Is it normal

Dear Cynthia,

Hello from Hong Kong! Now with a bit more decorum . . . It’s taken me about six years of reading your work, Cynthia, and the writings of a good number of others within the Wisdom Tradition for its primary message to finally end its circuitous journey and land, at least in my head. I finally get the claim, gamble and wager that the Tradition asks us to consider: our infinite yearnings will never be satisfied until our body-heart-mind self opens and surrenders to the Presence of God. So, my real burning question – as someone who is now entering another new decade of what feels like an endless search – is if “normal” people – not only our teachers – can attain some type of regular contact (to loosely quote a discussion with you and Adyashanti) with the heart as an organ of spiritual perception which actually “sees” the luminous web, that underlying energetic sameness that animates everything? Is that possible for mere mortals who have not chosen the ascetic path of our teachers? That’s the question I’m trying to understand. Meanwhile, and I’ve said this to you personally, it’s a lonely quest in that so much of day-to-day life seems to blithely go on its merry way with seemingly little interest in what, for me, matters most.

~ Marty Schmidt

It seems to me that you have some paradoxically intertwining questions here, asking both “how much?” and “how little?” The “how much” question is by far the more interesting and leading of the two. How much can be borne in human flesh? Well, remember what the author of the Cloud of Unknowing said RE Mary Magdalene: “It is the nature of all true lovers that the more they love, the more they long to love.” And I have known you long enough and well enough by now to recognize you as one of those “true lovers.” Your heart hungers for the infinite in all its passion, anguish, intensity, and luminosity. And your hunger is itself the sign that you are even now riding the curve of that infinite love. And you are riding it because your heart won’t let you do anything else. The hunger is your soul’s hunger. Like love itself, it admits no comparisons. No need to look around and measure how others are doing, or despair that the impossibility of attaining it is because you’re merely a lay person, a teacher, a laborer in the vineyard of this world. No way! The reason it’s impossible to attain is because it’s infinite! But the yearning is itself speaking in the mother tongue. You’re there.