‘Who knows if the spirit of man mounts upward or if the spirit of the beast goes down to the earth?’ (Ecclesiastes 3:21).
We are born and, without taking thought, are molded into people we think we are, a boy or girl at first, then a man or woman, husband or wife, and gradually our likes and dislikes, our knowledge and our ignorance, our passions and our fears, collect our multiple, often contradictory selves, into a boxful of identity to which we can give a name.
But it is all so fleeting. As the Indian calls it, no more than maya, illusion. Yet what we are is real, is solid, at least to the touch, ours from the inside, and theirs from the outside. The questions, who are we, who do we belong to, are we just ‘dust in the wind’ or are we permanent, and who or what is permanent, if anything or anyone, do not trouble us.
We may be leaves caught up in the wind, but nevertheless we exist, if only for a brief moment in time. Soon, it will all be over. Soon, we will be no more. How do we know this? Just look around. We are a visible between two invisibles, a waking between two sleeps, a day between two nights, a light between two darknesses, meaning caught in the jaws of unmeaning.
The scientist indifferent to God may theorize our physical definition and our ephemeral personality as the result of blind, purposeless evolution, vestiges of events previous equally meaningless, illusory. God, Himself the meaning of the universe He creates, does not stop to examine His own thoughts which we are, or ask Himself what or whom to conceive, His ‘let there be.’
Life unconscious of itself flows from His hands, world upon world. He releases it, and then receives it again unto Himself, with a characteristic that, at its lowest level, we call ‘love,’ and try to emulate. We know somehow that this alone exceeds both time and space, allows movement in the five directions forward and back, and delivers the invisible into our grasp.
Unbox oneself. Disperse the multiple, contradictory selves. Let passions and fears run to waste, knowledge and ignorance lay down their arms, likes and dislikes shrivel into non-entity. Be received back into the arms of love. Invisibly sleep in the night of unmeaning darkness. He hovers over, breathing Himself over that peaceful sea, making home its waves.
The gap unbridgeable has been closed, is no more. The Cross laid down, foundation for all space and time, dissolves the treachery of bent wills and unblindfolds forever the eyes of the universe. With eyes wide open, finally, we can see what we see. Thought no longer works against us, and memory, cleansed forever of its crimes, shines, a bright mirror of only one face, His.