The Abject Nothing Left to Give



Audio Episode: Primer Four: When I Stand Alone


It isn’t that I and my beloved celebrated without guilt the raucous ride through all three Iron Man movies over three nights, leaving popcorn all over the floor, and bathing in the rapturously beautiful and expensive Bose sound for the TV; and it isn’t that I escaped unharmed a revulsion unto nausea generated by a “spiritual” movie turning God/Christ/the Holy Spirit into trite, insipid, cartoon characters in the name of inspiration, despite the guilt and shame that was the film’s undercurrent to deliver and which I wrestled with in darkness for the entire two hours before escaping with the help of a friend; nor was it for that moment I cannot quite account for, when I found myself reading as sadhana Sri Aurobindo’s Essays on the Bhagavad Gita, and finding my mind, the bugaboo of all enlightenment seekers, nurtured down to its finest roots—that I felt hopeless gratitude;

but it was in that moment a few days earlier than these events, sitting out front under the newly risen sun, contemplating the parched earth and the weeks of no rain, that the merest unformed gesture out of the infinite unveiled itself, a gesture so tender it was that mere exposure to the grossness of me could only have brought abject revulsion and yet did not, such that offering even the profoundest devotion and gratitude a mortal soul could muster would be like tossing down a sack of garbage; that I, standing up in total acceptance of the stench of my existence, despite a lifetime of devotion to the pursuit of God, endless acts of purification and surrender, the deepest inquiries of my scarcely lighted mind, tore out of the bottomless caverns of my being the abject declaration

that I, a beast in clothing of mud and pretense with nothing left to give, capable only of the crudest declarations, affirmed with my hand on a stack of Bibles and Gitas stretching down into the unredeemable nothing, that I exist! No, never, could anything be more real or true! Why else to live or die than to know this? Tear my heart from my breast and the light from my soul if ever I deny that one tender wisp of knowing turning to know me.