A very wise student of mine asked a wonderful Kabbalistic question: When is ”not-making” doing nothing? And when is it doing something?
Jason Shulman describes not making in this manner.
“Not-making is that condition in which things are simply what they are and we are not making a “secondary something” out of primary experience. We engage with reality directly."
- Jason Shulman
How many of us during holidays with family and friends found ourselves with hurt feelings or misunderstandings that we were “making” up in our minds about a primary experience?
I switched phones recently and all my texts and phone messages were crazy or non-existent for twenty-four hours. I was surprised at how many times people responded by taking that electronic failure personally and questioned me about our relationship. I have had that reaction to others myself. That’s an example of making secondary something out of a primary reality. The electronic failure is the primary reality. The beliefs about relationship with me are the secondary something or stories that are made up.
Non-making can be a very active and productive time. This is difficult to keep in mind in this turbulent political climate. Not making often calls for us to make donations, write letters, contact our political representatives while we watch carefully the primary actions/reality of our candidates without describing tales of fear (secondary something) onto the verbiage. Just like active listening is a very present and involved activity, so is not making a very conscious act of involvement with what is true… not with what we fear is true.
If you want a spiritual challenge for the New Year, try this as a New Years Resolution! I resolve to respond to what is TRUE . . . rather than reacting to fear and personal beliefs I am making up!
Executive Director & Founder
The Estuary, Inc.