Deep in the recesses of our wounded social soul breathes the hidden beast seeking for both identity and meaning. Humanity’s trite questions still linger like some vague snore from the sleepy lips of that Dragon. Humanity’s need to know who they are beyond self-definition in the face of social preferences and what value they may proclaim is defined by the dreams of that Dragon watching a chorus of otters cry in despair for having to live in the ocean, riding the waves of some capricious force at play with them, yet indifferent to them.
Despair at every turn and the need to be unique is yet a devil ready to rule. Its name is Progress. Progress has nothing to do with rejoicing over genuine accomplishments. No, it thrives on that same undefined despair, the very breath of the Dragon. It is the lingering EMPTY. The undefinable, overbearing, in our faces, 24/7 sense of things not fitting just right. It is the universal motivator of humanity, cross-gender and cross-cultural. It screams to be completed while being mesmerized by fleeting mirages that entice us to do...just do for doing sake. It, with nothing in particular, promises us the desire to be other than what we are and at the same moment bates us to try something else.
This cry for unity, when self-defined, is birthed from an empty womb of despair. It is the child of effort and the grandchild of defiance. Fear motivates it, so it perpetrates fear for fear’s sake. As if the prize of life is having endured life itself, it amplifies the sense of lack within and broadcasts over a loudspeaker a continual dirge. The prize for enduring life and the continual haunting of certain death encourages a tenuous hope for a better tomorrow that will magically gift a benevolent existence. They think all will be right just because they lived and died. In short, heaven is for those who suffer living. It is the inevitable reward for having endured the dirge.
Yet nothing could be so corrupt as this parade of doubts. The cry for unity is itself the Dragon’s breath. It cries for what it has, but cannot sense except as a vague hope. The very tangible sensations of perfection play across the strings of each soul whose melodic intentions invite us to dance, yet it becomes the dirge itself. Like remembering a lost pet that sparked us to play, the memory of playing itself drowns out the play just felt. Before we can hear a single phrase or sing a single stanza, a turnabout rudely interrupts the flow and becomes a problem to solve.
Where life was meant to invite us to dance, now, from this devil crying “change”, it puts aside every moment as if the next were the prize. The present is transformed into a sad event so we can try to have a better next. Oh, there are respites of hope, even addictive highs, most of which lead to despair. Tiny repetitions of gaining the prize fall vacuous at our feet. Its satisfaction vanishes all too quickly leaving yet again a need to gain what will never remain. The very EMPTY wins again and motivates us to do what we have done, fearing all the while the sense of futility just ahead.
Then on some unnamed precipice, with but a tiny breeze, the fog dissipates, the Dragon stops snoring, the devil disappears, and the chores of Life ring through. It may be for just a split second. It may so enrapt your soul that you cannot escape it, but the vista is spectacular, the gift is tangible, the joy of living splashes up and out of you. God shows up, no longer as the other, but as the Author. More, ever so much more, the Finisher as well. Overwhelmed by the fact of His inescapable presence, the Dragon’s breath is replaced with the breath of Life. The very same EMPTY is transformed into the ALL and every little thing you could ever desire. Peace silences that gnawing desire to become, and rest enters with such permission and power that Life begins, as with Kafka, to fall at your feet, looking intently into your soul, and begin to laugh out loud with such a contagious laugh that you cannot but help join. The need to become is extinguished by the lack of lack.
Yet nothing has changed. It never had to change. The Dragon never existed as imagined. The EMPTY was the lie dressing the ALL, the unbounded all, as something you could not contain nor express. But now, this new breath of Truth chooses a pitch, clears its throat, and with the same orchestra called everyday life sings out love, wholeness, completeness, perfectness, and most of all unity. Not a unity to gain, but a unity to express.
The need for unity is extinguished by the very present ALL. The struggle to become is replaced with ‘just do what is next’. The inspirations have expired and the eye of God looks at and through you at the same time. There is no escape, never was. We have always been drowning in the ocean of Love. From that precipice, now looking at a crystal clear vista and a profound endless cliff, we take that leap of faith and disown both self-authorship and purpose. Dean Chicquette August 9, 2019