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 Voltaire and Candide :  message in a bottle


                "Nothing is accidental nor arbitrary in life. Nothing. No tornado touches down, no numberless wave laps the shore, no hurricane rises or falls, and no wind even slightly blows without perfect intention and purpose. Everything is alive with consciousness and meaning. And the beasts that run about, or swim, or fly are no different. Consciousnesses within consciousnesses within consciousnesses. If a message doesn’t come to you one way it will come another, and when you live in the wilds, and with the wilds, the symbols of our mythic beings often come through the wilds. Omens are alive and well in the wilderness, to be sure. You only have to tune into the other way of seeing.

                 For instance... A glaring synchronicity based on animals which comes to mind occurred while I was working in Sitka, Alaska, and a few of us had gathered on a buddy’s sailboat for a couple of drinks, and we were passing a bottle of the German bitter, Jaegermeister, around which has on its label the picture of an eight or ten-point buck, with a glowing crucifix between its antlers. Amongst our party was a man who was at that time writing a book about deer hunting, and his keen interest in the emblem brought about a lengthy conversation regarding its possible meaning. We tossed about all sorts of hypotheses and then forgot about it and went on with the evening. The next day, however, I was rummaging through a thrift shop in the town and a certain book on one of the used-book shelves seemed to grab my attention for no particular reason. I picked it up and it was all about the sacred link between man and animals, and not only that, it contained an exact description of the insignia which we had been discussing the night before: it related the story of St. Eustacius, and how one day while out hunting he had chased, on horseback, after a large buck, and when he had finally gotten within his arrow’s reach, the buck turned around and between its antlers there shone a glowing cross. At that moment St. Eustacius was converted and spent the rest of his fairly trying days spreading the good news, only to wind up being roasted in a hollow iron bull by the heathens of the day, though when they opened it up afterward he was found with a bewildering smile on his face.

                This episode carried other synchronicities as well, for, not long after finding that book an acquaintance of mine suggested that I read Voltaire’s Candide, which I did, and which described incredibly similar events to the story of St. Eustacius that had transpired in Candide’s life, and so I figured the universe was trying to tell me something, which it was, because perhaps a year later another friend of mine wrote me a letter and, for no specific reason, chose to address it to St. Eustace. I understood then the message I was receiving at that time, but I will leave it to the curiosity of the reader to consider or disregard what that message was, however they choose. ..."


Excerpted from IN, AND OF, by Jack Haas           




















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