„What are your plans for the garden land? Do you want to lease some next year?“ Eva asks. I remain silent for a while in response to her question and, collecting my thoughts, let my gaze wander, blinking, over the fields glowing black in the deep November sun. They have already been plowed, then harrowed, and a new seed has been planted in them. In a few days you will be able to see the first green of winter barley.

We are on an afternoon walk. The dog demanded his movement and we gladly followed.

„We haven’t done anything there yet,“ I say, choosing my words slowly and deliberately. „It seems to us that we won’t be here that much longer. There’s no point in still committing ourselves here then. The time for retreat seems to be passing. – – The years in the forest were the years of the earth; the gaze always downward. Sheltered, carried and nurtured. Root years. Passive.“ I try to explain what cannot be explained. „It seems now the time of the sky is coming. More active, more radiant. We seem to need to go outside. To a place where the sky stretches above us and we can see the horizon on all sides. Where we can see far. Where we stand in the light.“

My answer seems more wordy than Eva’s simple question actually seems to require.

„Mhh.“ says Eva. She seems to know what I’m implying. Maybe we’ve mentioned it vaguely before. She doesn’t seem to want to say anything more about it. To retort more would be to actively confront the possibility that her friends might leave. Besides, she knows that I have a lot to say about heaven and earth. Eva doesn’t like it so much when other people might know more than she does. She then loses control of the conversation and worries that it will slip away. She might just know less and then be wrong in the conversation, or things might be touched on that she would rather leave alone. Eva likes to talk about issues that she can be sure her counterpart understands little or nothing about. She then does this in a long, detailed and lecturing manner. The sure way to create the appearance of a conversation and keep everything under control. A faked conversation. After my answer, she will have already regretted asking me at all. The turn of conversation – extra verbose – from the factual to the emotional, brought about by me, was not foreseeable for her and, no longer controllable for her, can lead somewhere else. Especially when she lets me have my say. There better „mhh“ and end the topic. I know her well enough to know that she doesn’t like this walk quite so much now.

After a few seconds of silence, I say, „The garden gate is already broken, too.“ I say this deliberately. I want to let Eva fall into a little trap. Eva laughs softly. She is one of those people who barricade their hair-thin soul-senses – which, were they free, could perform miracles – behind an excess of intellect. The „best“ „protection“ from emotional injury. So the expression of her fears and worries remains only a short „mhh“, but now at the garden gate her mind can come up trumps. And she starts to explain to me why the transience of the garden gate really cannot be used to justify a move: „You can repair it. She replies in a teacherly manner. „Or if you had used more durable material back then, and if…“ She continues smartly. Visibly relieved to have gotten the curve to the objective and logical in time. She is on the offensive and has everything under control again. I know that she has books that also describe the construction of gates.

I know these lecturing „If…, if….lets a large part of her being wither away behind this seemingly safe haven of her logical arguments. Because she has to control every twist and turn, right down to the last topic of conversation – even at the cost of contesting the entire conversation on her own. When no one else is talking, she is in complete control. She rarely notices my anger, however, and when she does, she doesn’t grasp it. It is also not my place to lecture her in this regard. It is only my personal feeling. I grieve for what she suppresses from herself with all her might. But sometimes – in a moment of weakness – I manage little stumbling blocks. Small stumbling blocks that cause her to stumble in her routine control behavior.

Knowing this, I interrupt her and say quietly, as if in passing, „The question is more, ‚Why did I do the gate that way then?‘ and ‚Why would you and I do it so differently?’“

The little trap snaps shut. With this little twist, I took away her control over the direction of the conversation one more time. Her attempt to take over failed. And she could have continued to instruct me in a matter-of-fact and unthreatening way about which aspects I had disregarded in my conclusion about the garden gate and the connection to a possible move. She could have shone so beautifully and basked in her so alert mind. Could have presented me with a point list from one to ten of the errors in my thought process. Entirely in the sense of a teacher who, in the security of his position, could quite confidently and from a pleasant distance lecture his students, condemned to the lesson, to death.

Eva is silent.

Today I didn’t let her be the lecturer. Where I usually let her talk when she comes to visit, and where I know that I can only hold out helplessly or angrily because of her steel armor of control and meaningless small talk, today I persevere. Today I know that I can reach the subtle being behind the armor. She knows about the protective shield function of her analytical mind and she consciously uses it as a weapon even in her inner fear. And just as consciously, she has recognized that I have now outmaneuvered him and will not admit defeat. That is why Eva is silent. On this personal level, lecturing is no longer possible. I renewed our inner bond. Because she was not attentive, I hit her with a feint in her eternal duel for control. I won a round in her eternal game for control and touched her gently and coolly, blessingly on her forehead for a fraction of a moment with the sword of inner truth and connection. To put her unsaid before the choice: „Do we stay with lecturing or do we finally talk about the essence of the world? Are you still afraid or do you close your eyes and jump down – trustingly on my hand? Only today. Only once. Only once unity. It does not hurt. I promise. You will not die from it. Your ego will not die from it. I promise.“ Even as she asked about the garden land, I suspected I might get one of the rare chances to get behind the defense screen. Maybe it was because of the beautiful day that she was so careless. Usually she doesn’t ask much. And if she does, she doesn’t let me answer for long. Asking a lot and letting someone answer for a long time is dangerous. She prefers to talk herself.

Now she gives in. She has felt the touch and is silent. It is a good silence. Giving up, succumbing, stopping the fight, not having to fight anymore – maybe only for seconds – can be so healing. The way back to the house – the half hour – we are silent. It is a good silence. If only she could remain like that!

I am not sure how she understood the wording of my reply. It is not that important. It was only important that we exchanged these words in this way. That the circle of control, teaching, the position of teacher-pupil was broken. Broken by words of real inner content with their effect in the unspoken. She felt again that the world does not fall into ruins when she gives up control. How it feels to be gently defeated in love and to be allowed to lay down the heavy armor for a moment because the senseless fight cannot be won.

Perhaps in her eyes I wanted to imply that I build the gate ephemeral and that is a symbol of my willingness to change, while she would have used more durable materials and this expresses her rigid insistence. Certainly not wrong. Thinking further in this direction, perhaps my words then also express that she would rather have built the textbook garden gate. With clear orientation, how garden gates have to be according to the specifications. The teacher who is a student of logical learning knowledge with the utmost devotion. Because it is so clear and can be read over and over again. Not so confused, like the human feelings. While at that time I looked at the crooked wood, the axe, the hammer and the nails and in my spirit the gate arose anew. The gate that could arise from what was available to me. And that became as it was supposed to become from within the things. – – –

However, that was not what I meant. What I meant was beyond her and me and our different personalities with different views and ideas. Beyond these petty things. I meant, „The question is rather, why does fate make us act the way we do? Why, based on the tools available to me at the time and the branches from the forest, could I not build a gate other than one that is now „opening“ for the last time at this time by passing away again? What moves everything so that everything moves as it moves? How far does your acting really lie alone in your hand? What does your acting mean? Why do you act differently than I do? If, if, if is a nice idle silly gymnastic exercise for the mind. And since these questions cannot be answered, it is ultimately just as idle to worry about them.“

But these are also all just know-it-all teachings. What worked was far behind these words.

I like Eva very much. But she doesn’t like to talk to me. I can understand that. I’m not good for her barricades. But I don’t mind. I know that beyond the usual ideas, everything has its fateful rightness and is good.

The broken gate is now always open so that it doesn’t fall on the foot of anyone who might try to open it. Every day now I look out the window and see the open gate. Whether we left next November or the following one – or three years from now: It doesn’t matter and is not evidence with which the rationalists could declare our perception of change to be null and void. Change has begun. And contrary to all common habit nowadays, the change happens slowly and not „on demand“ and also not „at time“. Nor by „morning express“ by 10 a.m. tomorrow. And for as long as it takes, the gate will probably remain open. And all will ask themselves until then, when this type intends to repair it then finally once!

And every time Eva goes through, something will stir inside her….

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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