Monday, August 24, 2015

The Invisible Horizon

To transcend the world is to row out from the shore, but not to put out to sea forever. Putting out sea forever is death. Transcendence is rowing away from the shoreline and rowing back in when necessary -- coming back in for supplies and for necessary human interactions.

Mostly, transcendence is living on the water, within sight of the land, but floating on the bosom of the hissing, sparkling, salty enormousness of the wine-dark ocean. One cannot stay on the water, but if he manages to spend more and more time there, most of his life is gently rocked by the rising and falling of the water, and he is peaceful and ever aware of the unimaginably huge limitlessly gentle power of the Universe. That peace is the best thing in life, but it cannot sustain life. Time ashore is necessary...

...but travels between sea and sand require crossing the breakers, both heading in and out, and sometimes one gets wet and sometimes the boat is capsized. Travel between the place at which one is in the world and the place where one is of the world can be treacherous and riptides lurk there, unseen but deadly.

The Sage knows that he must stay aware of his position. He must know when it is time to stray farther from the strand and when it is time to come back to the land for the fresh water of necessity.

After a lifetime of practice, the Sage might even be in control enough to take the final journey on his own terms; to row and row on the last day, out toward the horizon, and to disappear...out to sea, forever. Not to throw himself into the water and sink, coughing and convulsing in panic, but to close his eyes and will the boat silently away to the invisible horizon.

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