WE CAME INTO BEING
as a slight thickening at the end of a long
thread. Cells proliferate, become an excrescence, assume the shape
of a man. The end of the thread now lies buried within, shielded,
inviolate. Our task is to bear it forward, pass it on. We flourish
for a moment, achieve a bit of singing and dancing, a few memories
we would carve in stone, then we wither, twist out of shape....
...We are carriers of spirit. We know not how nor why nor where. On
our shoulders, in our eyes, in anguished hands through unclear
realm, into a future unknown, unknowable, and in continual creation,
we bear its full weight. Depends it on us utterly, yet we know it
not. We inch it forward with each beat of heart, give it to the work
of hand, of mind. We falter, pass it on to our children, lay out our
bones, fall away, are lost, forgotten. Spirit passes on, enlarged,
enriched, more strange, complex.
We are being used. Should not we know in whose service? To whom, to
what, give we unwitting loyalty? What is this quest? Beyond that
which we have, what could we want? What is spirit?...
...Spirit rises, matter falls. Spirit reaches like a flame, a leap
of dancer. Out of the void it creates form like a god, _is_ god.
Spirit was from the start, though even that beginning may have been
an ending of some earlier start. If we look back far enough we
arrive at a primal mist wherein spirit is but a restlessness of
atoms, a trembling of something there that will not stay in
stillness and in cold.
Matter would have the universe a uniform dispersion, motionless,
complete. Spirit would have an earth, a heaven and a hell, whirl and
conflict, an incandescent sun to drive away the dark, to illumine
good and evil, would have thought, memory, desire, would build a
stairway of forms increasing in complexity, inclusiveness, to a
heaven ever receding above, changing always in configuration,
becoming when reached but the way to more distant heavens, the last
. . . but there is no last, for spirit tends upward without end,
wanders, spirals, dips, but tends ever upward, ruthlessly using
lower forms to create higher forms, moving toward ever greater
inwardness, consciousness, spontaneity, to an ever greater
Particles become animate. Spirit leaps aside from matter which tugs
forever to pull it down, to make it still. Minute creatures writhe
in warm oceans. Ever more complex become the tiny forms which bear
for a moment a questing spirit. They come together, touch; spirit is
beginning to create love. They touch, something passes. They die,
die, die, endlessly. Who shall know the spawnings in the rivers of
our past? Who shall count the waltzing grunnion on the shores of
ancient seas? Who shall hear the unheard poundings of that surf? Who
will mourn the rabbits of the plains, the furry tides of lemmings.
They die, die, die, but have touched, and something passes. Spirit
leaps away, creates new bodies, endlessly, ever more complex vessels
to bear spirit forward, pass it on enlarged to those who follow.
Virus becomes bacteria, becomes algae, becomes fern. Thrust of
spirit cracks stone, drives up the Douglas fir. Amoeba reaches out
soft blunt arms in ceaseless motion to find the world, to know it
better, to bring it in, growing larger, questing further, ever more
capacious of spirit. Anemone becomes squid, becomes fish; wiggling
becomes swimming, becomes crawling; fish becomes slug, becomes
lizard; crawling becomes walking, becomes running, becomes flying.
Living things reach out to each other, spirit leaps between. Tropism
becomes scent, becomes fascination, becomes lust, becomes love.
Lizard to fox to monkey to man, in a look, in a word, we come
together, touch, die, serve spirit without knowing, carry it
forward, pass it on. Ever more winged this spirit, ever greater its
leaps. We love someone far away, someone who died long ago.