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“Go Beyond, Go thoroughly Beyond”
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All connections are embedded with a beacon of departure. There is no beginning that stays at the beginning. And yet the pristine freshness of beginnings is at one of the hearts of our deepest desires.

Near 70 years of age, I am looking for beginnings. I begin again and again to reach the one heart of my longings that will overlay congruently with all my other hearts, my other times, my other stories, my other relationships. It is a long reach, and all the hearts are ever moving, ever beating, ever creating a diastolic release into what they hope is the surprise of unexpected warmth, and an embrace into all their long-sought unifications.

I have covered over my beginnings with layers of practical common sense and well-heeled survival stories. It is time, at last, to shed this elegant wardrobe, the fashion statement of armor. The make-up I have worn is in the muscles tensed into guarded smiles and vigilant facial responses.

Repeatedly, at the edge of our collective consciousness, and my own, comes voices from Hillman and Jung, and Irish poets, that these gods guarding the temples of human industry are not amenable to our control. We don’t let go of them, they let go of us, so the prophesies say. To consciously submit to this level of humility is perhaps the greatest of tasks, and the heaviest of burdens to warden. “Humility is endless,” says Eliot.

I continue to accept the burden of my delusions as to how things are, as images of departure. To release into understanding that I am bound by my own coagulation of ambitions is the step one in knowing that liberation is possible.

All stories are allegories of our own dilemmas. In the “Lord of the Rings,” even those beings of the greatest good, with utterly good intentions, had to accept the wounds inflicted by evil; to not be caught in imagining the end of the journey was the beginning. One of the strongest points of the story is that this epic cycle of eternal return leads us away from the beginning, forever. Frodo, and the others had to leave Middle Earth forever because their redemption of their world also required them to leave it. Stories go back further than Moses, of those who served as leaders on the journey to, but could not enter, the promised land.

In short, we our bound to depart all our beginnings, by laws of mystery that inform us only by their silence. We look to death as an image of departure, but as they say, there are so many departures before that. Birth itself is a departure from the amniotic ambrosia of some kind of pre-life paradise. We come into this world kicking and screaming, and the poets warn us that this impulse to depart this world will never leave us, but haunt us with spiritual longings that we spend our lives attempting to name, but can’t. We long to depart, but are never sure as to what the actual destination is, since every destination we have reached never fully satisfies the longing; every destination is not recognizable as the one we wanted once arrival is achieved. What, if not transformation, is your deepest purpose?”

I am much enamored by those sages who find their images of departure in the embrace of silence and solitude. By finding the selves that live deep and quiet below our ordinary selves, we, like they, can find another world altogether. Rilke says: “Earth, isn’t this what you want? To arise in us, invisible? Is it not your dream, to enter us so wholly there’s nothing left outside us to see?”

But the butterfly we transform into cannot be described by the caterpillar we came from. We look to our caterpillar self, who is still with us, plodding along corpulently with so many tiny legs, and we want to weep, because we can now fly; we see such a bigger world; we want to take that caterpillar on our back and carry it into our vision, and yet we cannot bear the weight of it. We weep also, knowing that the life of the butterfly is so short, and like, Moses, we will only glimpse the promised land, not live there, not in this lifetime. All images, all beginnings, all stories, all visions, all hard-won gains, contain within them, images and beacons of departure. We can all look at each other, as if we are at the Last Supper, knowing that we are about to leave whatever life we are in, and depart for some miracle that may be torturously transformational. But, “What, if not transformation, is our deepest purpose?” More beginnings that are endings.


I apologize for the confusing typo in the misplaced quote in Paragrah 7. That ending quote should be at the end of Paragraph 8, the end of which should read like this:
Rilke says: “Earth, isn’t this what you want? To arise in us, invisible? Is it not your dream, to enter us so wholly there’s nothing left outside us to see? What, if not transformation, is your deepest purpose?”
My apologies to Herr Rilke. 🙂

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