle, with Abraham and Moses, with Jesus and Siddhartha, with Arjuna and Confucius and Mohammed. 
I have lived with heroes.  I have breathed their living breath.

I do not speak of books, but of living, breathing, speaking spirits.  I have known Washington and Lincoln, Emerson and Thoreau near as their contemporaries must have known them.  I have known them at their truest and their best.  I have loved them and suffered with them.  I have rejoiced with them.


And they none of them set out accepting what I would not accept.  


The wonder to me is that my simple unacceptance has been enough, and they have loved me in return.  They have loved the beginning in me, and valued my memories of the beginning as their own.

Sweet Becky and Alice, you are right.  I agree with you.  The living seed of peace lies within.  It is only that, in my experience, there must be a great emptiness to receive that peace, or it dies before it has a chance to take root and live.  Then we are forever left putting on peace like a cloak to conceal our unrest. 


I now know what real emptiness is, and I have intimations every day of such a peace as I have never known in the world.  I can no longer wait for dawn but stir from bed in darkness to greet the morning star.  


And Rebecca, there you are waking to my self-same thoughts.  Yes, maybe we checked that acceptance box somewhere else.  And I would gladly check it again to keep faith with this incarnated condition. 

Dear Dewey, thank you truly for your prayers.  I am beholden to you, and I am grateful.  Let's you and I unite to pray for Mr. William Least-Heat Moon.

Acceptance to me means accepting the truth before me.  If Innermost House is lost to the world it is lost to the world, and I will not pretend it is not a loss. 
But it is within me now, and I will speak of it and rejoice that it ever was.

For nothing now can change one fact:  that somewhere once in all the world there was a foursquare house where all the ages and races and nations met, where all the knowledges and experiences of women and men were healed and made whole.  
To have known it once is enough forever!

21 comments:

  1. As long as it is remembered and lives in you, it will never be lost

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  2. Dearest Diana, Oh no, sweet, sweet friend, you have not vexed me at all! You have perplexed me, that is all, and I'm not sure how to comfort you or find my way to your feeling of placelessness, so I’ve been watching from the sidelines, leaving the conversation to the others who seem to have a better handle on your dilemma. I just don't know what to write to you, not because of where YOU are, but because of where I am in relation to your words. You just wrote: “I could not accept the necessity of a meaningless and Placeless world." Here's where you and I differ and I don't know how to bridge the gap. I feel meaning and a sense of place in this world, just as it is. When I rest in the stillpoint in my heart, I feel connected to the part of the world that lies within and beyond its phenomenal constructs and this foundational support of the original face of the formless is what I see and pay attention to when I look out at the phenomenal world that man has so distorted. It is a matter of where I place my attention. I am not trying to make the phenomenal world be congruent with the formless state before physical existence as you seem to need it to be. Your words confuse me because I know that you see this formlessness too and yet, you resist living in this very space and time in which this formlessness has never left. It feels to me like you want wholeness to appear as you wish it to look, and yet the wholeness that IS the world, just as it is, is no less whole than how you would like it to look and feel. I understand that you must be feeling the incongruence between the mundane and the sublime very acutely because you are such a sensitive and responsive soul, but because I don't feel the same as you I don't know how to comfort you, to give you strength to live out your life in a place that you cannot call home, or to find a way to fix this insolvable conundrum for you. I'm just feeling helpless and because I care about you and have learned so much from you, I have not been posting because I didn't want to cause you any more pain by saying my own truth clumsily or in opposition to your own. (See the next comment. I have to break this up into two segments because the blog won't accept this post in its entirety due to it's length!)

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    1. Second half:

      I wrote earlier this week on the IH facebook page:
      “I'll be honest. Try as I might to understand what Diana means, her words are lying just beyond the reach of my ability to get into her thoughts and feelings other than to sympathize with her non-acceptance and wish that it could be otherwise for her. I'm a very practical person and so to me, the phrase "It is what it is" means accepting that whatever presents itself to me is 'whole' even if it is beyond the reaches of my ego's need to have things arranged to my own satisfaction. Perhaps I differ from Diana in that to me, life IS whole and perfect, just as it is, whether I perceive flaws and lacks from my ego perspective or not. I am living in the time, place and technological circumstances that I'm supposed to be living in, otherwise, I'd be living someplace else, in a different time period, and doing something different (which is the dilemma Diana is finding herself in right now). My life has meaning to the extent that I allow myself to rest in That which does not change or is subject to decay. When I am able to rest in That, I can observe that the external conditions of my life are merely window dressing. If I can't be happy from the inside out (there's that old chestnut phrase "Happiness is an inside job"), no amount of orchestrating the particulars of the externals of my life will matter, because those externals are subject to change and can never be permanent. When I feel wholeness within my own heart, then wholeness is what I see in the world around me, whether it is a perpetual summer or a perpetual winter, or whether I'm cooking over an electric stove and watching TV or tending an open fire and walking in the woods. I FEEL Diana's angst, but I confess, I'm not in the place that she is in to fully understand it, and it's frustrating me no end that I can't grasp the illusive subtlety of her viewpoint… She is truly living from a place of groundlessness of not being able to live how and where she wants…I can feel her discomfort in this groundlessness (and who DOESN"T want to know their place in the world?!) but I know that there's no way to comfort her in any meaningful way, so I don't know what to write to her other than to tell her that I'm really sorry at her distress that she had to leave IH and I wish I knew how to fix it for her so that she'd feel at home in the world again. Oh dear...”

      And another post I wrote in response to a comment that Julie made to the above: “Accepting, to me, means seeing something clearly just as it is, but does not necessarily mean that a thing cannot be changed as is appropriate. Acceptance, to me, does NOT mean giving up…And, as far as feeling at home in the world, my personal experience has been that when I learned to truly love my own self and 'come home' to myself in a way I never had before, I found that I no longer felt like a stranger in a strange world. The entire world turned out to exist in my own heart AS my own heart, and it was 'home'.”

      Diana, I KNOW that you are coming from a much deeper place of mystical awareness than myself. Because we are seeing the world from somewhat different perspectives, I'm not so sure my practicality will be of much use to you. However, I have already learned so much from you and am still fully engrossed by this dialogue, so be rest assured that I will continue to pipe up when I feel that what I might say could be useful or meaningful to you in some way. Right now, though, I'm feeling quite out of my depth so I've opted to just tread the waters of this conversation until the next wave comes along that I can dive into! Much, much love, pam

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  3. I have knitted shawls for people where I silently said inspirational sayings, devotional sayings or poetry into them to the rhythm of the stitches. I can't remember the source, but one of those sayings was "Standing on the mountain (or in Innermost House) the entire world is within my knowing. In the crowded marketplace I carry the mountain beneath my robe."

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  4. Diana,

    You certainly are not beholden to me, you and the Conversationalists have given me too much already.

    Contemplating the nature of acceptance, I think it is closely related to-- if not a direct result of--humility, gratitude, and patience.

    I might go so far as to say that when one is humble, gracious and patient the natural result is almost always acceptance of what the world puts before them.

    When one absorbs what is given in their path and accepts it with these higher virtues, problems and challenges morph--if filtered correctly--into chances for personal growth--or at the very least the "Amor Fati" that Michael speaks of.

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  5. Diana said: "I feel now what that emptiness was preparing for me. Innermost House is missing from the world, but it is not missing within me."

    I wish to understand. Do mean that the emptiness was preparing you for an awareness that IH is in you, or is there something else that the emptiness was preparing for you?

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    1. There is a lot of ground around acceptance, but if we go to emptiness which is also known as "ground, the absolute, truth, rock bottom, the dark night of the soul, enlightenment," just to name the first few that come to mind--that would be really going into the deep end.

      For example:

      "how do self-attachment and so forth arise in such great force? because of beginningless conditioning, the mind tightly holds to 'i, i' even in dreams, and through the power of this conception, self-attachment and so forth occur. this false conception of 'i' arises because of one's lack of knowledge concerning the mode of existence of things. the fact that all objects are empty of inherent existence is obscured and one conceives things to exist inherently; the strong conception of 'i' derives from this. therefore, the conception that phenomena inherently exist is the afflicting ignorance that is the ultimate root of all afflictions.”
      ― Dalai Lama XIV

      That's just the Buddhist angle.

      But I'm game to get as empty as anyone. Could always shelf it for later.

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  6. Dear Diana, You seem to have tied this all up neatly in a bow! I salute you from the depths of my being today. WHEW!

    Here is how it shakes down for me: FIRST, there is the matter of loving my Fate. This has involved coming to an understanding of what my Fate IS which, in my case has meant going over my entire life from the beginning until now and discovering that, all along, there has been a general direction and an underlying flow to it. I have always been marching in this direction even though my march hasn't been orderly at times, and even though I have zigged when I should have zagged. For all of my cunning, Fate has plopped me down literally RIGHT NEXT DOOR to itself! I am physically less than one hundred yards away from it.

    You've got to LOVE Fate! So SECONDLY, I must love MY fate to the point of unaccepting everything that is NOT my Fate. This is mostly where I am right now. It is also a Buddhist principle that sometimes, in order to determine what a thing is, you must find what it is NOT. It's a subtractive process all in all. Here is where I must decide what things I'm not going to do. Here is where I put my ZIGGING days behind me. Here is where I begin to love my Fate with passion.

    Just one example: My sons have now informed me that if my husband passes away, they are going to chip in together and get me an apartment in Johnson City! Now, as generous as this is, I am not going to live in an apartment, and I'm not going to live in a city. I love my fate too much to be tempted by another scenario. ...And so on and so on. I too am beginning again and all I am saying is no, no, no. Diana, you are so on the spot when you say that acceptance is not a gainful beginning. And how right you are that not one of the "living, breathing, speaking spirits" whose friendship we have relied upon ever set out by accepting what we will not accept. Otherwise, why set out at all? Why bother, if one choice is as good as another?

    And so, THIRDLY, by unaccepting the things that my Fate is NOT, I am simultaneously ACCEPTING my real Fate more every moment. I'm bringing it closer to myself--close enough to embrace and to nurture it...Already it's less than a hundred yards away! There really is so little now to impede me from my much loved Fate. By saying "No, no, no.", I'm saying "Yes, yes, yes!" And rather than concealing myself with a cloak of peace, my peace is now revealing itself as "living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." --telling me what to discard and what to keep. Unacceptance and Acceptance are both edges of the same sword.

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  7. Change. Life hands us change and tells us we can't give it back. For once in a moment, we would wish to give it back. Something goes away in our innermost being and ultimately is replaced by something else. Maybe this is the true challenge of acceptance. Knowing a part of dies...

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  8. The only constant in the world is change.

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  9. Yes. I was thinking about how much life has transformed me. We start off not needing too much. As children, this is our gift. We were content to play in the dirt, discover, and usually it was nature we naturally chose. I remember playing in this hollowed out cedar tree. I can remember the smell and the wonder it carried with it. I also remember the inner branches being sharp and sappy. Those days were the ones we all wish we could just return to. That door we passed through and can't open again. We can open new doors. But that first impression is always the everlasting one. Maybe Diana does not wish to be understood. Maybe just heard. All of us want and need this.

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  10. Hi. I thought I would like to make a comment. I was so inspired by the post about Innermost House on the Tiny House Blog last March of 2011. I was especially inspired not just by the comments readers made, but how Diana replied to nearly each comment. Her replies to each comment were amazing and wow. I was also impressed by what I came to understand about her husband Michael, and how he has conversations with others. I would love to talk to him or hear him speak. For these are those who are living how we should be. Now some months last I come to the blog site here, and have wondered what is going on. Huh? As I read through some of the posts I'm arriving at the conclusion that they moved for some reason. In an okay way there seems to be an ironic twist to the simplicity I felt before. Thank you for what has been written and I wish all of you the very best in your conversations here.

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    1. Not sure Scott . . . but it appears currently we are in intermission.

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    2. I, too, have recently begun reading this blog, and I'm curious as to what has happened to Innermost House. I'm drawn to Diana/Innermost House in the sense that I feel somewhat out-of-place in my desire for simplicity, the sense of "right" that I feel when reading Diana's posts, and how the world dictates what is "normal." My husband and I are raising three children in a world full of consumerism, yet I daydream and somewhat long for a time when life was simpler; I think that is what draws me to movies and books based on history. Yes, I know that life was hard then, and I am appreciative of modern conveniences; that is why I feel drawn to Innermost house.

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  11. Are you able to join us on the facebook page? We'd love to have you. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Innermost-House/307066622657439

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  12. Nope. Me and facebook fundamentally disagree. Ciao.

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  13. Diana...this is a new chapter, a new season in your life. Walking away from something so powerful as the physical aspect of what Innermost House was to you and to all of us, is painful and hard to accept. Yes, I feel as if the house itself had meaning, but it was the occupants that gave it the grace and silence it requested.

    I am intrigued by this conversation, but I feel and underlying sadness about your words. I know how hard it is to move against your fate, and the repercussions of making that decision. I sense in your writing a level of acceptance but an acceptance that comes from resignation of what can not be duplicated.

    IH has been a blessing to me personally. It gave me the springboard to love my inner house. Me. To love it fully and embrace it completely. It gave me the encouragement to live in the physical sense, in a home that is small and cozy.

    Throughout your conversations Diana, I have always left knowing that this path that I have chosen for myself is a good one. The first time I was blessed to view the photos of your precious home, it was like coming home to myself. Finally, I was seeing what I could never seem to express to others. Thank you for that.

    "For nothing now can change one fact: that somewhere once in all the world there was a foursquare house where all the ages and races and nations met, where all the knowledges and experiences of women and men were healed and whole. To have known it once is enough forever!"

    Maria

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  14. Diana,

    The following is meditation I read almost four years ago to the day. The more I study and pray and live consciously the more I like this passage:

    "The greatest joy, if it can come to an end, is not perfect joy. The fear of losing it is a perpetual menace, and casts thereon its shadow. The joy of the just knows not this shadow; its region is beyond all passing clouds, for its source is God, Who knows no change.

    It is in God that the just live. Their abode is in the Divine Mind. They dwell there continuously. They see God as an infinitely loving Father in the depth of their soul. Their faith reveals that Presence and recalls to them that love. They believe that at every instant this Father is communicating to them His own Spirit, His own life. They turn away from all created things in order to welcome Him. They make every effort to turn to the Father, even as the Father is unceasingly turned towards them. They place their mind in God’s Mind, and in that union find a stability which is even now a foretaste of eternal life.

    At these heights evil does not touch them. They are in God; they are in their supreme Good. Others may speak of them, think of them, do what they will with them: their soul dominates and despises these vain attacks of a world which no longer counts with them. They leave the creature – inviting him to come out of himself – for the Creator, Who bids them be still and dwell with Him in His Heart. That place where now they love to dwell is a place to which neither the world nor the devil has access. It is the abode of the Father, the innermost sanctuary where the Father gives Himself to those who seek Him alone. It is the sacred retreat, where the life of heaven already begins to take form here below."

    Quoting Dom Augustin Guillerand a French Carthusian monk
    interpreted and posted on http://secret-harbor.blogspot.com/2009/11/reverential-love-begins-with.html

    I have loved reading all of the posts from the beginning. Peace and love to you all.

    Fondly,
    Kirk

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  15. Diana, where are you going now and what are you doing next? I've been looking all over the blog and Facebook page for clues, but you haven't really said anything on this subject. I'm really curious about what is happening to the house -- if someone new is going to live in it or what.

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  16. I've checked from time to time, there are no new posts. It's a beautiful silence. I wonder if this is the last post. I read again the beautiful words and language.

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