THE BLOG
10/04/2013 12:00 pm ET Updated Dec 04, 2013

How Does One Both Relax and Resist at the Same Time?

This is really the core question of contemplation and action. We must relax into the moment as it offers itself in all its fullness, connecting past moments with this moment, and also the future moment that it invites us toward. This seems to have been St. Augustine's very notion of "memory," not just nostalgia for some past moment, but connecting past, present, and future in one complete contemplative knowing. Such memory offers a very different kind of light by which to see, enjoy, and suffer reality.

At the same time we must also resist -- not in a negative or aggressive way, but confidently and courageously holding all would-be obstacles off to the side: personal illusions, cultural entertainments and falsehoods, diversionary tactics, degrading love, power, money, and the merely rational mind. This is the first very real action required of us -- and it is a resistance. Without it there is no seeing, no contemplation, no coming together of past, present, and future into the eternal now.

If such "resistance" does not lead to a relaxing into the now -- as it is and yet could be -- it will be mere posturing. If such contemplation inside of an eternal now does not lead to very concrete acts of resistance, the contemplation will not go deep, wide, or true. Such inner resistance to illusion and ego must always precede any outer actions for justice or they are not "actions" at all, but merely reactions.