In the years that I’ve been blogging and podcasting, I’ve learned never to underestimate the reach and scope of the message that goes out. I regularly receive emails from distant people who “stumbled” upon this content and have expressed their gratitude. Today’s reflections are not some regurgitated, trite, pithy, sentiments that barely veil the trap of religion that is so common in Christian writing. What you are about to read, are the well worn and tried applications of a deeper message that I barely had the faith to embody but somehow did.
The cost of following this message or Voice, (more of a Tune or Song) into a wilderness of Exile is that no one with even one foot in the establishment could come with me. The turnstile on the narrow path allows only one at a time. Thus, communion is either solely with this Song alone, or with the other weary travelers who like me are following that “something other” familiar sound which escapes definition. Early on, I sought validation or a sense of camaraderie by re-entering the systems of order, definition, hierarchy, and power where control and compliance are valued more than freedom and competence. Of course, regaining what I left was impossible because those who stayed resent and fear the dissidents only slightly less than they resent and fear the object of their pious devotion. Community here is always subject/object and it’s a bitter disappointment to the subject/subject unity of the Exile.
These brief exchanges remind and reaffirm why I followed this Song in the first place. It was a Tune unlike anything else, and I knew it existed before I even reached the tonic note. The nursery rhymes of the herd heap upon my heart an indescribable amount of burden, pain, and sadness for those who label them as the Song. The Exile is not a desert, it’s not isolation, it’s not marginalization, those all belong to the masses under anesthesia whose faith is in their faith and not the power behind it. The Exile is divine union, it’s complete satisfaction, presence, and gratitude, and there is a part of me that wants to put down roots and stay.
However, the moment my tent peg appeals to permanence, like a wind the Song withdraws and blows over the next distant horizon. Inviting as many as I can into this arid, drifting sobriety, I follow the melody that enticed me into the freedom I now experience. When I try to mimic the tune, my pitch and key offend those who are not accustomed to such inner space. When I lower the volume, I torture myself instead.
Each valley and hill offer new perspectives and bring with them new faces who are befuddled with a hungry love of what is next. They are here by their “not knowing”. Love is like that; we just go with it. No reason, no single emotion, nor strategy or design puts us in the Exile, those are for those kneeling to institutional powers who they hope will validate their fake ID’s. It’s the greatest trade in the universe: one’s soul in exchange for an identity not your own. The Exile is the only safe place for those who find this trade unpalatable at any cost. Better to be in search of a true self that has been lost, than to cling in certainty to a false one.
I never thought I could love like I do out here where there is no race, religion, creed, gender, or status. Just a bunch of people who “heard it too” and work together on an endless quest to find our source. Love is easy here. It’s not contrived. It’s free. The obligated will never find it fair. The dutiful can’t work it out. The manipulator produces only vacant strategies. Surface love makes me laugh immediately before I cry, not just for myself for laughing, but for those who cannot let go into the bottomless free fall that is our love.
The Exile is not an escape. It’s ultimate reality. As such it is the power for living. It’s a seeing beyond, that compels us to empty ourselves back into the sleeping world. And strangely, facing others is when the pursuit of the song ends and our true lives begin. Upon facing the world we discover the Song behind us, beside us, above, below and within us. There is a sense in which we have become so permeated by the song that differentiating it from ourself seems dishonoring. Our life is now an invitation to come freely and taste that which is impossible in the captive world’s three-sided cages. For those who take refuge in the false self or within institutional power, our very existence is an indictment that chaffs all the way back to the time they too first heard the song, but exchanged it for the voice of power.
These poetic words are but feeble attempts and metaphors for an inner experience that we all touch at some level. The words are but tiny containers for something so big it seems silly to try and express it. But try I will. Week after week, day after day, I will cry out to any soul that can hear me. I never tire of this, how can we tire of such beauty? I’m not asking you to trust me, I’m praying, even begging, that you will be awakened to the spirit of life and freedom within you, and that you will trust it. It all seems so awkward, or silly or nonsensical, until you’ve oriented yourself from your sleep. Then, once you awaken, you’ll discover that home is not a destination, but the center from which you will live the rest of your life, which just so happens to be eternal.
It’s all as close as this next breath.
I have no idea who this will reach or when it will get to you. When it does, I hope you will let me know. May this be a beacon of hope on your quest for liberation. Reach out to me, so you can join all of us who walk together humming this amazing Tune.