Fearless Reason

Fearless reason in an age of frightened absurdity.

Emergence from Retreat

I spent this past weekend in Asheville at a spiritual retreat with soulmates. These retreats are rare, and only occur once or twice a year; but the light gained always prompts transformation, healing, and opening of my heart. I see in these moments of retreat the more beautiful world my heart knows is possible. I also see within myself the more beautiful version of myself that is possible.

It is a place where people look one another in the eyes, and enter into silent communion for moments, minutes, or for a period outside of the reckoning of time. There are no perfect beings there, but each being is striving earnestly to be a more perfect and loving version of themselves. There is magic in the air when one or more gather in his name.

My heart seems to have grown three sizes over the weekend, and god’s peace and bliss seems more firmly rooted in my being. But already I find a world and life out of alignment with love and peace chipping away at those gifts. A hectic schedule and stressful job demand that my time, energy, and attention be expended on things that do not serve me or others. People have stopped looking me in the eyes and sharing their souls. The suffering world, that has not yet identified the source of its suffering, lashes out at me in pain.

All these things separate me from god, my soul, and my peace. Is it my duty to forsake them, or try to share some of the peace and love I have found, before it is gone? I know the answer is out there, but I doubt my courage to know.

Fear is the Absence of Love

After my awakening my heart opened, and I was raptured with divine bliss. But while the bliss has never left me, my heart almost immediately began its retreat. I awakened to a life built by a self that did not know love, that could not understand it or believe that such a thing existed as a real force in the world. It was an unconscious and loveless life, and my newly awakened heart was horrified by what it found.

I knew that embodied love could not live the life I was living. Love demanded I change everything about my life at once to serve god and my fellow beings. Love asked me to forsake my identity, my profession, my ambitions, and all my preconceptions about the world. Love demanded that I die completely to myself – and I feared death.

So my heart retreated, but did not close. It stayed open just as much as my life could bear. Like a candle in the night it continued to burn, illuminating those things that were loveless and wrong, and calling me to change them. First it illuminated my violent and selfish thoughts. Then it came for my careless and loveless actions. One by one, on and on, it has illuminated my sins and called me towards conversion.

I have changed much over the years, and have shifted many things about how I choose to be in the world. But many loveless circumstances remain that are informed by major life decisions undertaken by my former self. I brush up against those circumstances with love, and try to shift or transform them. But I fall short of rejecting or abandoning them outright.

So I allow them to do violence to my heart, because I fear letting them go. I hold onto an identity that is no longer true, a profession that does not serve me or others, and remain attached to habits, big and small, that separate me from god and others. Truly, fear is the absence of love.