"So Hemingway was twenty-three, rather foreign looking, with passionately interested, rather than interesting eyes. He sat in front of Gertrude Stein and listened and looked." -- The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
"He sat in front of Gertrude Stein and listened and looked." We might just as well shorten it further to, "listened and looked"... Isn't this "listening and looking" the beginning of wisdom? Isn't it precisely in that place of listening and looking that all day dreaming, art, poetry, music, literature, good work, recreation, kindness, compassion, rEvolution, and great sex resides? If one has neither the desire nor the ability to "listen and look", is there any possibility of learning, loving or growing?
In recent years, there has been a great deal of research into consciousness, the brain, and the heart. A challenging discovery is the key role that the heart plays in facilitating the consciousness that animates the brain: it is seeming that in the "silent space" between the beats of the heart, the brain is "listening and looking": the heart directly communicates with the brain, indeed, the heart is appearing to be the highest functioning aspect of the brain... The mystic "idea" is to listen and look deep into the conscious recesses of the heart to directly experience the incredible paradox of being "in skin" but unlimited in love-consciousness: that which appears to be an "I", is truly actualized in everyone, all beings, and everything...
This is the One Reality of which / in which we are parts or "aspects": Universal Consciousness exploring and discovering Itself through our eyes, through our ears, through our activated compassion, through our love-making, through our justice-seeking, and through each of our senses, thoughts, and actions... We are invited into a new "aliveness": an aliveness of intimacy and beauty: we are, right now, infinite and fully capable of loving in the radical and liberating Way of Yeshua the Poet of Nazareth, of Rumi the Ecstatic, and of Dorothy Day, Saint of the Gutter Beautiful... What great art or action is anxiously waiting to come out of you? How are you going to go about becoming one of the world's greatest lovers?
What if? Why not?
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.