It lies beyond all that you can see,
Just there, where the darkness disappears
Into the unknown pitch.
That is the place which we seek.
It is the place we strain to hear.
And we serve an unseen King
Who speaks in whispers
Out of the abyss.
And we obey.
Or come what may.
And that unseen Kingdom comes.
It unfurls it's intent
In the willing movement of our limbs.
Oh to serve it with our members!
To walk in step to the unheard drum!
To move into the fray
With light and truth our covering
And faith unshaken our shield!
To live or die
In the service of this last and final King unseen...
Unseen for now.
But those with eyes to see
Behold him already
Coming in the cloud.
I find myself wondering yet again who it is I am talking to, and struggling to create a work that will reach those to whom I speak.
In the last couple of posts, I began by trying to find equal footing. I've been thinking about the idea of Spirit and the Holy Spirit. I have also been thinking about unholy spirits. And I have something to say about it. And that is fine for some of you. Some of you are comfortable with such talk. Others, important others, may not be. By important, I don't mean people who may profit me in some way. I mean people just like me who have begun to traverse The Trackless Path, but who may not use the same language. Because, you see, the thing that unites us is that we no longer believe that we have the answers, or at least, we yet have questions for which no creed can suffice. Yet you might say that we are not unbelievers. We do not doubt the Truth, but we no longer trust in the institutions of our youth to supply it unerringly, nor in our own wits to guide us aright. And so, we are bereft of a people. We are alone in the world.
And yet, we have each other. And if only we can overlook our differences, then perhaps, we do not need to be alone. But how do I speak to such a motley crew? That is my challenge.
And here it is that I am afraid that you will need to overlook the thing I am. Can you find the Truth when it is masked by the limits of my capacity to express? And can you translate the things I say into a language which you can understand? I hope so. I hope that you will overlook the limitations of my language. I hope that you will find what Truth there be to spite me.
...And I suppose that makes sense. I am always thinking about the things of the Spirit and invariably, I end up talking about it with people. I usually do so carefully, half-expecting to discover that those around me have long ago stopped thinking about the Soul, but they haven't. Even in the many of the most worldly sorts, I find that it's on their minds and that they are willing to talk about it so long as you can respect their views on the subject.
Another good sign is the movie I watched the other night. It was called Soul by Disney. It's about a guy who dies and wants to return to his body. The whole show surrounds the themes of life before and after death, and it takes for granted the idea that the Spirit exists independent of the body. That surprised me. Obviously, Disney believed there was a market for such a movie. Otherwise they wouldn't have made it.
And of course, just because many of us are thinking about it doesn't mean that we see eye to eye or that the world is a good place. It just means that we can start to have a conversation. Some of us can anyway. There are those who can't stand anything that smacks of Religion or Spirituality. And they may have to wait.
Alright, so it seems like, to begin, we have to get on the same page about ONE thing. Otherwise, we can go nowhere. We cannot even speak. And if we are on the same page about this one thing, we can begin to speak about The Trackless Path. That ONE thing to which I refer is the idea of Spirit. And I think that that is a safe place to start, a place where each of us, coming from our varied backgrounds, can find some common ground. It is not uncommon for people to say, now-a-days, that though they are not religious, they are in fact spiritual. I find that interesting. And I just looked up some statistics on my phone about it. It is from a poll taken by the PEW Research Center in 2017:
Religious and Spiritual: 48%
Spiritual but not Religious: 27%
Neither Religious Nor Spiritual: 18%
Religious but NOT Spiritual: 6%
That is actually kind of encouraging. It means that at least 75% of the people in the US alone are open to a discussion about this Idea of Spirit.
And I suppose that makes sense. Recently, I downloaded a movie called Soul by Disney. It's about a guy who dies and wants to return to his body. The whole show surrounds the themes of life before and after death and takes for granted the idea that there is a Spirit which exists irrespective of the body....
Have to pick this up later...
No idea what to share today...here is a piece from a story I am working on... It's about a desperately lonely man who follows an unseen band on a journey through the cosmos.
I looked up and around, and I was again in the midst of the cosmos. In every direction were stars, but I felt ground beneath my feet. So I began to walk. As I did, the stars moved past me quickly, and the burning within my chest drew me toward some distant place. I moved faster, and the stars flew past at lightning speed. And then they flickered like the click click click of an old time movie and the colors began to change and move and take shape. Sky appeared above, then earth beneath and in every direction, the brown of an expansive desert appeared. It reached out interminably. But I kept moving. Endlessly I reached. And the blistering heat of an eternal mid-day sun baked me brown like the desert floor.
Eventually, mountains arose and trees appeared. I kept moving. I traveled deep into the forest. Up and down and through the woods I trekked. As I did, the trees wrapped themselves around me and bent themselves overhead, absconding the light. From beneath the canopy, dark shadows threatened. And eyes were ever upon me, foreign eyes. And great mouths gaped, their jowls dripping down. I heard their breathing. I felt their malicious intent, but I kept on moving. I didn’t fear, not the deep down fear, though at times I was afraid, for there was safety in the single pointed focus which pulled me toward my journey's end.
Now and then I’d rise to where the trees thinned out and disappeared. I’d find myself coming to the top of some mountain. There, I’d stop and look out over the endless range of peaks. The cool wind would tug at my coat, and for a moment, I’d soak in the solitude. It was exquisite. And lonely. I was so desperately alone in those places. It was so terribly remote, so distant from anyone. And the isolation cut. I bled for loneliness there on those peaks. More than a thousand rivers full of blood, I bled. But it was my burden to bear. Eventually, it poured out sweet, and I imagined it bathing all the lonely people just like me, soothing their lonely souls, binding them up, making them whole. Finally, I’d keep on moving, down again into the forest and on toward the place that drew me onward.
I find myself, this morning, thinking about writing itself, wondering about what it is I am doing, and thinking about this decision to do it publicly. It seems like I should be revising my book and preparing the finished product to present to the world. And yet, the world is such a mixed bag. How do I prepare anything for "the world"? It's tricky. And I cannot bring myself to do that this morning.
Over the last decade, I estimate that I have written somewhere between 1.5M - 2M words. Maybe more. And the vast majority of those words have been the inner workings of my own soul. They were never intended for the world. They were written, in fact, with the intent of being destroyed. And that was a lot of work, though I didn't think of it as work. I was just following a yearning - a question. And I must admit that I have been good for little more than scribbling for a long time. There have been days when I awoke early in the morning and grabbed my notebook and began to write - to ask questions - to write down what felt like answers, to make connections; and I wrote for 16 hours straight, barely stopping to eat and use the restroom, and then went to bed and awoke the next morning only to do it again. And the whole of it, you might say, was one long prayer - the question of my very own soul. And I came to see things that I never imagined, things which I had never heard a man say.
And now I am supposed to show you wisdom, to encapsulate the stars. Impossible! For the moment I do so, the moment it is written down, it will be false. For you view it through a thousand lenses and what is food for one will be poison to another. But what else is there to do but to try. For a man, when he truly comes to have something to say, must say it or it will rot within him and canker his soul. Already, I have waited too long. I have wished to prepare conclusions - to give you answers. But I am afraid that that is impossible. The best that I can do is open the door and invite you in to look at the world through my eyes.
And I am out of time... Who knows if I'll get back to the revision tomorrow...
Ok, I don't think anyone really follows this site, but here we go.
I am revising the book I wrote a few years ago. And I had the thought today to do it publicly. If you happen along this site and want to follow along, please feel free to do so. It will be very raw. Do not expect that I will get anything right. And don't think that I believe the things I say until I publish the final product. And even then, don't expect it. I am working out ideas. I am still making my way along the trackless path. But I am afraid that I am so afraid that I err on the side of saying nothing because the thing I see is so hard to describe. Perhaps this will help me to become more brave.
So here we go:
The last great battle will not be fought to determine who is the most religiously observant. It will be fought over who is real. - the true and the pretenders. (Footnote: "He was a liar from the beginning.")
All this brings up the question of what is good? I don't think we know. As a human race, we have thrown off the moral law. No one keeps it. And yet everyone I have ever met has a part of it - a moral sense by which they are trying to live. I have rubbed shoulders with some of the best people on the planet and I have also lived in homeless shelters. And the thing that I have seen is that everyone, no matter how far they have fallen is still talking about what is GOOD. They are trying to establish the moral law. They are trying to figure out what is right. I have met people on meth and heroin who hadn't bathed in years. They live on the streets and are more like animals than people but they still are talking about doing the right thing. And though their views are skewed, they have not stopped measuring themselves by some kind of a standard. I have met others who are religious and they are still talking about the moral law. They claim that they are saved and work hard to convince themselves that it's ok that they are not good people. But even they cannot stop thinking about it to spite the grace they've found. Some others - few - have transcended it. They know that they are not good, and yet they do their work.
Us in The West claim for ourselves the Bible, but we do not live by the laws of morality proscribed in the Bible. And that failure, it appears, will be our downfall. And the East has followed suit. We are all now ONE thing - ripe for...destruction? Surely. The whole of the framework that under-girts our economy, our society, is crumbling. Could we go back to being GOOD? And were we ever GOOD? I don't think so.
And so, what does it mean to be GOOD?
Well, it seems that God is GOOD. Christ, in his human form even rejected the term - "there is none Good but my father which is in heaven."
And so, what is left us? Have we ever, in all of our partaking of the tree of trying to know good and evil ever come to find it? I haven't. I don't know if I am good. I am pretty certain that I am not good. So why not come out into the light and stop "sewing fig leaves to make us aprons" so as to hide our nakedness?
The Path to the divine is not an earthbound path.
You cannot follow another.
Nor can another follow you.
It is more like the path of birds.
It begins with a leap of faith
And progresses by faith.
And it is through gratitude
That you transcend all obstacles.