To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand,
And Eternity in an hour.
From Augeries of Innocence by John Milton
These are such simple words yet so deeply profound. It is these words that lie at the core of my own existential searching. I believe that immortality, true immortality that is of the soul transcendent of the flesh must surely exist within visionary insights such as these. That which is simple is also most true and yet so often that simplicity seems unattainable, perhaps because we fail to grasp the importance of simplicity, or perhaps because we chose to deceive ourselves with intellectual complexities that are neither helpful nor needed. So long clothe ourselves in self-deception and vain illusions we shall never see what life can really be let alone achieve its great promise! The Promise… It is the promise that we are really after, though we often lose sight of that. It may not be the reason we exist but it is certainly the reason that strive for more than mere existence. Who among us does not wish to break free of the fetters holding us firmly our own deceptions! This is transcendence and when we achieve it, if only for a moment then we feel our feet grow light as we are lifted up to grand and terrible heights of a potential fully realized. Maybe this is the shock of being present before the godhead, that stark, awe-inspiring, life altering moment when the universe breaks through all our barriers and we see for the first time our own true natures reflected upon its surface. Was this what Moses saw on the mount? Not some bearded face as the old masters depicted but his own purpose, his own higher truth reflected? Is this God?
As children we grow and learn, shedding the skins that prove to be to constraining for us just as Kaa, the ancient python instructed young Mowgli to “cast his skin”. Why should it be any different when we have reached adulthood? Why do we reject the simple wisdom learned in childhood? Because our intellects have become overburdened, because our reason demands complexity all the while our soul screams out for simplicity! The journey into wisdom does not end when our physical stature grows to its fullest, the journey simply turns down unexpected roads and paths not seen before; paths that can be trodden only by new statures and by men clothed in new skin. It is a pity that so few ever understand this and fewer still ever seek out those new paths. Such wonders are there to see if only we would cast our own skins more often.
Look around you now, look closely and see all the discarded skins of youth, of innocence and of past thoughts held sacred. They are the ground upon which we walk, the sod of a garden springing eternal. They are the things left behind, left to vanish from memory, or so we think. They are always present, beneath our feet propping us up. It is the road we pave for our future selves. That is where our destiny lies; this is where our purpose is realized. That is where we meet God face to face, a son or a daughter meeting our father for the first time as we were always meant to do. Such is our truest birth when all deception if dismissed.