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Fragment V (Morning Song)

Fragment V

The Divine Image

Before you were born your face was like a star seen from galaxies away, and if someone were to look closely and focus only on you, it would as if they were staring at the sun. If no one was looking, there would be nothing but light, uniform in infinite space. To return to that from which all things come, the Ground of Being, is to become transparent. This is the kingdom of the eternal, and all things that leave it are subject to time and mutability.

The explanations are infinite and we are finite. Our efforts to understand will always lead to pairs of contradictions. God is Truth, that explanation that resolves all contradictions so that both sides of the antinomy are both true and false. To become Truth is to stop forming thoughts as truth claims and let go of pure logic. It is to stop evaluating one’s assertions based on whether they are absolutely verifiable. Truth is a state of being in which the divine ground manifests itself in the individual as Love, Peace, Pity, and Mercy. The divine image is of a self that rests transparently in the Power that established it.


For You I Will Sacrifice Everything

If he is willing to lose that which he holds dearest, then he will not lose it. If he offers everything that he is to the Power that established him, then that Power will fill him and he will wish to be nothing else, to have nothing more nor to change anything. Love, Pity, Peace, and Mercy; those are the foundations of a strong soul and they are the notes of divine music. It requires strength to overcome oneself and lay back into the stillness of being. In truth, we perceive all our enemies to be outside of us when really they are within us, and we are lost among them.


Know thyself, and thou knowest the world.

That art thou, and thou art that.


Confessions

April 29

Nothing has become more complicated in today’s age than being a father. The ordinary state of the modern mind is illness, and it is difficult to navigate oneself toward wellbeing, let alone make the right decisions for a child to emerge out of youth undamaged. The parents I know buy books on how to raise kids who are responsible, equanimous, and social, but I have seen those same kids grow into anxious and reckless teenagers. I have a friend who focused on teaching his daughter “self-confidence,” and in junior high she was suspended for making a list of the ugliest girls in her grade. It is almost impossible to strike the balance between instilling the right values in your child and letting that child discover those values for himself. There are methods of parenting that are deemed correct and they dictate the way children are raised more than anything else. I followed those methods, but now that I am going to give them up and do something that is not for my children or for myself, I will be misunderstood. My own family will hate me for some time. But doing the right thing beyond what you want to be the right thing, or what you have been told is the right thing, and instead acting according to an ideal that is higher than the rules humanity has constructed, necessarily means being a mystery to others. It often means being despised and outcast.


I live alone now—my wife and I divorced about a year ago. I cannot go back on my vow to give away half my income. So, I keep a quarter of my income since my wife takes half, and I am not complaining about that, but I do not feel very free right now. My children and wife do not feel free either, and I genuinely believe that they all need time on their own. They are sick of me thinking so hard about every decision we have to make, but I have to make sure I make the right decision. My wife and I became so toxic for each other, and that is very painful to say. It is painful to write these words when even I cannot understand what I believe I should do, and a lot of the time I believe it is the worst thing that I could do. But they all need time to themselves, and I need time to help those who I can help and who need someone to be selfless.


I love my children more than my father loved me, and I know that now I cannot do anything more for him but pray. I want to be a teacher to my son and daughter and save them from the suffering that I went through. I cannot do that without performing the real action of my life, and being able to instruct them not through describing my ideals but through embodying them and expressing them with my presence. I am not a coward, nor was my father, because we both cared about doing everything possible to avoid passing our sins down to our children. My father was mistaken in letting me take the path of least resistance, moving in a crowd rather than on my own. I have tried not to make this mistake, but while I am here I am also in the crowd.


I did not grow up with a mother, and I understand the journey my son is going through better than what my daughter is experiencing, because I feel that my son is me and my daughter is different, I think better. Maybe I have not passed down all my vices to her. All young men must go through the crucible of life if they are like me, my father, or my son. Certain things can only be communicated by talking about one’s own experience, but how could I possibly tell my son about my childhood. How can a father tell his son about all the nights of angry tears and teeth-gnashing, when your most passionate thought was a curse against the day you were born, and your most genuine plea was for total annihilation and oblivion? I used to press knives into my palms and imagine that I was Christ so that for a second my suffering was for something. I understood hate better than I should have because I felt it toward the world, but my pity for others was even stronger because I believed that all humans were victims of a malevolent universe. Hatred and compassion together are the marks of a tragic hero, but I had no way to be a hero. The young man who despises himself for his failure to find repose but is absolutely convinced of his own worldview is consumed with the most miserable of contradictions, self-loathing and pride, and his suffering is unfathomable to those who have not read Goethe and Byron, or seen their mother destroy herself.


May 1

I’m going back to the country where my mother and father were born, I’m going to a Monastery deep in the Russian mountains, and I am going to pray for all of mankind. And then I am going to go out and perform my works for the suffering.

Yes, it is laughable, but how serious must I be? At times I laugh, at others I cry, but no longer do I despair, because I have found my way. All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare, but with humility and grace they can be achieved for the common good.

Those great individuals in history who have changed the world for the better have all believed in a Universal Being. I have believed in it since I was young, before I could even really think about it, but that intuitive wisdom slowly receded as I inflicted more and more wounds on myself. There is no place for doubt anymore if I choose to walk down this path because it can only be walked with faith. There is a God. I believe he is there in the unknown, and I have faith that he loves me and everything else in creation.




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