„No organic stuff will help. And no praying either!“

„No organic stuff will help. And no praying either!“ these are Detlef’s concluding words regarding a pipe blockage present in our flat. Two points of a covert personal attack. It is the end of a lecture delivered with a lot of pressure (a pipe is a pipe!), whose subliminal, unspoken subtext was supposed to make it clear to us that guys like us had no feeling for other people’s property and that it was not the task of a building insurance company to pay for damage caused by us, because ‚it’s not the building’s fault!‘, but ours, because we don’t give a shit. – It was an interesting experience to be a tenant again.

The fact that we are quite capable of handling property responsibly, that we have been struggling with the drain since we moved in two years ago, and that building insurance can very well pay for the damage in such cases, doesn’t matter to him. Detlef, in his late 50s, two metres tall, weighing 120 kilos, a self-employed businessman, always afraid of being outclassed, is one of the brothers of a six-member, quarrelling, wealthy community of heirs and, due to his local proximity to the house they inherited and we live in, is obliged to take care of issues concerning us. We know from one of his sisters that he would have preferred to rent out the house. That way he would be rid of us potential troublemakers. Preventive pain limitation.

Why am I writing this? Oh yes: praying! It’s true. He’s right. Praying alone will not help with a pipe blockage. The blockage is something dormant. And prayer creates what is dormant. But for it to have an effect, the dormant must be stimulated. Prayer alone tends to make us ready to accept the blockage and leave it.

The crucial point is ‚prayer *alone*‚. Prayer, if it is to help, does not start with the hairball in the pipe. It starts with the act of removing the blockage. It directs the action. It decides *how* to deal with this situation. Hateful, like Detlef with his industrial pressure washer. Or in a more consciously peaceful way. Or perhaps still with the massive power of a pressure washer. But differently. Just like you can cut down trees one way or another and still always use a saw.

Organic probably doesn’t help. Detlef is probably right about that. Not because such a thing doesn’t help, but because the problem is to be looked for in the structure of the drainage pipe itself and not in a tangle of hair.

Detlef drives a black Defender. With axe and spade attached to the side of the roof rack. Two black wings (no joke, really true) made of plastic are emblazoned on the rear. The fallen angel. For Detlef, the world is a hell in which everyone is condemned to fight for survival. Praying doesn’t help. He thinks so. He doesn’t realise that prayer has many forms and that it permeates the world. And that if this prayer were to disappear, there would be nothing left. That if the foundation of devotion, of love, of acceptance, of eternal wisdom, of the nurturing mother were lost, he would do nothing but wait behind the boarded-up windows and doors of his house, axe in hand, in hateful fear, for the day when the stronger one will come, the six-foot-thirty man, with 180 kilos, – and cut off his head.

That is then the real hell. The soulless existence in a soulless world. Detlef has already realised this hell within himself. Outside of him, however, the spiritual still works. He only has to reach out to it. Then he will feel its security-giving warmth again. Then he can return from his decades-long nightmare. He has a wife. She is pure prayer. She keeps him existing. Not his massiveness in word and deed. And he knows it. And he represses it. If recognition meant that he would have to change something about himself, too. That his half-view of the world is only comfortable and at the same time absolutely flawed. But as long as he is content to hate and fight his neighbour, this return to his inner self will not happen. As long as he still gives priority to fear over knowledge, he will remain trapped in his hellish nightmare.

I also used to believe that people who ‚pass something up‘ simply don’t want to take responsibility for their actions, that they want to be passive in their lives. That they are dreamers who don’t want to acknowledge the ruthless reality. That was wrong. I didn’t understand that correctly. I didn’t understand that ’surrendering‘ means leaving the decision not entirely to the mind, but letting the soul’s knowledge play a significant role in the decision. I couldn’t understand that at the time, because I thought there was only the mind. And so for me, in my ignorance of the true circumstances, ‚giving in‘ meant doing nothing in passivity. As I said: I was quite wrong with that view….

Pain must never be allowed to guide us. Our actions grow out of the fearless knowledge of our security in the meaning, of our soulfulness and of the eternal unity of everything. We always act in love for everything and everyone. There is no inner separation. Pain alone must never guide us.

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