In a way, then, what we are saying is that coherence is a natural condition towards which we naturally move – in thought, in action, and so forth. And then something obstructs that – usually our proclivity for identifying self and thought – and so we become incoherent. The problem is, incoherence is very good at masking itself, at seeming to cohere. Often we feel that we are the only sane person in a welter of insanity and irrationality. In this way, incoherence continues unabated because we never actually see it.
So if we can have a dialogue with one another – or even unto ourselves, if the conditions are right and we have some facility in that direction – then we can begin to identify what is distracting or blocking us from our natural condition of coherence. We can begin to see where we get stuck, and this is extraordinarily valuable. If we are jealous of somebody’s intellect, or the way they express their ideas, and we can get very close to that jealousy without actually indulging it – treating it as a movie almost – then we can begin to undo our connection to it. We can begin to see it as an idea, a sort of facet of a shared mind, a part of a larger stream. We can choose to let it simply drift away. Why not?
We often assume that the quality of our thoughts is such that they ought to be enshrined. They appear to us like cathedrals, like the altars inside the cathedrals, and the icons on the altars in the cathedrals. They have such gravity! And while thought is very powerful indeed and we oughtn’t disdain it on those grounds, we can also see – this is very important – that there is something, some self or ground perhaps, which can reflect those ideas or not as it wills. So the thought itself is not really very important. It’s like milkweed dander.
We begin to see that the problem with thought then is the importance we give it – we are doing this! It is like A Course in Miracles says,
The secret of salvation is but this: that you are doing this unto yourself. . . Whatever seems to be the cause of any pain and suffering you feel, this is still true” (T.27.VIII.10:1,4).
And so we slowly relinquish that. We loosen our stranglehold. We learn perhaps that we are not especially interested in loosening it! Or that we want to cling to some types of ideas and not others. Or that we can let it go only to grab it back a few hours later. But just cracking the veneer a little, seeing how there is something independent of thought . . . it is very healing, very relieving.
Keeping in mind that this something is natural can be helpful. We are not inventing it or calling it into being. We are simply paying attention to what is going on – in ourselves, first, and then by extension in the dialogue itself. There is a sort of energy and our attention is in that. It is like we thought we were looking at a painting of a river when suddenly we discover that we are actually standing beside it in truth. Nothing changes really except the quality of what we’re seeing. There is a clarity. There is a kind of electric feeling, as if somebody just turned all of life on for us. There is this movement and we – without worrying it – are part of it.
And yes, it comes and goes. Or it seems to. In truth, we step in and out of it. But the more accustomed we become to it, the more we will offer our “selves” to it. That is the beginning of creativity and peace.