“Being” or “Doing” – Wisely

This is not to say that those called to the way of Jesus will find acclaim and those called to the way of Mary will find obscurity. Many called to the way of Mary will ‘do’ much that is greatly desired in the world but what they do will be a byproduct of their way of being rather than a means of facilitating that way of being. Many of the way of Mary will find acclaim, yet neither acclaim nor obscurity will matter to those following these ways. Being true to the self and the calling of the One Self is all that matters. Eventually all will follow the way of Mary and such ideas as acclaim and obscurity will be no more. But at this time of transition, both ways are needed to demonstrate the means of coming to know, which are what all true expression is about. (ACOL, D:Day19.11)

We know that desiring acclaim is often an egoic notion, not based in any real need, not something to really desire. Acclaim may be a byproduct of doing one’s best in the world, building on what we know to make changes to create a new world. But just to realize that we want acclaim—with nothing to support it—is to wish falsely.

If we choose to focus on being, we are following Mary’s way, and we might think that acclaim will pass us by. Not necessarily so, says this quotation. We may be recognized by others, but here is the salient point: It really won’t matter to us one way or the other, for when we have moved into Mary’s way, we have moved beyond the egoic. We will be thankful that our work is getting out in the world, but it will be a byproduct of the process in which we live, the process of accomplishing only for the sake of the work itself. The process is important, not always the end product.

If we are spending our lives accomplishing things, we are immersed in the moment of that accomplishment, for the end result will come only infrequently, and we won’t rest on our laurels. We will immerse ourselves in the day-to-day work, slowly adding to our stores, slowing making progress. We won’t live for the peak moments only; we will live for the daily “grind,” something that won’t feel like a grind at all.

Be in this present moment, accomplishing work, but not focusing on the peak experience of having accomplished. Live the work, being all the while. Our doing, as a byproduct of being, will then come into focus with a success unimagined.

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Love

The way of Mary is not a place or state of non-interaction however. This is not the state or place of the monks, nuns, or the contemplatives of old. It is not solitary nor isolated, nor confined to a specific community. It is a way of existence in which relationship is paramount. It is not listening to a calling to “do” but a calling to “become.” (ACOL, D:Day19.9)

All of us will eventually move into a calling to “become.” Mary’s way. But we are not there yet. In all likelihood there will be a period of merger for both doing and being, with doing predominant in many people for a while. The more that we can accept our ultimate best choice, though, the more we will realize that “becoming” prepares us best for the future. A future in a new world that we are creating every day.

The way of Mary does not mean isolation as it did for many of the contemplatives of old. We reach out into the community, showering love wherever we go, and we thrive in this new way of being. We are not withdrawn unto ourselves at all; we take our meditative moments, and then we shower them on our friends and family, our significant others. We have learned, discovered, in meditation, what works.

We have discovered how to love.