Monday, May 17, 2010

Great Expectations

I received an email request to write about expectations. My response: don’t have them. At the time, I had little else to say. At the time, I could have chosen to see, that the Universe was giving me a heads up, a needed follow up, to my previous post on anger. Expectations are the seeds that, unattended, blossom into the manifestation of needs unmet: anger, fear, jealousy, rage.

I have heard this, but not listened before. The moment that I expect an outcome I have lost my presence. It really is that simple. And yet: of course we have preferences, and of course we are conscious creators, and of course I expect there to be chocolate ice cream and not just vanilla. So in the simplicity of duality there is confusion.

Neti, neti. Not this, not this.

Neti, neti: found in the Upanishads (Hindu text) speaks to the quest of trying to comprehend the undefinable, Atman, or the brilliance of Source, of Life, of whatever your belief structure is that says there is more than can be understood. There is a hunger for something, and the hunger is un-satisfiable from anything that you can comprehend, so the best that can be done is a weeding out of what it is not. It is a slip of the emotion that you have when standing in front of a full fridge and you are hungry: not for pizza, or a smoothie, or a yogurt, or a sandwich, or leftover pad thai, you …just…can’t….place...what…you…want. Neti, Neti. But you know what you don’t want.

So here we are on the Earth. Hungry. And instead of going to the grocery store, we expect someone else to feed us.

Uh-oh. Here the demise begins: If you would have _______, I could have ________. Insert life circumstance. Grammatically, this is called a dependent clause. We live our lives with dependent clauses, and expect our needs to be met, intuited, or delivered by our jobs, lovers, families, weather, et cetra, and throw blame and anger when we are left unsatisfied.

Why can’t we be met?

Neti, neti.

What is it that we are actually wanting? What are we expecting to arrive, that is not already present, perhaps tucked away, inside?

Consider this your invitation inside.

I ask for a moment's indulgence to sit by thy side.
The works that I have in hand I will finish afterwards.

Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows no rest nor respite, 
and my work becomes an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil. 

Today the summer has come at my window with its sighs and murmurs; and 
the bees are plying their minstrels at the court of the flowering grove.

Now it is time to sit quiet, face to face with thee, and to sing 
dedication of life in this silent and overflowing leisure. 
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amyc said...

what an absolutely beautiful post, beautifully written with wisdom and grace. thank you for sharing.

Wisdom of One said...

Thank you, so much!!!

aangelo said...

A few of us friends met at Ed's Sunday night for satsung and study of the Upanishads. This was our main topic of discussion... jnana and neti neti, and discernment vs. judgement.
The mind is such a brilliant instrument! Thank GOD we have yoga to keep it under reign!
Jai Ma! I love you!