Chapter 9: The Dreamer
The frost paints the trees. The wind brings the leaves down. The leaves cannot resist the kiss of the frost and the embrace of the wind. They are seduced. It is autumn. How many autumns, how many deaths, must we endure? How long will we continue to succumb to this brutal seduction? The trees will certainly have their spring. We will certainly not survive our winter. We are so completely compromised that only another seduction can draw us to a springtime of human life.
Ancient religions teach of good and evil, light and darkness. Modern science teaches of action and reaction. Conventional wisdom lures us toward balance. The pain of life drives us toward balance. Balance is not the answer. We may not balance the good and the evil, the light and the darkness, the action and the reaction, and find permanent life. Balance will perpetuate our death. We will remain frozen in an inconclusive struggle.
Truth seems to offer us a promise of life. Alas, the truth has an opposite. Opposed to the truth, there is always a lie. We cannot balance truth and lie to find permanent life. Truth alone cannot save us. There is no end to truth. It is woven through the fabric of eternity, and its infinite continual revelation is meant to be the very source of our fundamental dignity, and the utter joy of our human condition. Truth is the only highway in eternity, not the rough road to eternity. A quest for the truth cannot lead us to eternity. We can never know enough truth to find eternity. If we search for the truth, we have already left our own eternity.
We have made our search for the truth into a quest for eternity, so we cannot see where we really are. The eternal life we seek can only be a transcendental reality capable of containing what cannot be contained - infinity. There can be no end to truth. There can be no beginning to truth. Truth that begins or ends can only give us death. Infinity is the unseen energy of life.
We may hope that love will save us. We may place our frozen hearts in the roaring flames at the center of love's inferno, and they will not melt. We cannot escape the arctic prison our intellect has made for us. We cannot love our way into spring. The spring we long for is love. We cannot find what we have lost by pretending to have it already.
We watch the horizon. The journey of the sun across our human sky grows shorter every day. Soon enough the icy blast of all our unanswered questions will strip us of the greenery of youth and life, and leave us frozen. The merciless frost of our own relentless intellect will burn deep into the soil we mistakenly call home and freeze us out at the roots. We will not be reborn. There will be no spring. We are meant to be a permanent line with no beginning and no end. We are not cyclical. We have encircled ourselves. We have limited what cannot be limited. We have ended what never started.
We are the winter wind we cannot escape. It is our own power that kills us. All that is ahead is nothing. The frozen hulks we become will continue to be torn by the wind until we are blown to a white lifeless dust. Spring will come only when we are reduced to dust, only when the winter wind, deprived of the icy heart that is its source, ceases to blow. Before the terrible force of the sun in that spring, with no hope of an icy wind, we can only disappear. The winter that is us will not be resurrected. We are not able to be reborn. We are not cyclical.
We are the seduced and the seducers. We are in the icy clutches of an idea. An idea has no power of its own to wield over us. An idea exists by the grace of our intellect. We come up with the idea. We surrender to the idea. Our own intellect is our seducer. Its idea is the outward adornment that makes it seductive. Our intellect has seduced itself. Our intellect has looked in the mirror and given itself up to its reflection. We have made ourselves into dreams. We believe we must sow in order to reap.
We were once intellectually real. Now we are only possibilities: airless bloodless dreams. We call ourselves hope. The true name we have become is nothing. We may not sow a dream and reap a reality. We may not reverse our error. We were once real, and we sowed our reality and reaped the nothingness of dreams. We may not sow ourselves and reap ourselves, regardless of our original state. If we are to live, we must reap where we have not sown. We must be seduced from the embrace of intellectual self-seduction.
I do not want a magical mystery tour. I do not want dreams and visions, voices in my head, or voices in the sky. I do not want superstition, mystery, or symbolism. I do not want signs in the heavens or wonders on the earth. I do not want to speak in unknown tongues, or experience mysterious healing, or see mountains moved with a word. I do not want anything, or anyone, opposed to the humanity I cannot seem to love. I must have the plain and unattractive embrace of a hopeless, dreamless intellect.
I do not want a burning bush, or a pillar of fire, or a glowing cloud of presence. I do not want prophecy, or law, or divine inspiration. I must have the sword that is reason without prejudice. I do not care if what I truly love must be put to that sword. What I truly love will kill me. What I truly love is not worthy of my love. What I know I must love, but cannot seem to love, is what I must defend. All that is worthy in me of love is what I abandoned in favor of a prettier dream, a more dazzling reflection. The sword of reason can only strike down such bloodless vanity.
I want to make the man Jesus my king. I want to make the man Jesus my God. He is my human brother. Even on the cross, I want to kiss his mouth deeply, tasting all of his humanity. I want to kiss away his tears and sweat, and kiss the blood off his face. I want to kiss his hands and feet, and throw my arms around his broken body. I want to lay his head upon my breast. I want to place my ear to his heaving heart. I want to embrace him with all the passion in my own humanity. Even if he dies there in my arms, I still want to make him my king: I still want to make him my God. Like some long ago Celtic warrior, I want to strip my garments, but for a sword, and carry his dead body to its tomb. I want to be sealed in that tomb of fabulous humanity with him. I want to stay and kiss the rotting flesh from off his bones. I want to stay and kiss his bones into dust. I want to stay and beat my sword into a terrible crown, and crown the very dust he has become as king, and melt into the dust myself, and hold him there forever, dust to dust.
Alas, though his body arise from the dust before my eyes, I will not truly love him, and he cannot be my king; because his grandest glory, his successful humanity, is not mine. If he has risen, if he lives, that bright reality is his, not mine. If he lives, it is because he was not seduced. I may have abandoned a grander, brighter reality than his. The reflection of my intellect may have been far more seductive, far more beautiful than his. Perhaps he could not dream.
He cannot save me by succeeding where I have failed. The relevance and significance of his success is too closely related to his potential for failure. The scope of our dreams is the measure of our potential for failure. His success cannot save me. I cannot be lured to him by what I could have been, by what I am already unable to love. It is even less likely that I can be lured to him by what he is. I have been seduced by something more beautiful than what I should be. Only another seduction can save me.
We have made human life into an endless search for meaning. We have accumulated countless libraries of information on the human condition, yet even if we memorized every word in every book in every library, we would still be unable to completely define ourselves and give ourselves a proven meaning.
When we begin to search for our meaning by accumulating knowledge about ourselves, we are engaging ourselves in an ill-fated attempt to define infinity. The human condition we are attempting to define is infinite. For every something we define, there are more new unknowns. The more things we define, the more new unknowns there are to define. The more knowledge we accumulate about the human condition, the less we know about it. Our search for meaning, our quest for definition, is an unlearning experience. We are literally unlearning ourselves. This search for meaning is unnatural to our structure. We are meant to become meaning inevitably, not to search for our meaning in order to establish it. If we are able to suspect we are, we are something. If we suspect we are something, then we are established; but we do not know what established us, how we were established, or why we were established. If we are able to suspect we are, we are not self-definitive, but we are self-aware.
Self-awareness is not something we bring upon ourselves in a voluntary conscious act. It is an irrational realization consciously grasped. Self-awareness is a cataclysmic intellectual metamorphosis. Prior to becoming self aware, we are; but we do not suspect we are. After we become self aware, we suspect that we are. Self-awareness is suspecting that we are. The fundamental cause of self-awareness is an involuntary separation from reality. Once such separation has occurred, we may snap back to reality; but we will not be the same. We will suspect that we are.
An involuntary separation from reality if just dreaming. Our self-awareness is founded when we wake up from our first dream. Our first dream is of ourselves, since there is nothing else to dream of in our primordial state. When we wake up from such a dream, we have made what we are, which is all that we could dream of, a memory. If we have made what we are a memory, we have separated from our previous reality and now can only suspect that we are.
If we call ourselves something, because we suspect we are, our ultimate beginning, or our source of our beginning as something, can only have been nothing. Ultimately, something can only have come from nothing. If our reason is without prejudice, it is logical for us to theorize that an ultimate beginning must be absolute nothing. Our first dream is of what we are before we are self-aware. Our first dream is of being that does not suspect it is. We all begin as the essence of absence and solitude.
The nature of absolute nothing is absolute solitude. The absolute nothing can only be absolutely alone. Whatever is absolutely alone is also the absolute everything and all. This is being that does not suspect it is. This is the primordial essence from which we come. Such an essence can only be a seething pool of inevitable self-evolution. Such an essence can only be destined to be born from itself as something else.
An essence that is being, that does not suspect it is, has yet to be separated from its own imagination. Such an essence can only be infinite and eternal. Its being and its imagination are the same thing. Whatever it is, it has imagined itself as; and whatever it has imagined, it is. Whatever it imagines is real. Its imagination and its being are the same and are in the same reality. An essence that is being, that does not suspect it is, is a reality founder. Such an essence is an infinite founder, founding an infinitely expansive reality of infinitely expanding infinite realities. Such an essence will remain as it is only as long as it is unaware that it is.
It is inevitable that a primordial single essence of such fabulous and wonderful potential of such explosively joyous being, becomes self-aware. The shear joy of its unencumbered unrestrained being is enough to mesmerize itself into sleep. The small joys of our present limited reality are often enough to send us off to a peaceful dreamland. The unbounded immeasurable joy of such unrestrained primordial being is certain to send it to sleep. The greater the being, how much greater again the joy. Furthermore, the same joy which sends the primordial being to sleep and dreaming is certain to manifest itself in the beings fabulous dreams and startle the being awake and back to reality. As soon as the primordial being awakens and realizes it has been dreaming, it has become self-aware.
Once the absolute nothing, that is the absolute only, that is the absolute everything and all, has become self aware, it is quite similar to what we see ourselves as. It suspects that it is. Its imagination is separated from its reality. Its dreams are unlimited; but its reality, though unbounded, is also unproved. Reality becomes a curse, and dreams are thorns of torture to such a self-aware single primordial being.
If we can honestly say, "I think I am", we should be able to see sooner or later what we are meant to eventually become. At the very least, we should admit to ourselves that being self-aware is better and higher than not being self-aware. To be sure, it is torture; but that is only because there is more to know and become.
It is not necessary for humanity to prove to itself that there is a God. The idea of God is really an intellectual glitch. We will all eventually inevitably become children of our highest aspirations. It is not necessary for humanity to prove to itself that any God became self-aware irrationally and accidentally. It is not necessary for humanity to know how our God became self-aware. We are already self-aware. The legendary Jesus was self-aware. If this Jesus were to return, he could put all things about humanity right with just one word - brothers. A God needs no words to make himself known to humanity. Words are our highest aspiration. Love is relentlessly speaking, making other known. We do not need words for proof. We are words. The love that is humanity in this world is more than adequate to reveal our aspiration God our Father and the legendary Jesus our brother.
The journey to realization is the same for us all. I think I am. I suspect that I am but cannot prove it. I am a shadow on the ground that disappears into a night I cannot hold back. The outline of my meaning is marked by a light above me. I am spoken of in whispers just outside my hearing.
Before the beginning, there is outrage. Outrage is the inability to be. Outrage is the abused child. Outrage is unproved feeling. Outrage is the deepest prison at the bottom of the night out of which all of the night pours. Outrage is insanity. Outrage is the flame that burns but cannot consume. Outrage is absolute death.
Before the beginning, there is despair. Despair is the inability to find a way to be. Despair is a feeling of being without proof. Despair is the prison above outrage. Despair is the never-ending desert. Despair is the empty altar in the flames that burn but cannot consume. Despair is the orphan. Despair is absolute desolation.
Before the beginning, there is the only. Before the beginning, there is the absolute nothing. The absolute nothing is the only. Before the beginning, there is the all and everything. The only is being without proof. The only is the name without meaning. The only is the useless bravado of outrage and the empty dignity of despair. The only is the self-fathered child. The only is the prison above despair. The only is the continuously consumed holocaust on the empty altar of despair in the forever burning flames of outrage that cannot consume. The only has no meaning. The only is nameless.
Before the beginning, there is self-sacrifice. Before the beginning, there is continual destruction of what can never be destroyed, in order to find its meaning. Self-sacrifice, in order to find the meaning of self, is the eternal torture of the infinite, in order to find the end of what never ends. Self-sacrifice is the inability to begin. Self-sacrifice is the prison above the only. Self-sacrifice is the smoke. Self-sacrifice is the meaning of the quest for meaning. Self-sacrifice is the permanent hunger. Self cannot name itself. Self-sacrifice is hell.
Before the beginning, there is exhaustion. Before the beginning, there is the exhaustion of boredom, not the exhaustion of completion. The exhaustion of boredom is the fundamental self crushed beneath the weight of the sorrow and misery of self-sacrifice. The exhausted self sees, hears, and feels only a numbing rhythm as itself. The exhausted self blends the maniacal scream of outrage, the dry whimper of despair, the desperate yell of the only, and the driven howl of self-sacrifice, into a single rhythmic tone. The exhaustion of boredom is the lullaby of self. Exhaustion is the prison above self-sacrifice. Exhaustion separates the hope of being from the inability to prove being. Exhaustion is the sleep of death.
Before the beginning, there is a sleeper. Collapsed in the smoke at the altar of self-sacrifice, there is the sleeper. The sleeper is exhausted by its quest for proof of being and soon will only dream of being. The sleeper has given up trying to prove its being. The unproved infinity and eternity, the self and being of the sleeper, has lulled itself to sleep with the rhythmic pulse of its own terror. The sleeper is imprisoned above exhaustion. It is asleep.
In the beginning, there is a dreamer. He dreams across the Jordan; the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley. Here, beside cold water, a blue rose grows. I watch young people dance around this fire. They flicker in and out this savage night, but if they go they cannot lose their way. All roads lead home.