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A Weird Party Invitation

For my formless essence

A row of six letterboxes on a country gravel road
A row of our neighbourhood letterboxes - all waiting for party invitations!

Imagine getting a party invitation in the mail. You open the envelope, take out the card and read:

You’re invited to a party at my place 7pm Saturday Don’t bring yourself

It doesn’t make sense. You re-read it, then wonder if it’s a misprint. Surely it should be “Do bring yourself”.

You want to go. But how can you go without bringing yourself? What does the party giver mean?

When I’m invited to a party, a series of sticky questions arise. What shall I wear? Who else is going? What food will I take? Will it be fun or boring? Could I turn up late and leave early without causing offence? What if nobody talks to me? If someone does, what shall I say? Will there be dark corners to hide in? What if there’s dancing? (This is where panic sets in, and I almost decide not to go.)

As you can tell, I’m not a party fan. But this imaginary invitation is intriguing me. What would it be like to go to a party without taking the part of me that worries beforehand, doesn’t enjoy the event, and obsesses afterwards about what I said or did that I now regret?

But how can I go to a party and not take me?

Two Aspects of Myself

While grappling with the dilemma of the weird party invitation, I watch a talk given by Eckhart Tolle. He has a simple teaching that explains two aspects of my life:

To know itself both through the creation of form and through realisation of the formless essence of life.

I have a life (form) and — at the same time — I am life (formless).

I am both becoming (doing, thinking, planning) and being (connecting to my formless essence).

With this in mind, I re-read the invitation. I now suspect the party giver is asking me to bring more of my formless essence, and less of my complicated, self-sabotaging, egoic, overthinking form that always manages to mangle meaningful moments.

Okay. Let’s give it a go.

I put on comfortable party gear, grab the simple platter of delicious nibbles concocted for the pleasure of others, turn up on time, and step into a room of strangers who are also taking up space on this planet and juggling two aspects of themselves. I listen a lot, talk some, stay away from dark corners, and dance a tiny little bit.

I think less and therefore relax more.

I try to sense the connection of everyone and everything, the interception of form and formless.

And those aspects of myself that usually hinder me from immersing myself in the moment loosen their grip and dissolve.

I make a discovery: my formless self enjoys parties.

I’m so glad that part of me was invited.

With love, Marlane

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