An Open Secret

I sometimes imagine that I have been let in on a secret about the meaning and purpose of human life—but that I only have an imperfect understanding of this secret and an even more imperfect capacity to live my life in accordance with it.

It feels a bit like having eyes that are attuned to the light that infuses our world and a mind whose inner light allows me to think and feel and understand a few things–while I continue to push through the dim terrain in which I find myself located.

Living on the borders of a secret realm, I can glimpse the presence of those rare beings who do not hold back and who are devoting their lives to bringing more light into the world. These beings provide the medicine needed to heal our pain and they embody an understanding that could guide the blind groping that rules our visible world.

I am not one of these. I am living out my days in this confusing realm, in a society cluttered with the products of neglect —as if a gigantic Bingo basket is tossing around the stamped cubes of private consumption, manufactured dreams, and contrived sound bites, as we wait for “B19” to ring forth in the darkened halls of our lives.

It can feel as if there is no real option than to make the best of whatever arises in a field of options–limited to the obligations and hopes which each of us embody—as we just keep swimming in the waters that we have grown used to swimming in.

But I mustn’t forget that a secret portal has shown up on our shores. I know it would be a mistake to deny that I have glimpsed its value.

Even if we only take a few cautious steps toward a gap at the edge of the forest from which a golden note seems to be coming, that is already something. Even if for a moment, in the midst of our isolation, we really hear a voice of deeper understanding than our own and recognize the truth of that understanding–that is already something.

We may not be teachers or courageous explorers, but perhaps just a single step will allow us to feel more connected with others who have also heard a golden chiming in the forest at the edge of their lives.

Perhaps all we have to do is to try to be the person that we sense within us who yearns to break free of the darkness; and then to allow ourselves to reflect on how we are spending our time. That aspiration is already something remarkable, something with the power to open what has become a hidden secret in our world, but which is really the shining beacon at the heart of everything.

It can be anywhere and anytime that we glimpse a doorway into this secret realm, where happiness and peace reside. It doesn’t even need an event or a shift in the wind to appear before us. It could happen at any moment that we will hear the ship bell clanging and realize that we are being called to step aboard. How remarkable that we have been born free to realize that we are ourselves creatures of light.

Let’s appreciate the profound openness of the capacity of being that has chosen to land upon the deck of our human lives–like a dove with a golden key in her beak.

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