Bede Griffiths has written the following: "In South India there is a pilgrimage to a place called Sabarimala. It is a pilgrimage to the forest and hundreds of thousands of people go there every year. The deep meaning of this, is that people need to go back from time to time, to the forest, to the wilds, where they were before they belonged to settled civilization with a home and city. We need to recall the freedom of the forest. Some time each year, at least, we should go from our fixed abode, leaving our possessions, and everything to which we are attached, and become free to wander or to settle in some very quiet place, to be free for some time...."
We are encouraged to take that time to be apart, alone and unencumbered. Some will go so far as to state this action is essential for healthy living. Is this easy? No it is anything but. Why? What makes this healthy action such a challenge? Simply put, it is our egocentric egos, the source of all our disease, which makes it so very difficult, for you and for me. The bigger our egos the more intense the struggle will be. For some, it is almost impossible to leave behind all that SEEMS to satisfy our deep seated need, to be seen as needed and having value. We now know, or, growing in awareness of, that when our worthwhileness is dependent on these outside forces, we are in serious trouble. That word "SEEMS" is important. When we are looking outside, of our true selves, for that which is already deep within, we are on "a fool's errand." We will wander, and wander and never find a place we can truly call home. We will be out there, as it were, "looking for love in all the wrong places," and some places we find ourselves in, are really "wrong." We will look and look and never see. For that which is sought is already present within us. We have to let go, become unattached to the trappings that feed the false self, and embrace The Unseen, The Unknown. On vacation, how often now do you see families lost to the personhood of each other as they are lost, attending to an impersonal, unfleshed electronic device? Are we really losing the rich, comforting, challenging sounds of human voices, which have for so long been a source of our connectedness with real reality? Our spirit can never be touched with an inanimate object, no matter how fancy it may look.
We must, in order to be spiritually and physically healthy, take that time away. Answer that call which is calling us to be alone, so The Alone can speak to our hearts. William Butler Yeats, the great Irish poet, has penned these wonder-full, awe-full, challenging words:
"Come way, O human child!
to the waters and the wild
With a Faerie, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.
Let us human children connect again with our ancestral heritage by returning to the forests, the glimmering lakes, and to the mountains with their gentle flowing streams. Let us return to the ocean shores and become lost in the symphonic sounds of the surf. We will not have to have a Faerie, "hand in hand," because we will be in The Hand Presence, of that Reality which the word, "Faerie" was meant to communicate. This journey of ours is a journey of our spirit to a place where there will be real food, real nourishment. We will journey to a place where we will find rest for our restlessness. Because of the hospitality of nature we will be able to be at home, at peace, and at rest. The great sacrament that nature is, is ever new and ever old. Just as we will never visit a place twice, so too, we are never the same from moment to moment. The Creative Spirit is bringing all of creation into a oneness. An emerging creation, with all of its newness, is right here before our eyes. When are we going to stop, and in reverent awe, be caught up in that which is greater than anything we will ever be. When that happens the only thing left to do is...pray.