Dear Friends on the path of Transformation,

I am sitting down to write this month's distinction blog on Responsibility, and I don't know where to begin.  I have the experience that if I get going, I could still be writing about responsibility a month from now.  I also feel at times like I am wrestling with an eel -- when I have a firm grasp on it, it feels electric and then it slips out of my hands and I feel like I am starting all over again and it is elusively beyond my grasp; and this is after 16 1/2 years of keeping myself pretty present with the conversation of responsibility.   Lisa Kalmin and I often say, that if responsibility were a football field with 100 yards, we are at about the 45/40 yardline. That being said, here goes.

Where to start?  Where to start?

Okay, let's start with the idea of you walking into a restaurant with a friend.  It's a beautiful day and you've decided to treat yourselves to a dinner out.  You walk in and the waitress greets you with a look of distress.  She impatiently escorts you to a table.  When she takes your order, she is distracted and terse.  When you ask the soup specials, she is visibly annoyed and goes back to the kitchen to check, informing you, "it's almost out anyways."  The meal progresses.  You and your friend chat.  But you leave the restaurant feeling a little drag on your system.  You've been slimed.  

Dear God -

Should I grow myself and learn more about who I am?

Do you believe I should be my absolute best self and uncover anything limiting me?

Or do you believe I should stay exactly how I am and believe in perceived limitations of this world?  Does this sound absurd?

Transformation has become the new buzzword.  No, not the transformation of molecular biology – but transformation of us as beings.  You hear it thrown around in advertising campaigns and in a host of different seminars and it is now popping up with regularity in titles on bookshelves at any Barnes and Nobel. 

But what is transformation?

I define transformation as:  a shift in the way that I relate with myself, with others, with my world, with my circumstances, obstacles and conditions.

The man, who being really one the Way, falls upon hard times in the world will not, as a consequence, turn to that friend who offers him refuse and comfort and encourages his old self to survive.  Rather, he will seek out someone who will faithfully and inexorably help him to risk himself, so that he may endure the suffering and pas courageously through it, thus making of it a “raft that leads to the far shore.”  Only to the extent that a an exposes himself over and over again to annihilation, can that which is indestructible arise within him.  In this lies the dignity of daring….Only if we venture repeatedly through zones of annihilation, can our contact with Divine Being, which is beyond annihilation, become firm and stable.  The more a moan learns whole-heartedly to confront the world that threatens him with isolation, the more are the depths of the Ground of Being revealed and the possibilities of a new life and Becoming opened.

             -- Karlfried Graf von Durckheim, The Way of Transformation

If you have been in the game of transformation for any amount of time, you have felt the annihilation mentioned in the quote above.  Why on earth would you keep playing this game?  Annihilation again and again doesn’t sound like very much fun.

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