Inspiration and expiration are automatic, inherent in physical life. By analogy, spiritual inspiration and expiration are inherent in our inner life, are virtually a definition of it. We inhale (receive) and exhale (give), and these two are a natural law and rhythm. But in our human egotism we have broken the sacred rhythm—we would take in and not give forth. We would breath in with little breathing out, and we choke and sputter on our own egotism. We try to absorb the beauty of creation, but do not create beauty—we read, but do not write, we receive but do not transmit, we want love, but are poor at giving it, and on it goes… I’m reminded of the fellow who noted only two types of people in the world: lawn-sprinkler people and vacuum-cleaner people, with the vacuum-cleaner types being predominant. In the homely image of a lawn-sprinkler person we have a picture of an individual who is reestablishing the sacred rhythm, bringing life back into balance. This concept has been named “service.”
Teachings are not the truth, but a catalyst to aid in approach to the truth. There are limitations to be found in every verbal formulation and in those who give them. Good teachings have merit as general guidelines and as stimulus to thinking and reflection. Also, even in a great teaching, the specifics and their application to any time and space involve much ambiguity and vagueness. So, in this sense, we are always on our own, in other words a good teaching or teacher stimulates independent thought.
In the atmosphere there are fire flowers of luminous things. Billions of these flowers hover in the to-be-done regions, waiting for a body. The trick is taking on the ones that truly belong to us, and refraining from appropriating those that do not. There are many wonderful things hovering in the air that are not our work and for which we may not be suited. Many of these are of stunning beauty and have a Siren quality, hence the excitement and the danger, for contact with them tends to inspire action. We must find each days work within a universe of infinite possibilities.
Each step toward light creates a channel along which gifts come. We accept and we are accepted, and the two are intimately interactive. We approach, and we are approached. We take hold of a hand and we are given a hand up. We take and we are taken up. We take responsibility and more responsibility is given. We admit the truth and we are admitted to the truth. We take the initiative and we are initiated. We open ourselves to invitation and we are invited. We give, and to us much is given.