A thoughtful silence?

I haven’t been writing much lately, but I have been thinking some, and observing myself as usual. I have been observing my dreams each morning. This morning I dreamed that I had moved to (or perhaps built) a house on the road to the farm where I grew up. The road goes through a stretch of wilderness with trees, bushes, shrubs and stones, where the nearest farms are at best distant lights. I remember when I was little, walking to school in the morning, during the dark season here in Norway, and I afraid of the dark. I would talk loudly or sing to hold at bay my fear of the dark and the things that might lurk there – wolves or giant animals, perhaps. This was a more innocent age, where the fear of children was not men. In any case, this was the stretch of road where I now dreamed that I had set up my home. While living there, I was approached by an angry fox, which I eventually befriended, and later a lynx, which I was still trying to befriend when the dream ended.

Not very useful information for future historians, perhaps. Who knows?

Part of the reason for holding my tongue is that I am, as usual, pondering the lessons I have learned from sect leader and acclaimed author Ryuho Okawa. He pretty much ticks of the check list for Antichrist: He tries to transcend and include existing religions, including Christianity. He claims to be the God who resurrected Jesus Christ, and even has temples built where he can claim to be a god. Not the Creator, mind you: He stresses the enormous distance between us and the Primordial God. El Cantare is simply the spiritual leader of this planet – in fact, the name can be translated as “god of the world”. That alone should make the neck hairs rise on a Christian. And yet, for all that, this man is the first I can think of that has so much understanding in common with myself. So what does that say about me?

I don’t know. I try to review my life as it goes on, watching my thoughts and feelings and actions. I am only at the beginning of everything I do. But if I keep the current course, if I live to a ripe old age, will I end up becoming more and more like that man? My conscience really does not allow me not to, with the notable exceptions of claiming to be a god and an extraterrestrial and so on. Let us hope that exception keeps up, at least. But the principles of love, wisdom, self-reflection and progress? Hard to disagree with those. Working toward a happiness that increases the happiness of other people, rather than taking away from it? That should be obvious to anyone. Love is something you give, not something you can claim? That is an eternal truth. Just because a scary person agrees with it and preaches it does not mean it won’t remain true forever.

In the end, I will have to simply continue becoming more and more myself. If that means I become more similar to controversial people, then I can do nothing about it.

But I am thinking that I need to build on the “iceberg that is under the surface” – the 80-90% that should be hidden from sight. I cannot just blurt out every spiritual truth that I discover. But if I don’t, then to some extent I don’t get much new either. Because some of what I write is probably not really meant for me in the first place, but for some poor chap at the other end of Google. It is my dubious task to say the words that must be spoken, before they are lost forever. And “for each useless word that a human speaks, he shall make account on judgement day”, as Jesus says. Between these twin demands live I, and I suppose anyone who thinks seriously about words. There really is no other meaningful way to relate to words. The normal is to just let them flow out, like a dog who pees on every bush along the road. There seems to be no end to the pee and the words that the dog and the human use to mark their territory. But past a certain level of consciousness this becomes no longer tolerable.

Today is St John’s Wake, an important festival in Norway, and one of the few that have survived the transition to a post-Christian society. I was invited to gather with the neighbors this evening. I have not really had the opportunity to meet most of them since I moved here. I wish it could continue that way – not because I have anything against them or even fear them, but because I doubt my ability to be of any benefit to them whatsoever. Even if I go, it will surely be a waste of all our time. But then again, so is befriending foxes in a place that never even existed. So here I go, may God have mercy on my soul.


I am home unharmed except for a cough. The whole event was very dignified, and I think I blended in pretty well after a little while. Two policemen showed up at the end, probably because of the bonfire. I am not sure open fire is legal at this point, as it is very dry. The bonfire is an essential part of the tradition though, so we had a small one. Nobody got arrested.

4 thoughts on “A thoughtful silence?

  1. I like that dream.

    And it just completely . . . I have no words . . . befuddles? astounds? . . . totally makes my jaw drop when you say that you doubt your ability to be of benefit to your neighbors! And even if you were of no benefit (which is patently false), it wouldn’t be to anyone’s DETRIMENT for you to be involved in their festivities!

    Of course, this is all based on the premise that your neighbors aren’t axe murderers or anything . . .

    And wasted words . . . boy, will I have some accounting to do! I talk a lot. But, in my defense, it is usually while in the process of being polite to people.

    I’m glad you made the connection. Humanity in general is better for having you in it, much less your neighborhood! Being yourself just as hard as you can is what God made us for, isn’t it? Taking the “you” God made and doing the best you can with it?

    • I don’t have a problem with my neighbors. They seem to be good people. And the place was swarming with kids, generally a sign of optimism (although I suppose infinite space may also contribute).

      The problem is that I am so different now. I don’t eat the same food as normal people, I don’t think the same thoughts as normal people, and I cannot even physically talk nearly as much as normal people.

      If you saw someone who was not me, who was just standing there, observing everything with a neutral expression, talking only briefly when spoken to, would you not feel either worry or pity? It would surely be unnerving. Now you know me better than most people know themselves, but if I were a stranger, you would have no way of knowing why I was different. For all you knew, I might be standing there listening to the voices in my head…

      I think it went fairly well though. It seems to help that the Tax Moth is an old friend, or nearly so. Also, I boasted of my farmer background, since the whole village used to be farmland and still has an avid horse raising and riding community.

  2. I think I’ve been around so many different kinds of kids that I’m more tolerant of various types. (I didn’t think of the food difficulty, though.) What _I_ would have done was be friendly and try to make that person feel at home and welcome. I probably would have asked questions to gauge whether that person were listening to voices in their head.

    And . . . horses? Tell me about the horses!

    • There were in fact a couple of those friendly types, much like you. They are a bit of a problem, since being friendly largely consists in conversations. In fact, I prefer people who are self-centered and will happily talk about themselves with just a few words to show that I am listening. Friendly people, on the other hand, want to let me talk as well, which can be problematic. Luckily I had enough voice left (it was a fairly easy workday) so I got enough talking done to seem natural, I think.

      One of the neighbors introduced their family as having horses, so I asked “who does not have horses around here?” and that made them laugh. There are so many small farms that don’t have cows anymore, but they have a few horses each. I am not sure how it turned into that, but it seems to have become a local specialty. There are various kinds of riding horses – I don’t think any of them are commercial grade runners, but I have not seen them all in action – some seem to be little more than ponies. There are only a few on each farm, no big ranches here. I see what looks like teenagers and even younger riding regularly. It’s not like when I grew up, when horses were used for plowing and such.

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