When I was still young I experienced a look which opened deeply, darkly, vitally inward: I knew then that infinite reality does not work only by extension outward, but, also, inward. More by the quality of the experience than by any logic of afterthought I knew also that it was through the infinite inwards that you and I are connected and partake of one reality, that our connectedness works as well through our vital unfolding centres as by external encounters and touching and effects. In other words, we are made kin as much by vibrations as we are by incidents and by overt overlapping of lives.

Yet it would be dangerous to counter the linear-effect logic of Western philosophy and science by a mechanical opposition, saying that we are motivated by intuitive underdrives and connections rather than by external causal effects. It is not, again, either/or: it is a both/and. That which moves under also, once we really learn to read what’s under by what’s on the surface, can be seen indivisibly from the outward. But the events or the appearances or given results may be quite different from our glib or mechanical expectations; hence, long ago, someone said that the ways of God are mysterious. We who have not taught our conscious minds to seek over and under in a single organic, but not simplistic vision, will always be bewildered. Even those of us who have learned to see both ways in one will often be surprised.

The rhythms of reality are subtle and do not wait on our pleasure or for our approval. Each event, no matter how seemingly predictable, has its own unique weathers and whethers, for the infinite-real seems to stamp its seal-in-motion upon the latest phenomenon by a something special, something exceptional, even in the midst of the most likely and universal happening.

To learn to be led, even by our pain and uncertainty, through the dark opening to interior self, is to discover how we are kin indivisibly to our own possibilities and to universal ongoingness.

It is not a matter only of time-extension (which is the ordinary focus of our notions about heaven, hell, success, failure) but rather, also, of awareness-intensive wherein reality moves in us and we in reality in double levels of one process of becoming. As Emerson reminds us in his The Over-Soul, it is not in continuance that we are given immortality but in our aware, open instants of this life, in which ‘the soul is true to itself and the person in whom it is shed abroad cannot wander from the present which is infinite to a future which would be finite.’

Not having to wait for ‘after-death heaven’ for ‘reward’ or for some ‘liberation’ only to be experienced following a revolution is to be given back to the entire possibilities of the living, ongoing instant. I do not mean to contend against ‘heaven’ (I’m no authority on such a place or state of being), nor against utopia (surely even the most spiritually aware individual will be concerned with changing those unjust conditions which our misuse of ourselves and each other brings about), but I do want to affirm that interior territory, that realm where energies can be concentrated and directed, that boundless dimension of waking wherein we can begin to realign our purposes, our hopes, our intentions, to let ourselves be in tune with the universe at large and to help restore communion with each other. I am not denying the heaviness of external pressures and situations and events: I am urging us to develop as much creative pressure within us; new healthy attitudes (situations in self) and fresh discoveries at the centres of our being, so that we can more meaningfully survive and prevail. To develop our interior self is not to promote diverting fantasies and entertainments as a way of life but, on the contrary, is to use our inmost spaces and power to relate constructively and communingly with what is outside. As we experience our inward selves, even those aspects we have been taught to consider evil and dangerous, as resources for growth and awareness, then we will learn how to be friends with ourselves throughout. Learning that art of harmony and alignment within, we can begin to use the same methods in our relationships with each other and with the outer world generally, but always reminding ourselves that neither people nor situations can be taken for granted nor moulded to fit our particular conveniences and expectations.

Slowly, we will unlearn the old notion that people are, intrinsically, narrowly selfish, for we will begin, even with painful encounters and mistakes and other birthpangs, to find that One Life moves at the core of the inner world and at the heart of the outer world. When events begin to move together with inward states of being, we will no longer write such coincidences off as ‘chance’ but will discover again how to read singleness working at the centre and edges of diversity.

The fountains of creation flow infinitely in each of us, and yet it is given to each individual to say yes or no to our own active cooperation with those energies. By a profound paradox, we remain, whether blind or seeing, indivisible with all that is and, at the same time, are our own directing selves. To meditate on this mystery is to experience the unity of being, the deep-plucked eternal underbeat, with becoming, that ongoing melody of changing appearances.