I read an article today where a person had asked a spiritual teacher how one knows when they are ready to become a spiritual teacher. The answer the teacher gave was the spiritual equivalent of “if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it”. If you ask if you’re ready, it means you’re not.
He went on to explain that many people who are spiritual teachers are not teaching because they aspire to become spiritual teachers; rather, they have become spiritual teachers because it is what they are and it is what they do.
That’s really the part that resonated with me. I’ve been looking at this transitional stillness from the front side looking backwards. I’ve been trying to ascertain what this space is moving me toward, what it is taking me into. It’s that creativity that is pushing on the skin from the inside, hoping to expand my ambitions into the next zone. I keep thinking if I get a glimpse of it I can push it in that direction. Did I not read my own last post? When does pushing equate to stillness? I’m trying to hold the space by blowing up a balloon and capturing the space inside the latex perimeter.
So I sort through the depository of my creative endeavors and potential. I see some of them just don’t fit, others I should have donated to Goodwill, and others yet that I must have borrowed from someone more creative than me and I never bothered to give it back… probably because I forgot I had it. But the creative force comes marching to my desk and demands for a raise and a promotion to a prominent position in the company of my machinations.
Then my minister throws up my hands and clucks my tongue at the following critiques that conveniently write me passes to get out of having to pursue the ambitions associated with such things: Recording music becomes tedious and laborious when the recording and mixing is underway. Drawing was never anything I had a natural inclination for. Theater voraciously devours my time and demands perfection while I’m supposed to be having fun doing it. So where am I headed? What’s the next source for creative release?
There is the podcast. The delicious discussions between Donald and me. It does manage to fill and satiate me for the lion’s share of the week. There is this blog as well, which really serves as a cathartic spewing more than an artistic endeavor. Then again, isn’t that what art tends to be? It’s always been that for me.
Suddenly, I found reason to release the expectation, to let it go. Not so much because letting go would mean not having to focus on what was coming next. Instead, the letting go was much more active, much more of a deliberate action chosen to illicit an effect. Letting go meant that whatever is coming will be a surprise. It was at that point that I realize the art is always about the surprise. It is the surprise of what springs from the fount of creativity, what comes forth. It’s the surprise of what manifests rather spontaneously and unexpectedly. When the surprise turns to labor and task, the sweet scent of the unexpected fades and becomes the reek of redundancy and monotony.
So its for this reason that not only do I not need to know what’s coming next, it is better that I don’t. Lest I ruin the surprise.