Autobiography and memoir: spiritual autobiography: being yourself
A book excerpt from the Iconoclast Press online library.
I am the self within the Self, the microcosm within the macrocosm, the smile within the God. I have been in this realm for what seems an eternity now, and though I am weary and worn, still I must complete the greater will, for when the fullness of our cosmic complexity falls helplessly into your lap, there is little to do but rise up stoically and follow it. I followed, like a blind puppy, nursed on the milk of the ether.
My true home is an opulent marble castle sitting by the great waterless sea, wherein anyone who belongs is given a great house of beauty all their own.
My sword is of quicksilver, my armor of air.
When I breathe, the Great Mother inhales me, when I sleep, the Great Father dreams on.
There is no wisdom on this earth for a man like me. I am myself. That is wisdom.
Between the profane and the divine, lives the psychic, intermediary realm of myth and symbol. Here all opposites meet, intermingle, and go to war together. Here is where the non-existent forces of Good and Evil actually exist. Here is where the individual is most constricted, and yet has the most effect. Here is where my people are trapped, laughing and weeping, and running about.
Here it is also where one, seeking to rise up from the profane to the divine, can get caught forever in the middle ground- between the tug and pull of the two waters, so to speak- without knowledge or hope of a further redemption.
It was down into those lower waters where I descended, and where I had a vision of old men casting nets from the land into the shallows, the intertidal zone, a place where, hours earlier, there had been solid ground. And now I saw that the fishing was good on the fertile patch where it was sometimes ocean and sometimes land, where the spirit came and went, and where God left it to man to stand chest-deep in the flowing chill, and harvest the ebbing keep.
And so, taking on the flesh like a trout flailing half exposed in the shallows of a rocky brook, did I come to live here, where it is not fluid, and where swimming is without ease, and yet I have grown and evolved in these partial streams, and it is here that I have struggled, and loved, and cast my seed. Here, where I have sought longingly for the combined elements of unreason and exaltation divorced from praise. Here, where I surrendered, vanquished, screamed, and then went dancing. Here, where I slipped and repelled those agonizing resonances. Here, where I was the string not struck, the chord not plucked, the silence needed to give rise to the harmony. Here, where I became no longer an ingredient, but instead a catalyst, spent in the reaction, and then left to the side to wait for another call. Here, where I tried to save God by a mad dash at His own throat. Here, where I sought to return the dying flesh to the living word. Here, where I found release from the senselessness of our keep, and the images no longer controlled me; here is where I bask before the lost and changing glory of it all.
I, who recover the Rose, time after time, from the tortured depths of the black, strangling hell of Hades; I, who link the archetypical with the actual; I, who eat only an unknown fruit caught falling naturally from the Tree of Life; I, who drink only early morning dew found settling in the navels of androgynous, sleeping angels; I, who have fallen into this realm like I have always fallen- through the stars, the sky, the clouds, through the mountains, buildings, trees, through the crowds, the noise, the laughter, anguish, dreams, desires, words, illusions, lies, and deaths; I am a man who knows nothing. I have come from the region of exasperation, in hopes that this world is prepared for my call.
My primary duty- as it has been explained to me, time and time again, by countless, cryptic voices- so as to serve my vision onto this myopic earth- is to be myself, my true self, and only that, completely, and at every moment. And though I have not come without struggle, and do not remain without pain, I now stand in the midst, and flow without meaning, for when the blood and tears have been washed away, and the time of ardor has spent its day, the truth of my sojourn shall become clear: Stand alone, victory man, stand alone, in the hour which does not betray you.
At the base of my past feverish existence has lain the eternal task of resurrecting the vast expanse of wonder, for it was there that I was fully sobered by the wild euphorias of my tempestuous incarnation.
If only people were more stupefied by the spectacular implausibility of their own incomprehensible occurrence. Oh, if only. Just once, Lord, let me make drooling morons out of well-appointed fools; better it is to lead a person into a larger prison, than to leave them bound because you cannot release them.
I imagine that no one wonders at ‘being’ as much as myself, and yet I despair at how little I wonder. And so I take in the jeers and applause, the loneliness and communion, the struggle and the surrender. I take it all in because that is how it comes to me. For life exists as a package. The extremes are limited only by the limitation of their opposites. The life more abundant explodes in every direction. I take it in, chew, swallow, and digest it. I assimilate life. The nature of my being does the rest. That I may puke, shit, or laugh from it is of little matter to me. I love life. It is this unconditional acceptance which is my victory, defeat, doom, passion, and glory.
And for this I can say, with absolute honesty, that this life we are given is limited only by ourselves, and that anyone who puts their heart into it can find their true soul mate, the Great Spirit of Being, Christ, Mary, their siblings on the Tree of Life, the Source, the Finish, Satan, God, and much, much more in this great and unpredictable existence we are in and which we are. It is all here, and it is waiting, and we are the only walls between finitude and infinity, and we are that infinity also.
For in my frantic peregrinations throughout the civilizations and wild lands of this earth, I found our famed Mercurius, the fair Nefertiti, the wild Poseidon, and the perishing Pan. I met and drank with the worn apostle Paul, and was hugged by the new and ever gentler Assisi. I knew those who could converse with animals, and others who saw the Living Light in day. I walked with Christ, was assumed up to heaven, met saints and angels in the ether, was kissed by Mary, coddled by the Mother Earth, and beaten occasionally by the powers.
I also became alerted to the ways of Mara, or Maya, or the Second Mary, as you will. My temptress, my illusion, my lover.
I roamed wild in the tempest of the archetypes, and held audience with the Myths and Muses. I sought wholeness and mercy for all, spoke with men of God, and with God himself on occasion, and let me tell you, life was still all implausible and insane.
I had taken a good run at the great divide I had to cross, and leapt with all my desperate might, but even then I was lucky for the unpredictable stepping stones along the way, and even with them I eventually had to swim in the river warmly meandering nowhere. Oh, let me say this, as the Mercies swelled to meet my sin and anguish, I fell short of the mark and yet was still gently lifted over the line. For as a parent easily lifts a child over a fence which would have been an impenetrable impasse otherwise, so does Christ take us across a line we cannot pass of our own ability. And that alone is why I made it across the desert and out to sea- not because I could leap well, but ...because I was willing to flounder.
And now I remain on this earth, as myself, dodging life’s false responsibilities, listening for the as yet unwritten Word, that I might write it, and hovering weightlessly in between the gravities of two opposing forces, where I continue to survive the hemorrhage of false meanings, forging on to diffidently blaze a precipitous trail through the hazy, hallowed regions, of revolutionary exasperation.
And, to be sure, I continue to learn, to fail, and to be forgiven. For that is what happens in the re-ascent to our immortal selves, where there is no trial without error, and no salvation without sin; where fear eventually becomes loneliness, loneliness becomes acceptance, acceptance turns into faith, and faith leads to union; where confusion becomes revulsion, revulsion becomes indifference, and indifference turns into ...wonder; where reaction turns into action, action turns into inaction, and that ...that is when you become God.
(excerpted from Roots and Wings: adventures of a spirit on earth, by Jack Haas)