ROOTS AND WINGS: adventures of a spirit on earth, part 1, chapter 3, by Jack Haas

Part 1, chapter three

Coming into this world as I did, as we all do- like little God-maggots, growing in the stool and searching for our new wings that we might learn again to fly- I could never have imagined what was to happen. How could I? Who, after all, can know the unknowable? Who indeed?

It began as a vast, phantasmagoric festival of non-meaning; the Dream bloomed, charged and buoyant within me, as moments blended and engaged, became made and unmade, then ripped and mended into the fabric of our intertwined lives.

Real life was a harmony barely audible, through the bustle and clamor of the day, to which, however, I eventually learned to dance with wild abandon upon this seemingly dead and spiritless earth.

Like all others I was at first trapped in this cosmic pandora, roaming hard and yet hobbled by the proximity of our woes; aflame and fluid in the directionless stream, I recognized pattern and intent, though I knew not what was intended. Tangled in life’s multiple cobwebs, like someone passed along the upstretched hands of an infinite crowd, I let myself be carried away by the directionless touch; touch was all that mattered, where I went was of no concern.

Like a worn vessel I listed into the seasonal winds to wherever it was I was taken, indifferently swept into the infinite storms, the love, and the doldrums.

You see, when I initially fell to this world, I did not die but was badly maimed. Broken and lost I remained like just another fallen angel, wrecked and unable to fly back to God. I was a reality, but I was not in reality, and so I realized instantly that I did not belong, that I would never belong, and that …I was not supposed to belong. For if I belonged, how indeed could I see through the lie, the folly, and the futility of our so-called lives. I did not belong, but I belonged for that very reason. It seemed like one hell of a cruel joke.

In fact, as soon as I was spat forth onto this makeshift prison of woe and confusion, they got a hold of me, and the inevitable corruption began.

It was in a blood-thirsty land into which I was deposited without weapons, knowledge, or crime. Or so it seemed at the time. For in the beginning nothing happened but a great celestial fiasco; as the full moon itself gave light to the rainbow, the sun cast darkness upon the land, and the stars themselves shone mystic anguish in retaliation to the night. The cosmos pitched Sol versus Luna, and Luna versus Sol, but never found a solution.

In fact the whole desperate mess- of being- was like seeing something obscurely reflected in a rippling sea; above were the ethereal images, below was the ever-changing all. But that’s life, after all- always reflected, always upside down, always fluid and moving.

It was into this mercurial, amniotic flow that I fell away from everything true. In perilous adhesion to the concupiscence of the day did I swim in the dark and Godless depths. Manifold points of separateness deluded me into becoming, and I drowned gleefully in the habit of being, gasping wantonly with lungs which had forgotten how to effortlessly breathe.

My inward gaze was not yet strong enough to balance out the weight of the outer show. Caught in the movement, and swept fruitlessly into the vast organic sea of human misery, I was in hopeless pain, the pain of one who belongs nowhere, because the plague of mankind was everywhere, and spreading, piling up shit upon shit, until there was nowhere to walk without being soiled, nowhere to run without being chased, and nowhere to sing without being caged.

Everything I had learned from society was a malicious lie, or, at best, a cowardly act of negligence burying the miracle of life with every word, and burying the spirit and soul with pith and petty bile.

And yet, as I found, it was not with others that my failure or victory lay, but only with myself, for I had to realize that if I allowed myself to get tangled in other’s cares, or fall victim to their pleasures and desires, I would certainly miss my call.

And so, as if driving a foreign car, on foreign streets, in a foreign country, I had to learn to inhabit this foreign world- and become an invisible driver, stealthily making my way through the roadblocks, alleys, and highways of this planet of love which was somehow lousy with gloom. For I realized that most of society would do everything it could to stand in my way, everything it could to hold me back, to convince me out of my passion, out of myself, and out of life, and so I learned to depend on nothing and nobody, but only to believe in myself, for I saw that if I blamed others for my station, I gave away my power, if I sought out others for my salvation, I gave away my spirit, and if I needed others to cure my sorrow, I gave away my force.

The trick, I discovered, was to not let mankind spoil my time in this remarkable, enviable world, but to dance my own dance and pay no heed to the confusion all about me.

And yet it was an awful process, fighting my way through the false self, false perspective, and false purpose, all of which had been inculcated into my formative being by the magnanimous elders of our times. But then finally, in the quagmire of lostness, I found something I cared for more than comfort, honor, or money. And that was …myself. And as soon as I tuned in to that self I realized that my life had been like an old and beaten radio that looked worn on the outside, but man when you put the earphones on and turned it up, damn if it didn’t play good music.

I could hear again the fiddler. I was opened, lifted, cleansed, moved, and dancing. And I was still.

It is so hard to describe this transformation, but somehow, unpredictably, in those vagrant, directionless wanderings, I had found within myself something’s nothingness; I had stumbled unwittingly upon an indisputable recognition. I did not know what it was, I simply accepted that it was …me.

It was as if, in the last battle in the ghastly war of attrition my soul led against all lies, there was nothing left but an eye, torn out at the roots and inverted by its own intransigent sight. And it was through this eye that I found the far-off land of which I had dreamt quite often but never seen, though when I finally I turned within …I was there.

Yea indeed, meandering guidelessly through the tunnels of decomprehension, I had found not-finding, and lost all sense of the ground. In the absence of all image I fell joyfully away from thought towards thoughtless beauty, and into the mindless upswell of the heart’s conquest.

I did not actually surrender to this or that, or what have you, I simply gave up, for I had no more need to go running about everywhere. I was finished, so to speak, though not in the vogue of any metaphysical euphemism for attainment, but because I was through with the struggle, the strain, and the whole damned mess of it; because I was surely in the magician’s chambers, and had in fact been there all along. I could do nothing except the only thing there was to do when there was nothing left to do- I became still. Nothing more could have been done; as if I had been chased up a closed canyon by a mighty force, there was nowhere else I could run; I was corralled by the extraordinary shepherding of being. I had no more fight left with mankind, for fighting was exactly what had imprisoned me. Thus there was no victory, and no defeat- the war just sort of ended, at which point I turned away …and walked on home.


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