After all this, the highest truth on this subject remains unsaid. It probably can't really be said, because everything we say is the far-off remembering of the intuition. My best approximation of that thought, though, is this.
When something good is near—
when you have life in yourself—
it's not by any familiar or known way.
You won't notice anyone else's footprints.
You won't see anyone's face.
You won't hear any name.
The way, the thought, the good will be totally new and strange. It won't follow any example or experience. The way leads away from you, not toward someone else. Everyone who ever lived is its forgotten minister. Both fear and hope are beneath it. Even hope is somewhat below it. In your hour of vision, there's nothing you could call either gratitude or joy. The soul elevated beyond passion sees identity and ultimate cause, perceives the self-existence of Truth and Right, and calms itself by knowing that everything's going well. Vast spaces of nature—the Atlantic Ocean, the South Seas—long intervals of time—years, centuries—mean nothing. This thought, this feeling, underlay every past moment of life and circumstances. It underlies my present, and what we call life, and what we call death.
Only living matters, not having lived. Power dies the instant you stop and rest; it lives in the moment of transition from the past to a new state, in leaping across a gulf, in pursuing a purpose.
This is one fact the world hates: that the soul becomes. That fact permanently devalues the past. It turns all wealth to poverty, all reputation to shame. It confuses the saint with the crook and shoves Jesus and Judas equally aside.
Why then do I ramble on about self-reliance? To the degree there's a soul present, power isn't something to trust, it's something that's there working. To talk of reliance is a poor external way of speaking.
Let's talk instead about that which is already inside us, relying, working, and being. Anyone who has more obedience to it than I do masters me without lifting a finger. I revolve around him by the law of gravity applied to our spirits. We imagine it's a figure of speech when we talk about the height of virtue. We don't yet see that virtue really is Height.
A man or group of people
who are molded and permeated by principles
must, by the laws of nature,
overpower and override
all cities, nations, kings, rich men, and poets
who are not.
Last Edited: May 03, 2000
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© 1997 Richard Brodie. All rights reserved.