The Path Beneath the Terrace

Last summer, in August of 2022, I posted episode six of my “Consciousness Video Series: Metaphor and the Inner Experience.”

Consciousness Video Series: Episode 6: Metaphor and the Inner Experience

This video described metaphorically my immediate impressions, as I struggled to express, understand, and relate my very personal interpretation of a profound sense of recognition of my inner life, which invariably suggested the elements of the clearing imagery. 

The impressions made upon my inner experiences while communing with nature always lingered long after I returned to the “real world,” and even after resuming my normal routine, during a period of quiet solitude or meditation, I could experience impressions which were very similar to my actual temporal travels through natural landscapes. 

After a recent evening of comradery by a lake with loved ones, which only came to a close in the early morning hours of a new day, I remained awake in the absolute stillness and quiet of the hours before the dawn. Once everyone had dispersed and gone to sleep, I immediately fell into a sense of calm that would be nearly impossible to conjure at another time or place, even with deliberate effort, and I marveled at the power of the natural world to bring me into this blissful state of being.

After a brief additional amount of time had passed, though, I began to feel a presence of spirit in the background of the moment, and felt compelled to express what was within me, in spite of being completely alone at the edge of a lake.  I began by whispering the familiar refrain from the many years of encountering trials and triumphs of every sort:

“I am not worthy…I am so weary, and yet, at times, I feel so strong…I have strength and love in abundance at certain times, and yet, at other times, I am afraid…and feel lost and alone.”   

“Often, when I feel myself moving forward through the world, making the best of what life places before me, I invariably reach a point where it seems as though I am falling through a chasm, helpless as I tumble into oblivion. Even when I feel the love and experience the joy of life, I am still unable to avoid eventually feeling empty, abandoned, and broken.”

Without any overt cause that I could discern, or obvious signs from the world outside of me, I began to sense an opening to the spirit, and allowed myself to embrace the opportunity to express my uncertainty, as to my fitness to take on any sort of spiritual role in the world.  In my own mind, I believed that I fell short on many of the criteria which might be applied to such a task, and questioned my ability to live up to the standards which surely must exist for anyone so engaged.

I stood again in silence for a time, and without any cause that I could discern, began to sense a response from the spirit of life. The words that follow seemed at the time to come through me, but not from me:

“The path which can lead us to an awareness of the existence of the spirit within us is much like the path one takes when developing a close, personal relationship with another person. We may look deeply into their eyes; we may find ourselves observing the contours of their face, the swirls of their hair, or the curl of their lips.  Joy may overtake us when we embrace, and when it comes time to be apart, we may find ourselves feeling empty, while yearning to experience their presence once again.”

“Each of these elements implies a deliberate pursuit of connection and relation, and each one is present in both cases. Even though we are consciously aware of the temporal events taking place within every waking moment, an awareness of the spirit can exist right alongside each one simultaneously. Once you begin to make it a practice to notice this additional dimension to temporal events, the awareness of it will eventually increase to the point where you can’t shake it or ignore it.”

“You might ultimately still be subject to the whims of the world, because it’s not always a choice, but neither can we expect to always make the right choice when we choose deliberately.  You have to look at life from the beginning, from the awakening to consciousness all those years ago as a young child, when our memories truly begin, and we must look forward through all of it, and decide to embrace the idea that there very likely is such a feature to our experience of the world.”

I sometimes think I am grasping at straws, searching in the dark—hoping in the face of hopelessness.

How can I proceed?  How can I know?

I cannot know. I must trust in my heart and in my soul.

There are others who have expressed the notion that they see in me, someone who could express this vision to the world.  I have stood before large gatherings of other individuals, held their attention well enough and long enough to express what is in my heart and soul, and as I spoke, felt a movement within me and within those assembled, which pointed directly to a oneness—a unity of spirit—unmistakably existent and objectively real. This was, for me, a signal—a sign.

So now, when I walk the path beneath the terrace, amidst the flowers and the ivy, through the shafts of sunlight, up ahead in the distance, I can see a bright, blue sky and green pastures.  It’s still a fair distance away as yet, but it gives me hope.

Perhaps, if I can find a way to embrace this inclination to bring the message of the spirit to the world, it will ripple like the waves that radiate from a pebble dropped into a still lake—outward in every direction—in perfect symmetry.

Perhaps, if this is the moment, the youthful and joyful voice of the spirit will give me the strength, the will, and the message.

I must begin soon.

4 thoughts on “The Path Beneath the Terrace

    1. Well…yes…these past twelve years of blogging have certainly been a beginning of sorts. People from all over the world have visited and many have commented over that time, and even considering how grateful I am for the 600+ who subscribe and for those who visit regularly, I think the central message of my writing could be beneficial if there was a wider exposure than my humble blog.

      I have been considering alternative venues and perhaps expanding to a broader audience…we’ll see.

  1. I do not think the world can afford to be without such prophets. As you yourself have often pointed out, for many and varied reasons the world has actually become a better place. Despite its persistent awfulness we no longer tolerate slavery, racism, sexism. Most civilised countries claim to eschew torture.

    We have always had people expressing the spiritual and without them we may never have got as far as we have.

    As a species we remain as a whole truly hideous. Therefore all the more important to stress “truth”. Spiritual truth. Which forms the basis of all half decent religions.

    We may be progressing in our material needs, and we may become a post scarcity species. But without voices like yours, it would be a bleak and harsh place to exist.

    1. Your analysis of the state of the world encourages me to persist in my writing, if for no other reason, than to continue to present real evidence that the world is, indeed, actually “a better place,” in spite of its many demonstrations of “awfulness.”

      No one can justifiably criticize anyone for pointing out what is so clearly and obviously still awful about the way the world works these days. The progress regarding the intolerance of slavery, racism, and sexism is a major improvement that must continue to be re-enforced and expanded, but the inclination to drop bombs and kill indiscriminately in order to acquire power, resources, or territory still needs to be eliminated entirely, and replaced by earnest negotiation and mutually beneficial cooperation, in order to reduce the still-too-much awfulness we see taking place in several areas of the world.

      As far as our species being, “as a whole truly hideous,” I feel compelled to point out that, in my view, the hideousness we observe is not species specific exactly. We are as much a part of the natural world as any other species, and while we possess a distinct advantage cognitively with our proportionally increased brain size, as well as a capacity for employing rational reasoning, compassion, and higher moral behaviors based on our abilities and intelligence generally, we are the current version of a species, Homo sapiens, who descended from a much more primitive ancestral line, whose survival resulted from following the “rule of the jungle,” in the main.

      Whatever willful (and indefensible) awfulness we have recently imposed on the world-at-large, had its roots in the “survival of the fittest” drive which got us here into the 21st century, and it is now incumbent upon us to switch that drive to what the American medical researcher, Jonas Salk, suggested now needs to be a “survival of the wisest.”

      I very much appreciate your generous assessment of the potential benefit resulting from my earnest expressions within my body of work here. I have endeavored for more than a decade now to share reports from a lifetime of experience, which most often express my genuine feeling that there is a kind of “spiritual truth” to be discovered within each of us. I wouldn’t necessarily describe myself as any sort of prophet exactly, but if there is a theme or a message contained within these blog pages that I would want the world to hear, it would be that our survival as a species NOW, must include an effort by each of us to search for and attempt to attain a higher level of humanity—one that acknowledges the ineffable nature of our species—and which will ensure that our descendants will survive in the centuries to come.

      Thank you so much for your thoughtful support, encouragement, and generosity, as always.

      Kind regards…John H.

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