If you’ve arrived here at the Chaos Node, you’ve already come to some unthinkable place. The question is, how much more unthinkable can it get?
Over the course of several walks lately, I have been trying to imagine a potential future in which I spend several hours a day studying the lives and teachings of saints, and traditionalist metaphysics. Think of this as a kind of daydream if you will, but with direction and attempted realism. Well, realism within the unrealistic scenario.
I can imagine this a few months ahead, but no more than that. This is not because the future is unpredictable, I get around this by imagining that I travel in time back to January 2010. That doesn’t help much: It is I who become unimaginable after perhaps half a year.
You see, the particular topics are not chosen randomly. I can quite well imagine what would happen if I studied Japanese for half a year, or two years, or five. Or any such mundane study, I think. But studying timeless wisdom is not like studying a skill, it is more like falling in love, I guess. Or having brain surgery with consequent personality change, although these are rarely to the better. It is like moving to a foreign country you don’t really know anything about except rumors. It is, in other words, a life-changing experience, only more gradual than most of them.
I know that much because I have already begun to change. I don’t spend hours a day on timeless wisdom, so far. Part of the bus ride, mostly, although sometimes I find something so interesting that I will read it at home. Usually not, though. It is just that at this stage of my life, these teachings are so potent, even if they make up a small part of my time, they still matter. Because unlike job skills or gaming skills, these change who I am. And that is what I cannot imagine. Who I could become, if my being – my essence – was to increase. Who is the person that is more me than I am? How can I imagine that, anymore than a child can know who they will be as an adult? There are only daydreams, and even those fail me.
One thing I am pretty sure of is that I would become more stable, in the sense of less sensitive to outside factors. For instance, there are people whose mood depends quite a bit on the weather. When the sun shines, so do they; in the dark season up north here, they become dark as well. That does not necessarily mean they are less mature or less spiritual than others who don’t experience this – some people are just naturally immune, it seems. Likewise there are some who are barely human before their morning coffee. Grumpy may be an understatement in some cases. I am not a morning bird myself, but I could not have a good conscience if I were barking at people at a semi-regular basis. And there are other influences that make the compass needle of our heart go far off the north star of Heaven, influences like our own sex drive (for those who have that) or preferences for particular foods.
But when we grow more essential, more substantial, when our soul grows more real if you will, these things make less impression on us. Where we could easily be blown off our feet, we become able to handle these circumstances more, perhaps becoming one day unshakable. I cannot truly say I am like that, but that is how these influences work, in that direction. I guess we all have our weak points, and there are temptations I sincerely hope I won’t have to face. But one of the certified Good Things of timeless wisdom is to make us more rooted, in a good sense.
But there are other aspects to the change which I cannot really imagine at all. We are not simply dying to one distraction after another. We also come alive to something else. What that would be beyond a certain point, I cannot imagine. And yet, it is a steady pull on me. Of course, I have pulls the other way too, so there is a balance of sorts, or at least the movement is slow and erratic. What would happen if it were not, is something even daydreams don’t tell.
But then again, perhaps I am utterly mistaken. Perhaps there is an upper limit to how fast a person’s thinking can change – in fact, this seems very plausible, barring physical changes in the brain. Or perhaps there is even an upper limit to how much one can change past a certain age or maturity level, and all I’d ever do was amass theoretical information. Or perhaps each of us is born with a personal limit, a size of the spirit, that the soul can grow into but not exceed. Who knows.
But perhaps the limit is exactly that which holds me back now: That I don’t take time even when I have time; that I don’t love timeless Truth all that much compared to all the other things I love. After all, Truth cannot help but judge us even if given in love, much like light cannot avoid scattering the darkness and wakefulness cannot avoid dispersing dreams.