The Heart of the Matter.

People are often bigger on the inside.

One of the interesting things about people, however, is that the more inward-turned they are, the smaller they become. There are people who I meet who seem to have the whole universe inside them, and there are those who are simply devoid of anything at all. Some are so small that it is an unfortunate truth that they are bigger on the outside. I’ll get to that in a moment.

Many people I meet are bigger on the inside however, and the most complex and universe-sized people are those who give themselves away, who are outward-turned. These people are everywhere. Little treasures, big hearts, and warm, wonderful, people. They are beautiful, and amazing, and of the greatest worth. Many of those whom I meet are treasures, and I hope to treasure them, to commend goodness, truth, and beauty when I find it. These are people who are precious, like a poem, like a story, they are complex and wonderful. It might seem easy to love them, but as wonderful as they are, there are things to be considered. Things found in my own heart and mind that cloud my view of others. Self-centeredness and self-righteousness are found in me as well. Keep that in mind, I wish to explain now in greater detail what I mean by these things:

Self-centeredness is anti-human, it harms and never heals, it destroys, and never builds. It takes, but never gives. We are all infected to one degree with another with this disease.

When I encountered a person who was nearly consumed by themselves, I was astonished at how empty they were, I’ve never seen such an empty being, I honestly did not know what to make of them, there was no mystery, nothing. Just themselves.

I was troubled. Yet, I soon saw where these things go, from self-centeredness humanity can still fall further, to the abhorrence of that which is other. We call them killers, murderers, destroyers. Sometimes we call them dictators, tyrants, and so forth. We call them mad. But, in truth, most people are not so much mad as so inward turned as to cease to resemble humanity. We wonder how it is that a creature can have such a disregard for human life as to kill even the children? It is the product of the inward-turned self, the self-centered being, the one who fell further still.

This is but a picture of Hell. The human being so inward turned so far as to be something so anti-human that there can be no further falling. Sometimes we see glimpses of Heaven, sometimes Hell.

Is there hope? Or is the hardened heart of the human being the most formidable force in the universe?

Is this not the tragedy of humanity? We sometimes feel angry with those who would kill, who would destroy. Maybe we should, but sometimes I wonder if it is not wiser on the whole, to pity those who have fallen so far from what it was that they were meant to be. When has hate ever triumphed over hate? How has evil ever triumphed over evil? Where has vengeance ever triumphed over vengeance? Does this mean we should not pursue justice? By no means, but what is the attitude of our hearts? Is it one of pity, or of returning an eye for an eye, as it is said? Even when we encounter the worst of humanity, standing on the edge of a cliff, we have choices. To seek to pull them to safety, or to push them off. We also have a third choice, one which we sadly take, the very worst choice. Indifference. We walk on by, not seeking to help, nor do we push them off. Monsters are allowed to remain monsters, and our indifference creates the environment necessary for it to thrive in. We delude ourselves into believing that safety lies in our apathy, little seeing that it is our indifference and apathy that turns us into the one that has turned into a monster. Every person has the potential to be the worst of humanity. Apathy and indifference will help you on your road to that.

Yes, I hate what happens when the outworking of these things manifest themselves yet again in an act of violence, of hate, of perversion, and so forth. But I must also never forget that it is only choices that separates me from being that man myself, and if anything should be stirred in me, it should be pity. Pity that another little boy, or another little girl could have made choices, could have been so much more, they could have been something glorious, but instead fell so far, losing everything most precious about them, becoming monsters instead of men.

Should we not seek to help those who have fallen? Should not those who stand lend a hand to the brothers and sisters who have stumbled?

If these things are the product of self-centeredness that has fallen so far as to no longer resemble a human being as a human being is to be, is not self-righteousness a greater evil still? Not only does it seek not to help, but it seeks to set itself up, to be enthroned on its own standing, wishing evil upon the brothers and sister that have fallen. Seeking not to lend a hand to those who stumble but rather choosing to push them down even further. When the self-righteous person encounters a man standing on the edge, they will always push the person over, and never pull them back, never pity them, never seek to help them.

As abhorrent as apathy and indifference are, this is worse. Much worse. And this is the central thought of most religion. The self-righteous man.

In my mind, self-righteousness is a greater evil then self-centeredness. In the whole picture, the man who is self-righteous is a worse man then those who would kill, murder, destroy. He will not, and cannot be helped, unless he first forsakes his self-righteousness and of all the impossible things in the world, this is the most. No man can change another man, but a man who believes he does not need to be changed is the one most in need of it, yet the one most unable to be helped. Self-righteousness cannot be helped by any natural means.

It is a bleak picture, but the questions have to be asked, what is the root of these events that take place? For example, school shootings, and such. What does that say about us, as a whole, as human beings? Before we cast our stones, what is our heart?

That is where these things begin, and end. The heart.

What are our hearts? For my part, my desire is to love those around me. To remember that my fellow humans are my brothers and my sisters, and we are all the same thing, humanity. Love can cut through the darkness like nothing else can. In such a dark and bleak world, the solution is never to pour in more darkness and bleakness, but to turn on the light, and darkness always flees in the presence of light. Always.

Mercy triumphs over judgement, it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance, it is love that wins over hate. We are all one blood, one race, one family, we are humanity, and we are the same. For myself, I desire to lay aside the illusion of grandur, the arrogance, the self-righteousness, wherein I would believe myself to be better then others.

We’re all in the same boat after all. We’re human. Mercy doesn’t triumph for some and not others, goodness doesn’t lead to evil for one and repentance for another, love doesn’t lose to hate. Some people, no matter how different they might appear to the eye, are not less then another. We’re all equals here.

That is why it my hope to walk with a peace, with a heart given to my fellow men, my brothers and sisters of humanity, to love them, and seek their good. To help those who stumble, to offer encouragement to those who remain standing. I would be wrong to be so arrogant as to believe otherwise.

It is the heart of the matter that is important, and only the heart of a man can be the heart of a man. It is the center of the human being, only by the transformation of the heart is there hope for humanity. We can’t expect superficial changes of the outer man to transform the inner man. We can only be transformed from the inside. It’s how we are.

It is my desire to help and not hinder my fellow man. Do I? Sadly, no. I desire to, which is a start I suppose, but desire and the fulfillment of desire are not the same thing and must never be confused.

And while I speak all this to myself, I do hope it proves helpful to others as well.

Secrets

One time, long ago, he was sitting at a table, just sitting there, never knowing that his life would change forever.

There once was a boy who met a girl, the child, the child of promise. But he did not wish it, nor did he see it fulfilled.

Changed forever. A moment comes, a moment goes. It is there, then it is gone, now and forever. Never to be, never to know.

There once was a man who met a woman. The same boy, the same girl. Never knowing, never being, never seeing.

Never. A lonely word, never. There once was a boy, there once was a girl.

Secrets.

~*~

For what? What is it to me what takes place between these two? Is it nothing or everything? I do not know, nor do I wish to know. Who is the boy? Who is the girl? It might be me, it might be someone else. I know neither here nor there. Secrets.

I wonder what it means, there are people out there whom I do not know, yet I care about? How can this be? Secrets. How can you love what you do not know? Secrets. Yet, I believe that those I’ve learned of, and that others whose names even I know not, are precious. But why? I am honestly a little puzzled by it.

Secrets, secrets, everywhere, secrets.

~*~

I need to see my desire for secrecy to be vanquished. It is a barrier to me being all that I’m meant to be. It is a character flaw of mine to be so secretive as to not even be open and honest about the things I love. How many people do not know how precious they are because they are kept as secrets. Compliments never payed, joys never known, sorrows never shared. Blessings withheld. Secrets.

For what? To what end are secrets to us that we do not often seem to share them with those we love. How many secrets will go with us, with me, to the grave?

Are they worth it?

Secrets, they die with us, and sometimes, they live with us. Secrets, sometimes terrible, but also, sometimes wonderful. Secrets.

What is known about me, both by those who know me well, and those who do not? Secrets.

What are my joys, my sorrows, and everything else that makes me me? Secrets.

In a sense it is like I so detest my humanity that anything that makes me so endearingly human is repulsive to me, something I have to hide, a shame to me. Desiring to be more then human, I become repulsed by the human find I am. Secrets. It is a lie, yes, but lies once believed are hard to dispel. So we hide, we keep our secrets, desperate to be seen, to be known, but more terrified of being seen then our desire to be known. So we run, we run so far. But wherever we go, we are there. Secrets.

Do not be ashamed of being human, God himself became human. If nothing else, I may delight in that.

What is more, have you seen these people? They’re amazing! They’re brilliant, they’re beautiful! I need to not be ashamed of my humanity, it is a glorious thing to be.

Secrets. Are they worth it?

The Preciousness of People

Often I meet people who I can’t help but wonder about, how is it that they even exist? Just when I thought I had an understanding of people, someone new comes along and completely challenges all I ever knew about what people are like:

Take one pair of sisters for example, there is that same sweetness in their relationship with one another that you find with my characters in one my stories, Jeanna and Avalon. I didn’t think that existed in reality, not on the level that my characters exhibit. Yet, there it is, existing, in reality, almost identically to what my characters hold.

One woman holds an unearthly wisdom, her daughter holds extraordinary, you could almost say prophetic, insight.

One young lady is a clear glass, filled with a glorious light.

One man holds a supernatural patience, peace, courage, and strength in spite of the storms that might surround him.

These are just people. Unknown, unnoticed by most, they are not celebrities, they are not kings or queens. Just ordinary people. Students, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, artist, factory workers, teachers, pastors. Perhaps that is what makes them so extraordinary. There is something about them that makes them something so much more then just a king or queen, something more then any celebrity. There is a greatness about them, a specialness to them, even an authority to them beyond that held by any ruler of this world. But, they’re never heard of, or known, except by those fortunate enough to know them, how can I not think the world of them wherever I find them?

(As a side note, sometimes they do happen to be kings, queens, rulers, and celebrities, etc. but at the end of the day, even those are people before their role as a king, queen, or what have you. Some of these can be so extraordinary in their ordinary as well, just doing what they do, even if they happen to be well known for it.)

Yet, they all have their darkness, they all have something lost. This is the tragedy of the human condition. The ordinary is extraordinary, but we all have lost something. I ask, if we being creatures cloaked in shadow, are so extraordinary, what were we like cloaked in light? It is almost frightening to consider how far we’ve fallen, if being fallen, we are this extraordinary. It invokes in me a pity and compassion for humanity, knowing what we were, and seeing what we are. Above all, it gives me hope, hope that what was lost, may yet be found.

Even so, doubt gnaws at me, saying that there are others who either have changed, or never were. What if all these people really are not so wonderfully precious as they seem to me? What if we really are living lies?

How can it be wrong to place a high value upon people though, are they not precious in reality? But what is it? Why do I see them and call them precious? Perhaps it is because they are.

Sometimes, even though I don’t really even know very many of them, my prayer is that others will be blessed children indeed. That God’s blessings will be upon them, in abundance beyond their wildest dreams. That they will walk in perfect peace, that they know joy, and that their sorrows will be few.

I pray they will walk with purpose, and will remain ever steadfast to God, and to each other. May they see the works of their hands prosper in all the works of their soul. Let not their waters be bitter, but may it ever turn to sweet wine.

Bless these precious ones Lord, bless them, amen.

That is my prayer, my desire is that it is the prayer I pray for all who I encounter, regardless of whether I like them or not. It is not for me to decide who to love and hate after all. I only know that I am to love even my enemies. I suppose, there isn’t a lot of room left after that for anything else.

 

What I Dream

I wish I knew how to break free of the shyness that always seems to hold me back. What dreams I have, I dream of pouring myself out, you could almost say, giving myself over to, the arts, of becoming someone who transforms the world around me. It is not enough for me to be simply an author, no, I must be a transformer, one whose words hold power, and truth. I cannot be content with self-expression as the purpose of my art, or with art as a means of gaining wealth, I seek for something else, something more. I can only describe it as the desire to create things that move those who see them, transformation of myself and the beholder of the works of my hands. I desire to create, but it is not enough for me to create, not even for the sake of creativity. To lose myself in my work, you could almost say, to pour my very soul into it, so that the works of my hands and the thoughts of my heart are so intertwined that it becomes difficult to tell where one begins and one ends. That is as best as I can describe it. Another way to think of it, is to become a vessel of blessing to those around me.

But, I hold back. I call it shyness. I say I’m not ready, however, it isn’t so much shyness as it is fear, I think. And the fear is what needs to be dealt with, it is an evil that destroys, a dark-fire that consumes. It holds me back from being what it is that I am supposed to be. Fear, it is the great enemy of greatness, and the father of many, if not all vices. Fear, it destroys, it ruins, it kills.

I do not think it is the sort of thing I can wholly banish on my own, but what can change me from a man of fear, to a man who is not afraid? It is said that perfect love cast out fear. For which I ask, what does that mean? Perfect love. Love that is perfect. How can this be? How can love be perfect? For my part, it is my belief that only one who is love, can hold perfect love. Anything else can only reflect the nature of that which is. Love, it is more then just a word, a concept, what if it was to be something, a reality that we see the shadows of, but the shadow and the thing itself cannot be confused as being one and the same, an object cannot love, so thus it would be someone that is the greater reality of love. Perfect love, love. Love is the opposite of fear, and from love comes courage, and from courage all other virtues are sprung. Fear destroys, but love builds. For my part, I must therefore rely not on shadows, but upon the reality of love, and by becoming a reflection of the greater reality, I not only dispel fear in myself, but give strength to those around me who see in me, a mirror. It is not for me to be the source of love, but the vessel, and from the vessel, I pour out love, but it is love that comes from the source, not from the vessel that holds it. Thus, it is by receiving the love of perfect love, that I can love with a perfect love.

And fear flees, and I see my desire to be a vessel of blessing to those around me.

That is my dream, to be a mirror and a vessel, no more, no less. To be invisible, yet a beacon of hope. To become unseen, but therefore, more visible, like a light shining from within a clear jewel. I wish neither to be a god, or a devil, but a human as a human is meant to be. A living symbol of something greater.

That is my dream, to be human as a human is meant to be, but fear holds me back, it quenches, it darkens, it destroys. That is what fear does to dreams, and to my dream.

Between Light and Darkness

I need to figure out a way of talking to people and befriending them, talking with strangers, etc. I do not wish to hide behind it just being a part of my personality. Then let us alter it. I’ve already seen my body transformed, I have no doubt my personality can also be altered. I desire to talk to people, to share my thoughts openly. To allow myself to be open and revealing in my thoughts and even in my opinions, and to reveal to those around me, my talents.

~*~

I have to admit, I think some of the folks on YouTube are something of a role model of these things to me. Though I’m sure they know the pain of inner torments. I think we wouldn’t see such brilliant work if they did not have the inner dark-fire burning inside them. We all have our Voldemorts.

~*~

I must overcome the fear that holds me back and embrace the Dauntless fire that burns in my soul. I am a fire, I am dauntless, I have nothing to fear.

~*~

I really must concentrate on what it is that I’m desiring to be, it wouldn’t do to transform myself into a monster. We’ve seen men become monsters before, and will likely see it again before I die. A troubling, but true thing, if all men could choose the higher road, it would be a wonderful world, but some choose light and some choose darkness. What is your own choice? To live or to die? To rise above, or to fall so far? It comes down to my choices in the end, I suppose. We have a world where we choose one way or the other, some will choose the darkness, some will choose the light. Where will you stand? Consider it well, what is it to be a human being? An image, a living symbol, of God, and therefore, no matter what, to be human is a wondrous thing, a miracle in itself you could even say. We shouldn’t exist, yet here we are. To walk in the light is to be truly human, to fall is to lose your humanity. Darkness will take the soul of a human, and transform it into something so much less then what it was meant to be. I do not know if I can reasonably be ashamed of being human, when taken into consideration what it is to be human, of humanity, of our role as a race in the grand narrative of the story of the Universe, and beyond, it is amazing that we even exist. What other being, save God himself, has both a body and spirit? Existing simultaneously between two very different realms. I’m beginning to see why humanity is precious. I am coming to see that we are to see our fellow men as being precious, and yet, there is those who destroy, who harm. Which is why I must consider that we choose between becoming as we were meant to be, or to fall so far as to lose what we already possess. Our humanity. So, the question has to be asked, what is humanity? I do not fully know. But, I think I must see them as being something wonderful, and accept my role as being a part of the story of humanity. Sometimes, especially after darkness is revealed, both in others, and in myself, one wishes that one could transcend above it. But, we are, what we are, and what we are, is our greatest treasure. We should neither seek to cast it away by desiring to be more then what we are, or by becoming less then it. We are creatures in a realm of shadows, we live in a land that is but a reflection of a reality that is greater, we do not see things clearly, but through a glass darkly. We do not yet know, as we are known. We do not yet see, as we are seen. We dwell in a land of darkness, in a world that is but a shadow of what is greater. We may not understand fully, what we are, who we are, but regardless, I am convinced that if we see our fellow man as being our sisters and our brothers, we will begin to  understand the truth that in the end, we are like men, and in realizing this, we will look upon the rest of our race with compassion, and pity, not hatred and disdain.

This is the world in which we dwell, a human world. And though it be a realm of shadows, we are still beautiful creatures within it, for me, to see my brothers and sisters of humanity, as something precious and beautiful, is to turn on the light.

Thoughts on Thinking

I find it a puzzle indeed that every so often I encounter people, strangers even, who I can’t help but feel almost as though everything changes around their existence. There is a problem, and that is my own existence and present reality, I am not an observer only, I am a participant, whether I wish to be or not, I am human and must therefore partake of the human experience. I cannot stand over all the world and observe all, but must partake of the human life, from the perspective of one, and I use that term as singular not to indicate my status as a human. The interesting thing is that through written word mediums, there is a secondary social consciousness, which is a lot more linked, it is a shared consciousness we all possess. Compare that to our primary consciousness which consist of observation and the present moment alone. Our secondary consciousness consist of the written word. It has been a part of the human experience in one form or another since the advent of writing, but at no other point has the written word been so prevalent in communication. We are more accustomed to text then speech now. Speech is, for the most part, an inefficient method of communication, comparatively speaking, to writing and reading.

As for myself, I do not know what my most effective action from here would be. Seriously, I have so many directions and no direction that I have to only but speak them into being, and they would be. I wish I could be transformed, to speak forth openly and in confidence. I am tired of being fearful and shy. I want to be something new, but genuine. How do I break free of my dreadful shell? It seems at times my own hell. Who can set free the beast within, who can take me, and remove me, free me, transform me? Do I not seek the fullness of God? To see fulfilled the fullness of my being. To be transformed from glory to greater glory still. My heart it stands, it fails, and ever do I hear desires call.

I desire to break free of the weight of a bridled tongue, a tongue cloven to the roof of my mouth by fear and pride. I refrain out of terror and of pride, but mostly the fear of reaction and rejection. It must change. I cannot live in fear of my voice. To speak would be to change the world, my world at least.

Let the fire within speak forth in gentle speech.

The Matter of Getting Started.

There is almost nothing more terrifying to me then to reveal my thoughts. So, I am thinking I should start a blog for the sole purpose of revealing my thoughts, even if it would be half mad, and a little strange in places, perhaps even wrong, I really think it will be good for me. Who knows, maybe once I get my thoughts out into the open I will finally feel a little more comfortable talking to people. :-) Yet, I care too much about what people think of me. I like to be liked, I admit that, and I see no shame in being honest about it, not saying it is a good thing necessarily, but it is a matter of fact. I do like to be liked. Fear of rejection has always been a big roadblock for me, and I make no excuses for it, I don’t like it, it isn’t just who I am, and a blog, will be a bit of an mission into the territory of that enemy. The very act of revelation of the inner man would be a vanquisher of it. But, even I hide behind the mask, and I have a lot of mask behind which I hide. Mask behind mask at times. Perhaps it is time for a mirror, to see and to be seen, as I am. It is an idea that has been floating around in my mind for while, but I have to admit, I am afraid to actually pursue it. Yet, I should take into consideration that the people I am most comfortable around, the people I trust the most, are those who are the most honest, and the most who they are. Those who don’t hide behind the mask, but reveal themselves as they truly are. Nothing more, nothing less. If you’ve ever encountered someone like that, you’ll know how it is like a breath of fresh air after having not had any in a very long time, it is completely refreshing.

A Work in Progress.

Me or the website? I can never tell.