August 24 – Enthusiasm – Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening
“We are human beings: our being infinite as wind, our human house full of holes.”
As difficult as it is to accept that there are no answers in life, it is even more difficult at times to accept that no one holds what we presume are the answers. No one. There is only, it seems, the returning glimpse of wholeness in which all is seen and felt, and the frequently muddled aftermath when clarity is gone and all speech fails.
In essence, as we must blink a thousand times a day, what is human in us blinks continually over our essence. In this way, our limitations humble us, covering our gifts repeatedly, blinking away: there, then not; there, then not. There is no escaping the mix of all this. There is only holding the mystery of truth in view, even when we’re in the dark, the way we can feel the warmth of the sun when our lids are closed.
So what are we left with? Well, we are each faced with the endless and repeatable task of discovering, or uncovering, our enthusiasm, which means in essence being at one with the energy of God or the Divine. The word itself comes from the Greek en (one with) and theos (the divine).
Despite our endless limitations, it seems that the qualities of attention, risk, and compassion allow us to be at one with the energy of the Whole and the result is enthusiasm, that deep sensation of Oneness.
As such, enthusiasm is not a mood that can be willed or forced. Rather, it is the ripple that follows the stone.It can only be felt after we immerse ourselves in life.
Like a bird gliding on the current of air it cannot see, or a fish swimming with the tide of deep it cannot see, or a note being sung as part of a song it cannot see, we are all left with the necessary risk to starve the ego—that in us which believes it can control the world—so that the unseeable music of being may rise and carry us. In recurring humility, our enthusiasm,our momentary oneness with the energy of the Universe, is the sound of God moving through the harp of the soul.
It is a mysterious and strenuous and simple practice: to walk whenwe are able and be still when we arenot, to bleed the dark that builds within us, and trade it for the light which is always waiting. Despite all our limitations, the most crucial challenge of being human is to show up like arose.