Stumbling Toward Ecstasy – April 10 2021

Stumbling Toward Ecstasy – April 10 2021

By your stumbling, the world is perfected.

Sri Aurobindo


Each of us arrives on this planet without knowing how to live. We must be taught to sleep through the night, taught to walk, to use the toilet, to speak, to ask for what we want. We must be taught to share, taught to read, taught to listen, taught how to learn. And all the time we are being taught how to be a daughter or son, how to be a brother or sister, how to be a friend, how to be an enemy. How to be a student, how to be a teacher, how to grieve, how to celebrate. How to love. How to give love. How to make love. How to accept love. How to receive love. How to let go with love.


The whole of life is on-the-job training. Not one of us arrives here knowing how to do any of these things, how to be any of these things. Even if we believe in past lives, the how of living does not carry over to this life. So we learn how to do everything we do as we’re doing it. We do not take classes in digging a ditch. We pick up a shovel. We do not take classes in falling in love. We simply stumble across an experience of someone which causes a download of bliss chemistry, then we stumble toward this other person and, if their chemistry causes them to stumble in our direction, we stumble together and we fumble or stumble our way through a kiss, through a date, through a relationship, through a marriage. We feel our way forward, each moment new (whether it feels new or not), each moment there to be discovered (whether we think we know what we’re doing or not). And we learn.


How do we learn? By trying and failing. By making mistakes. By doing it the way that feels natural, or the way we’ve seen it done by others – by our parents, by our peers – or by doing it the opposite of the way we’ve seen it done. We try it one way and fail. Then we try it another way, and perhaps fail a little less.


To be human is to fail, again and again and again. To be spirit is to know that this falling and rising, again and again, is how we move toward the Divine.


We are failures – grand, exciting, growing, living, failing creatures. And if we find we are not making mistakes, then perhaps it’s time to try something new.


Today I will accept my fallibility and the fallibility of my loved ones. I will let myself off the hook for my mistakes, knowing that I am an expression of life itself and that life itself always is doing the best in knows how to do, in all its myriad expressions; and knowing that tomorrow, having learned from my mistakes of today, I will be able to do it differently, and perhaps even more successfully.

Sunset, Paso Robles