Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Eternal Wizardry

Society never advances. It recedes as fast on one side as it gains on the other. It undergoes continual changes; it is barbarous, it is civilized, it is Christianized, it is rich, it is scientific; but this change is not amelioration. For everything that is given, something is taken. Society acquires new arts, and loses old instincts. What a contrast between the well-clad reading, writing, thinking American, with a watch, a pencil and a bill of exchange in his pocket and the naked Indian whose property is a club, a spear, a mat and an undivided twentieth of a shed to sleep under! But compare the health of the two men and you shall see that the white man has lost his aboriginal strength.

The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. He is supported on crutches, but lacks so much support of muscle. He has a fine Geneva watch, but he fails of the skill to tell the hour by the sun. A Greenwich nautical almanac he has and so being sure of the information when he wants it, the man in the street does not know a star in the sky. The solstice he does not observe; the equinox he knows a little; and the whole bright calendar of the year is without a dial in his mind. His note-books impair his memory, libraries overload his wit; the insurance office increases the number of accidents; and it may be a question whether machinery does not encumber; whether we have not lost by refinement some energy, by Christianity entrenched in establishments and forms, some vigor of wild virtue. For every Stoic was a Stoic; but in Christendom where is the Christians?

Ralph Waldo Emerson’s 1841 essay Self-Reliance shakes the cobwebs out of our over-the-top mind quest to have more; to be more, and to believe that our beliefs are the only thoughts that count in our ascension to the unknown land of eternal wizardry. We fail to see the beauty of being content in the moment, so we cast our ego out into the storm of materialistic chauvinism and are blinded by our greed.

Our politicians flounder in a sea of narrow-minded righteousness, and our religious gurus continue to battle the Satan created by their separatist attitude. We float in mass of soggy mental seaweed and can’t sense the floor of knowing that the seaweed uses for nourishment. We blame others for sickness and criticize the system for holding us captive in a senseless dream we created for ourselves.

But, all this self-created contrast justifies our existence. All the pain we inflict on our self and others verifies our search for awareness. All the hatred we fling on the tips of our verbal arrows becomes boomerangs for the soul. The soul is creative activity, and it expands from experiences of its counterparts. As a counterpart of the soul, we do all these things in order to sense the eternal expansion of consciousness. That is what I call God.

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