What does it mean to “flow from being?”
As stated last time, there is a difference between flowing from being and going from doing, in my experience, although in the language, the differences between these two things is not immediately clear. In the language, as it is used by many folks these days, “doing” refers to things that you do automatically from what you are and also other things that you do. Commonly, the distinction between what you do and who you are is lost.
In fact, in many conversations, it is blurred, at best, any distinction between who you are and what you do us lost. Many schools teach that it is only possible or that the truest sense of who you are can only be gained from what you do. Some teach that it doesn’t matter who you think you are. The only thing that matters is what you do. It is thus a question of inference, of going backward from what you do.
Many such schools of thought even say that it is impossible to “know” who you are. You can only know with certainty what you do. What goes unspoken in many such schools of thought is that you are unable to know anything. You rely on the group or the crowd to tell you what to believe. – If the crowd says that a certain thing is true, it must be, even if your intuition tells you differently.
This is partly true – repeatability is part of predictability, and predictability is what science is all about. However, an accommodation must be found between repeatability and hearing your own voice as it whispers the truth. The fact is that all of the great scientists and artists have listened to their own senses of what has been true. They have done so long before they could “prove” anything to the crowd. In fact none of what we (in the crowd) view as predictability would have been possible in the first place if they hadn’t listened to their own senses of truth, first.
I believe that what is true is true will be true tomorrow. It is repeatable because it is true, not that it is true because it is repeatable (which is what the crowd insists on). Knowing what is true always leads to what is repeatable. If it is not, then the understanding of truth that led to a given inference is somehow flawed.
Repeatability and predictability are useful in catching such flaws, but they do not create them. Flaws usually come from a sense of having gone over or enunciated something that hasn’t, in fact, been fully articulated or in believing that I have said something other than what I have actually said. Repeatability demonstrates how what I have said differs from what I get, when it does differ. Knowing how it differs opens the opportunity to change what I say, so that it reveals (or reflects) more of the truth.
I experience the truth by going within myself – which is a great mystery as long as we continue to hold with the illusion that there is a difference between myself and the world. I note that by going within myself, I learn more about the world. I observe that predictability in what we agree is the “real world” can grow in so far as my understanding of myself is true. It can grow no more than my understanding of myself grows. Thus, my understanding of myself and my understanding of truth are the same thing, as long as I don’t fool myself about either who I am or what the truth is (which is one area where predictability can come into play).
Herein lies one rub – that it is possible to confuse doing with being. I find that it is common to forget what you do and identify it as who you are. Thus, carpentry is probably a sum of many things you do (check for warps, measure wood, see corners, cut wood, etc.). It is not a reflection of who you are. There are probably some who are carpenters, but many who are, don’t and many who do, aren’t. What you do does not necessarily align with who you are.
In many cases, we forget the difference between who we are and what we do. All we remember is what we do and that becomes who we see ourselves to be. I cease to do carpentry. I am a carpenter. We may try our whole lives to be the person whom we believe ourselves to be, only to find frustration and struggle.
One of the things I have learned is that we remember more of our spirits and of who we are when we are very young. As we grow older, we learn. Part of that learning (currently) seems to involve learning to forget the things we knew were true when we were children. This is one of the ways that children are holier than adults. They remember more of what it is to be spirit (before life and death). They are closer to that spirit and haven’t learned as much about life, yet. They haven’t forgotten as much.
I am reminded of the saying that posits being wise as a state in which we return to childhood but with the awareness of life of the adult. For me, flowing from being can be like being a child. A child does not second guess itself. It does not doubt that everyone in the room is completely devoted to it or that its experience of the world is completely joyful. It doesn’t doubt that everyone there is ready to interact with her, to smile at her. They are.
© 2013, David Park. All Rights Reserved.
”Doing and Being – II” by DCH Park is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.