There is no life after death, but there is an eternity. Being rooted in it it no longer matters if there is a life after death — or, said from the opposite bank, death achieves its purpose and opens us to eternity, not to an afterlife, but to a here-and-now eternity. Death itself becomes its white flower, its most fragrant sigh, its sigh of overflowing gratitude.
Is the tree less surrendered to love for rising towards the sky and asserting itself, its own height and elevation? Is it less in unity and oneness for affirming itself, its own identity and uniqueness? For wanting to rise higher than its surroundings? For wanting to look down on its surroundings, and high towards the sky? Is it not a betrayal of its duty to its oneness if it refuses to assert its own difference, its own necessarily partial view of the sky towards which it rises? — Replace the tree with man and you will find much of modern spirituality vanishing with a whiff of bad breath, vanishing to reveal itself as a sewer, and one giving discharge to…
Change sets in and our first reaction is one of resistance; we fear the pull into the unknown, and the way it forcefully pushes itself into our lives without care for our feelings. So we resist, yet simultaneously and reluctantly react, as we must, since change will not disappear simply because we wish it. Yet down the river and as its waters pull us further and further from the shore where we felt safe, we notice how we are no longer looking back; we have accustomed ourselves now to the motion, the waterfalls, and the eddies of the water, have grown perhaps the suitable set of muscles to swim these particular curves, and are now coming to a new shore we were not previously aware of its existence. Our resistance ceases, and our fear drops away. The water throws us upon this new shore, and, looking back, we feel a subtle gratefulness in our hearts as we become aware of just what it is we gained by being thus hurled out of our safety into an unknown and something not common to us. Surely, we have gained a new set of skills we previously lacked, skills we are now eager to practice and show off and perform, skills enabling a better grasp upon our life, a better navigation through life. We also laugh at our resistance, and deem it a bit infantile from our part, that we resist precisely where we should embrace and be daring. We understand that change will come again, and that as it comes we will still fall upon our age old emotional mechanism and resist; but, we hope, time after time our resistance will lessen as in contrast our sense of daring will gain the upper hand; we hope that, one day, we will become seafarers and daredevils, daring the widest ocean and the most unsettling experience to come our way.
The wine only becomes wine in dark cellars, my friend. When a darkness sets in, welcome it, show it the way out by using it, by putting it into action; use it as a motive and motivation, and if you cannot see the shore or where it is your going, then just use its dark ferment and awesome power just to keep going. Use it in a poem, or jog it out, or let it be the edge of your brush pouring color on a canvas, or let it be your lips spilling out the most intimate things to your lover, even they don’t make sense, even if you don’t know exactly what it is you’re saying. When a darkness sets in, welcome it, embrace it, and after a while you’ll begin to understand what a blessing a darkness is, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll begin to befriend and miss it.
Man is good not because of a primordial quality, something which in him exists in a natural state apart from society, but because the possibility of being good exists for him in his future, because, molded the right way, he can become so in his future. So it is a future seed with a retroactive force that acquires of him the full weight of his soul to actually become, and not something lurking in his past which requires of him to passively submit and surrender. So it is with love; love, which demands of him not to unlearn everything as the modern nihilists would like us believe, unlearn everything and revert back to a pure and unsoiled state, but to learn and educate himself so much as to become able to love. Goodness and love are romanticized by those who lack them most, and those who, pierce a little into their soul, you’d find them to be infested with maliciousness and hate.
A friend is someone who brings us back to ourselves whenever we drift, sometimes through a kind word, at times with a hard gesture. A friend remains close to us even when we think they’re far, that our pain and ache are incommunicable, even when we think we are abandoned by the world, left to meet the weight of everything on our own. A friend is someone who knows how to wait, when and how to administer the shot.