Natural Magic (with Chopsticks)

North Street (29 of 29).jpg

One afternoon I got lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant in town that I’d never visited before. Soon after sitting down, I decided that this was going to be the first meal that I finished using nothing but chopsticks (which I’d performed pretty ineptly with in the past).

This wasn’t the easiest dish to try the experiment with, either, as it consisted of long rice noodles, crushed peanuts, shredded lettuce, carrots and cucumbers shaved thin, and small slices of grilled chicken. I began in my typical fumbling manner. I was determined, though, to meet this challenge that I’d playfully set for myself.

Mid-way through the meal I suddenly realized that I’d spent the last several minutes in a kind of right-brained reverie, just daydreaming as I ate. During this period of time I’d had no trouble with the unfamiliar utensils at all, but had just gone along as easily as if I’d been using a spoon and fork. I was amazed to notice that I’d finished off half of the bowl without thinking about it.

Then, once I did become self-conscious about the action once more, it immediately became more difficult. I had to laugh to myself when I thought about the contrast between this and my previous fluid performance, when I’d managed to forget for a while my belief in my own clumsiness and just let my hands act out of their own natural grace.

In Trust in the Unseen, my protagonist (and narrator) Brandon Chane learns to more deeply trust the natural movements of his being and, in so doing, ends up delivering the most inspired musical performance of his life.

I just drifted along, my mind in a free-floating space. My thoughts could not attach themselves to facts, certainties or expectations. I learned to just appreciate my questions without demanding that they produce answers. And I came to discover that the deeper region of knowing carries its own form of certainty. It just isn’t arrived at through deduction.

I suppose you could compare it to the phenomenon that sportsmen remark about sometimes: Just knowing that you’re going to sink a basket, or bowl a strike, before the ball even leaves your hand. It’s as if the essential thing, the miracle, has already manifested. It just needs to play itself out in the field of time.

That’s how it was when we played Broomstick Belladonna’s a couple days later. {…}

Patience Along the Inner Way


Patience is crucial along the inner way not only because this inner reality requires time to manifest in physical terms but also because the very essence of patience is an expression of trust in the process.

Without it, our ego selves are too easily tempted to want to grab the reins and try to ‘make it all happen’. What the conscious mind is responsible for is becoming aware of its own contents, of knowing the picture that it is painting on the inside. The manifestation of that picture in terms of the life that we experience remains in the hands of the deeper portions of ourselves.

The Role of the Will

As my fictional medicine man Saul Mason puts it, in Trust in the Unseen , “You insist on seeing around the bend, even though you have no idea how a shift in belief may alter the picture of your whole world.”

One of the biggest influences on my overall thought, philosophy and daily ‘spiritual practice’, for lack of a better term, is the body of Seth Material written/channeled by Jane Roberts. ‘Seth’ reminds us, again and again, that we create our personal reality through our thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

But he also mentions, many times, that we are not aware of the unconscious mechanisms through which our inner reality materializes into the world that we know.

Trust and Letting Go

What this means is that we’re responsible for what we project, but that becoming attached to any ideas of the particular ways in which our conscious objectives must be accomplished will be self-defeating.

Our patience, then, expresses itself in a delicate dance that involves stating our intentions clearly and then letting go of the outcome.

When we’re working with our own beliefs, we act in trust that as they change, so will our outward experience. But that latter part of the process is achieved unconsciously. Patience becomes difficult to practice when we have too-rigid ideas of the ways in which the new results will materialize.

Easing Our Minds

The only way to really set the mind at ease during this process is for it to become more aware of itself. When we come to know our inner lives more thoroughly then we realize that we are never “doing it all alone”, that our breakthroughs are not accomplished merely through effort of will.

Knowing that the inner self is responsive to our conscious thought, we need only be aware of the messages that we’re giving it. We remain aware of the picture of ourselves and the nature of reality that we give it, pruning out those beliefs that are ‘marring’ the picture away from the image we want.

Then we can leave the nitty gritty of manifestation in the hands of the inner portions of our being.

It’s a Declaration of Belief

Patience and trust go hand in hand along the inner way, then. Or, patience becomes less of a struggle the more we become aware that this inner self is always working on our behalf.

If it doesn’t seem to, it is only because we’re not aware, in one area or another, of our actual beliefs. We’re giving the inner self directives without really paying attention to what we’re telling it.

As we learn to draw clear correlations between our outer world experiences and the inner beliefs that gave birth to them, it grounds us in a sense of our own power. From this place, patience and trust come a lot more easily.