Now we come to the ultimate point, as we so quickly do on any topic: boiling everything down to the original Source of everything.
The quality of self-sufficiency comes from that Source and you can measure goodness by the degree to which all lower life forms are self-sufficient. Things are as real as the amount of goodness they contain. Commerce, farming, hunting, whaling, war, eloquence, personal weight—they're all partly real, and are interesting examples of both Creation's presence and its impure action.
I see the same law working in nature for conservation and growth. Power, in nature, is the essential measure of right.
Nature has no mercy
for members of her kingdoms
that can't help themselves.
The genesis and maturing of a planet, it's rotation and orbit, the bent tree recovering from the strong wind, the vital resources of every animal and vegetable—they're all demonstrations of the self-sufficient and therefore self-reliant soul.
So everything eventually comes back to this point. Let's not wander, then. Let's stay home with the source. Let's shock the intruding rabble of men, books, and institutions by a simple declaration of the divine fact. Tell the invaders to remove their shoes before entering; this is God's house. Let our simplicity judge them and our obedience to our own law show how poor nature and fate are next to our native riches.
We're a mob these days. We don't stand in awe of great men, nor do we discipline ourselves to look inward for our inspiration, to commune with the internal ocean. Instead, our inspiration goes out to borrow a cup of water from someone else's well. We must go it alone.
I like the silent church before the service begins better than any preaching. How distant, how calm, how pure the others look, each in their own private world or sanctuary. If we could only sit like that all the time—
Why should we take on the faults
of our friend or wife or father or child
just because they sit on our sofa
or supposedly have the same blood?
All men have my blood and I have all of theirs. That doesn't mean I'll adopt their irritability or stupidity, even to the extent of being ashamed of it.
But your isolation must not be mechanical—it must be spiritual, must be elevation. Sometimes the whole world seems to be in a conspiracy to enroll you in some urgent trivia. Friend, client, child, sickness, fear, want, and charity all knock at once on your closet door and say, "Come with us!" But keep your balance; don't enter into their confusion. The power people have to annoy me I give them through mild curiosity. No one can come near me without me causing it.
What we love, we have; what we desire, we lose.
Last Edited: May 03, 2000
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© 1997 Richard Brodie. All rights reserved.