Obligolnian Strivings: Week Seven of Inner Task Series by Heather Ruce

We know that these being Obligolnian Strivings are the conscious work and intentional suffering of a lifetime, with ever deepening possibilities to lean into and live out of. This week we add in and will work with the Fourth Striving: the striving, from the beginning of one’s existence, to pay as quickly for one’s arising and individuality, in order to be free afterward to lighten as much as possible the sorrow of our Common Father/Mother/Creator.

Our individual existence is a bit of an oxymoron for we do not arise in existence on our own. We are always and only intimately connected in an endlessly knowable (to use Richard Rohr’s words) intricate system within systems of giving and receiving. Just pause and consider for a moment all that it took for you to be alive, from God willingly anguishing Godself in order that everything we see and don’t see came into somethingness in the first place—Cynthia has said the cost goes all the way back to the heart of God, pain is the ground of motion—to the cosmos, to the earth’s atmosphere, to all land and water, to blood and spiritual and chosen ancestors, to humans, to all that dies so that we eat to live, to every sort of non-human creature, to organisms, to on and on and on. . . We are never self made. No matter how much we feel we have arrived on our own or how disappointed we may be with family, societies, cultures, etc., we could not become. There is a cost of our arising and we need to be aware of that. This striving is about acknowledging a responsibility to participate in the flow, to accept the reality that we are not just here to take but also to give. Likewise, we are not just here to give (see the first and second strivings). As Cynthia has said, we must not eclipse the collective obligation for individual obligation or vice versa, we need both. Still something is required of us. As we are able to live into and from the first three strivings, we are more and more able to offer ourselves cleanly and clearly, meaning engaged but not clinging or attached to outcome, to pay it forward. We can lighten the sorrow of our Common Father, the sorrow which as Cynthia has said is part of the conditions of it all. . . and we can willingly collectively and innocently choose to bear some of the suffering by stepping up to the plate and doing what needs to be done with generosity, strength and an unperturbability. We cannot do everything that needs to be done but we can offer something. Spend some time listening for the ways you are naturally drawn to pay for your arising, not from a surface level of guilt or shame but from what arises out of your awakened heart.