Free spirit and society: remaining free in an imprisoned society
A book excerpt from the Iconoclast Press online library.
When you fall, as we all have fallen- from the stars, through the stratosphere, down the womb, out the canal, into the heart, and unto humanity, you are instantly captured, incarcerated, whipped, starved, indoctrinated, degraded and controlled. They get you quickly, and the horrors multiply unceasingly.
It’s as if you are dropped into the sea, dragged helplessly under until you run out of breath, and only then do you begin to thrash with enough wild frenzy to break free. But even if you do break away, you still have to swim an incredible distance back to the surface, with nothing left in you but exhaustion and pain. It is desperate, to rise up with your body, from the bottom, without a breath to relieve you, nor a strong hand to tug you along.
This makes it much harder to fulfill our destinies. And yet fulfill them we must, for we have each been sent to this unique corner of the cosmos for a specific reason. And we must wake up, remember who we are, where we came from, and what odd and singular purpose originated the reason for us coming to this realm of matter and madness, to this world where people seem intent on keeping themselves in hell, a hell into which we then become accustomed, and do not consider leaving until most of us are so far immersed in the dark labyrinth that to then leave means a complete reversal of the direction we had been heading, which is to begin the long and lonely journey back to the beginning, to that place we had never really left but only forgotten, to our own sacred ‘I’.
It’s all about what we’ve got inside ourselves- what hunger, and longing, and rage built up from centuries of folly and separation- what passion we have to drive our selves through the walls of false understandings, irrelevant lies, useless facts, rules, and fears.
We must rise up every morning out of the ashes we each became in the lonely night before. We must rise up like ghosts from the death of unlove, into the impoverished world, and forge on another yard, or foot, or inch, whatever we’ve got left in ourselves. But we must, for our own sake and no other’s. When the spirit has departed and the flesh remains intact, that is when the true work begins.
No longer do we grow peacefully upward like sublime lotuses, gently rising above the mud. Now is the day we must push our flesh up through mankind’s hardened cement, and learn to blossom like mountain roses through the stone, with all our glorious, soft beauty, protected by our sharpened, merciless thorns.
And the only way I know to do that is to be yourself, to forgive yourself, to love yourself, and to forget yourself. To connect all the disparate layers of existence through the quicksilver of the self. Of the self. To be of. To return to God in the midst of things. To be the God-flesh of our own becoming. To deny nothing, to renounce nothing. To accept. To be of. To be.
There is no way home but to become home. There is no way back but to go forward. There is no way out but to go in. There is no way to become free but to forget everything we have ever been told, to start again, and to never look back from that road. We must dance again to the cosmic song, with the rapture of the lilies.
For society’s comfort and monotony will only put us to sleep. Schools will teach us to turn away from beauty, and we will turn. Petty pursuits will unfill our infinite hollows. We will call it happiness when events conspire to distract us from the anguish of not knowing ourselves. Image will kill imagination, sight will blot the sky, thought will bind the heart, and we will live not laughing, and die without shedding tears.
And thus to fly free from such inertia will take everything we’ve got. Determination. That one word sums it up for me. Until I was determined to exalt, and love, and live my own life, I had no chance. And, to be sure, the day I decided it was time to leave my own hell, was the day the doors began unlocking ...of their own accord. For there is only one way out of hell, and that is the wish to leave, and that is all. But then, I also knew the costs. I knew that in a secret bliss to shame the gods I would walk life’s empty streets as the loneliest person alive. Lost and hungry I would fall in a cold rain weeping. The vultures of spirit would pick me clean of meat. Innocently I would come, undefeated I would go. I would exist without knowledge or meaning. I would be gentle and mad. The world would dwindle completely. And I would live forever.
(excerpted from Roots and Wings: adventures of a spirit on earth, by Jack Haas)
Books by Jack Haas: Autobiography, Memoir, Spirituality, Mysticism, Comparative Religion, Poetry, Art, Photography.