Browsing the night sky while sailing the Southern Hemisphere, one might be inspired by the copious nature that is the universe. Each night is a free exhibition of stars and planets in varying arrays of order and intensity. Humbled and in awe at this heavenly showcase as we appreciate Gods universe and confirm our brotherhood with all who have gazed at this stellar blanket of sky.
In the direction of the Antarctic Circle, one might notice what appears as the precinct of a cross. This is the constellation Crux, the Southern Cross. The second brightest star at the intersection of this celestial cross is Beta Crucis, close enough to the South Pole’s heavenly border; it gives the illusion that all other stars circumnavigate its boundary…, a south circumpolar star as opposed to the North Star. This is where we find our pilgrim in doubt of the very wonderment others have seen and felt in these very same waters.
In the winter of his 50th year, while sailing the South Seas, he decided to run away. Life had become an insignificant influx of dates, deadlines, and confusion. He asked himself, “Would there ever be peace from the constant parade of thoughts in my mind.” He felt like footsteps were marching on his brain. One foot represented what’s allowed and
the other what was not allowed and no one could tell him why these things were so. Who or what was responsible for such confusion that stole away every semblance of the sacred; of the miracle that is life.
It had been years since he could remember joy, purely derived from its own nature, not owing to any outside cause and effect. To be at the moment and know, it is there to behold in all its emptiness and mystery, purely of itself, with time as a non-existent entity. Joy had become a thing of the past, exasperated in missed opportunities and expectations; in things he never appreciated until they were gone into the winds of regret. Was there ever a time when joy held court over the present… this day, this minute, this second? How many lies did he tell himself only to fail to get to a state that could only come from within? How many lives wasted for nothing?
But yet there it was even though it couldn’t be seen, the sum of joy was everywhere, he thought as his mind embarked upon the gift of memory. In the play of a child, lovers holding hands, the peacefulness of a grassy meadow in evening’s twilight, the intense red color of cardinal in the distance … in everything.
“Yes in everything but not in me!” He shouted and cursed at the sky hoping for a sign, any sign as long as it would ease his troubled mind.
He contemplated all of this for what seemed like days but in fact was only moments and then a stream of thoughts entered his mind as sure as a light the size of a pin head in a cave of total darkness. It was as though the words appeared one by one from an inner secret room.
“Yes joy is everywhere; all the identities that evoke the joyful path at the moment are held in tack. It is only the burden of concepts that veils the path from our sight. If I were to take one step off, can I balance life… one in the eternal, one in the temporal? Therefore I must see with new eyes, but where can I get these eyes? Not from a teacher for they can only point the way and I end up mistaking the finger for the moon. And yes I have read many texts, new and ancient that speak of these eyes but again, they only point.”
He meditated for a while as the waves rocked the boat down to his very core of being in a strange dance that seemed to shake all the foundations of his life. Then a silent voice seemed to call his name, an echo of one sound that gave him a wealth of knowledge in one syllable… OM. He met that sound with the faint whisper of words that traveled a glory road emanating from his soul as though released from an eternity of indenture.
“Maybe a star isn’t just a star, maybe to know darkness is to know light, maybe to see evil is to see good and maybe to feel sadness is to feel joy. It is in the opposites that we see the other and thus know the One. And the word to our acceptance is ‘yes’ to all. For in our ‘yes’, we are the creator and the destroyer of our world for we have the ‘Source of All’ within”.
And with this sudden inspiration, he stepped on the bow of his boat and looked to the Southern Cross, that venerable constellation keeping witness in the night sky to all that is below. He marveled how everything in the distant sky seemed to circumnavigate Beta Crucis. At that moment, a state of longing and well-being preyed upon his soul and he knew that this was the joy he had searched for. With this strange but familiar emotion he prayed, “Let the black night embrace my soul and steal me away in its arms as Hades lured Persephone. For as sure as tomorrow the sun will share its warmth and display a new light reflected on the moon and I will bath in the one light of infinity and embrace the luminous moon of finite time.”
All this confirmed by the wind as it carried across the heavens.