I’ve typed the title of this post. It is a concentration of four recent and current preoccupations made in the hope that something will come of attending to them in common. These phrases – a sentence is left implicit, waiting to be discovered – lay out a series of relationships. Initiation is a starting place, a premise? The Subtle is named. It has the place of a center from which to move, outward? An Approach qualifies any potential action as a kind of action that holds to attitudes developed within a practice as opposed to those demanded by a goal-driven agenda. And Quality is placed as an object towards which this incantation is aimed. Quality hangs over the whole. Quality is somehow related to the Subtle.
That’s misleading. Stepping stones imply that the effort is intended to get us from this side of the stream to the other. That our goal is somewhere beyond. A fault/trap of language, one of so many. Why we need to enter into riddles….
The hardest thing – among many difficult aspects – when working within a flow can be in the way we confront the tangle of expectations and predictions tempting us away from where we are into fictions and fantasies. The same old thing, tomorrows and yesterdays. The past and the future.
It’s hard not to ask, “What’s next?”
Uncertainty is uncomfortable, especially when we face it alone, in a seeming void.
The trouble is, once this question intrudes we are not attending to what’s now. This constricts our prospects of what might come next right at the moment we are most concerned with having things turn out better.
We’re unaccustomed to interactions without goals. We expect an agenda. We look to judge worth based on expectations met. This strategy appears to work, on the surface, but there are serious problems if this mode of action absorbs all our attention. It turns us into machines when we treat everything as a cog to be tuned to some high, but arbitrary efficiency.