step away from your light


We have to learn, so to speak, to get out of our own light, because with our personal self – this idolatrously worshiped self – we are continually standing in the light of this wider self – this not-self, if you like – which is associated with us and which this standing in the light prevents. We eclipse the illumination from within. And in all the activities of life, from the simplest physical activities to the highest intellectual and spiritual activities, our whole effort must be to get out of our own light.

In Brain Pickings, it was mentioned that there was a time when Alan Watts was beginning to popularize Eastern teachings in the West said:

Obviously, if we have to get out of the way of the traffic on Hollywood Boulevard, it is no good being aware of everything that is going on in the universe; we have to be aware of the approaching bus. And this is what the brain does for us: It narrows the field down so that we can go through life without getting into serious trouble.

But … we can and ought to open ourselves up and become what in fact we have always been from the beginning, that is to say … much more widely knowing than we normally think we are. We should realize our identity with what James called the cosmic consciousness and what in the East is called the Atman-Brahman. The end of life in all great religious traditions is the realization that the finite manifests the Infinite in its totality. This is, of course, a complete paradox when it is stated in words; nevertheless, it is one of the facts of experience.

So I’m going to continue letting go, rushing around too much trying to do this and that and let the light of what is meant to be, for me, find me, as it will, naturally.



Today in London the Circle line isn’t running. In fact all tube lines are down. There is a strike on. Thank goodness for poems as this arrived in the night and was nestled safely in my in box. I am typing this out as I stand on the platform amongst other souls, some quiet some chatting about the mundane. But I’m calm and frazzled free with the blue skies above me and the sun warm on my bare neck and shoulders. Life is good.

Anyway back to the poem. The poem below isn’t about a tube line although it could be. It’s about surrendering to what is. There is very little in our control anyway.

by Rumi

Be helpless, dumbfounded,
Unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace
To gather us up.

We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty.
If we say we can, we’re lying.
If we say No, we don’t see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.

So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Beside ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness.

Roger Housden, a man known for his writing work, writes:

It seems the poem is asking us to drop all pretense at being the master of your life, or you won’t have the remotest chance of seeing how things really are. In this marvelous poem, Rumi is urging us not to demean or abase ourselves, but to be willing to stand there with our jaw dropped open. Our jaw rarely drops open because we don’t want to swallow a fly. We don’t want to be susceptible to the unknown, to unexpected circumstances that can blow in at any moment from any angle. Except that we are, and we know we are – all the time – which is why we hang on so tightly. We stay busy, we keep our focus narrow and the windows shut.

I read somewhere else in another wonderful blog that Rumi is not asking us to cringe in a corner, to feel small, or to fall in depression because we don’t know what to do or where to go. That is not the kind of helplessness he has in mind. Ultimately, these are all postures of defense in the face of the immensity. Look around, he is saying. Look at the millions of dust motes dancing. Stand there, arms wide open, and embrace the unspeakable paradox. Be dumbfounded, strung between yes and no, this direction and that, that answer and this.

Lovely. I’m considering the beauty of surrender and the grace of kindness.

PS. As I end this post I am on the train to Kings X and I even got a seat! See, the power of surrender does work.

never battle


Never fight. Nothing is worth fighting for. Wisdom never fights, it waits patiently, speaks positively, releases easily, sees benefit in everything and envisions a future of abundance…knowing that all needs will be met at the right moment, in the right way. If you think life is a struggle you will always be struggling, If you think life is a breeze, your attitudes and actions will convey lightness and easiness. And that’s what attracts everything you need, and much more. Make today a breeze not a battle.