The great oak tree is gone
That stood here sentinel
For centuries. None
Mourn its demise or tell

How much they miss it. I
Alone, who loved that tree,
Now sing and sanctify
Its immortality.

You too, my love long gone,
Forever lost to me,
Now that your race is run,
Now that your soul is free;

Rest easy where you are
In fields of sun and rain.
Under another star
Perhaps we’ll meet again.

What can I say but this:
We were walkers that slept
By a frightful abyss.
And then you went—and leapt.

— XANADU, Translations from a Lost Language

14 thoughts to “Sleepwalkers”

  1. Death is a “frightful abyss” for most of us – but we endeavor to see it otherwise. In her very telling and touching poem, Xanadu ends it with an implicit hope of reincarnation for her broken heart. Our frightful abysses are only bridged by hope – which is why, e.g., I am inclined to be positive about my country’s prospects. 🙂

    1. But why hope of reincarnation? Why think in terms of that being the only avenue of continued existence?
      Again, I’ll repeat – “blind faith in continued existence comes from belief in dubious doctrine, true faith sees with a knowing heart.”
      No brain matter need apply

      1. I’ve come to understand through the stories of elders that notions of reincarnation are a strange and troubling concept for natives of N. America. The reasons are mainly twofold:

        1) Having an intimate relationship with the natural world enhances spirituality to the point of there being little distinction between life and death. I’m reminded of the late, great Indian medicine man Red Elk, who spoke of visiting his beloved pet dogs on the “other side” on occasion. The reason I put “other side” in quotations is because the major difference between “here and there” is one of compositional makeup, of which readers familiar with my writings over the years are well aware in regards to the nature of this world having been “cloaked over”. A point of meditative reference on this is reflected by the phrase, “if you’re already (t)here, then (w)here, is (t)here, to go? Here is the where that I am, there is the here where I’ve always been”

        2) The power of Jesus’ words as forces of action have had their impact greatly weakened under the auspices of the Christian churches. This has driven many people in the West to access Eastern modes of thought, where oftentimes the doctrine is inadequate in presenting the whole truth about reincarnation. Notable exceptions to “Eastern modes” would involve, e.g.; Babaji and Mirra of Ponchiderry. But generally speaking, various Gospel concordances are the best way to go insofar as spiritual-related writings are concerned

      2. If the you, the one “you” you think is you, is truly you, then you have absolutely only nothing to fear whatsoever. If the you that you conceive of as “you” is nothing at all, then I suppose fear has its justification. You will return not human, but a lesser form. YB said that, not me. I tend to agree.

        What if we were not Mind, Body, and Soul whatsoever? What if we were “consciousness” Its Self, engaged entering and leaving this deep hole of density, in ecstasy? Just a thought to ponder.

      3. Reincarnation? There is ample evidence that death is a mirror of birth, a passing of consciousness from one realm to another. Death, like birth, is a continuation of the soul’s cycling through existence to learn its necessary lessons. In fact, the entire universe functions on cycles, so why should one’s consciousness or “soul” be any different? The only difference is the form it takes.

        The real question is not what happens after death, but do you want to go through yet another life in the cosmic cycle? Consider how well your life has gone thus far. Before answering, look past the fleeting moments of bliss, joy and happiness and concentrate on the everyday pain, misery and suffering known to every existence. Invariably, one finds their tenuous love for life is merely based on the fear of death and its unknown outcome.

        The fear of death is a product of one’s ego, i.e. the illusion that we are someone, something, of importance; that we are worth preserving and all this value is lost at the moment of death. Yet it is our life that is the illusion. Consider the various permutations of your life. How much of your present life’s past still exists? How much will remain after your death? One only needs to attend to the estate of a dead relative to see how quickly one’s life fades to memory before fading to nothingness.

        An uncle of mine was a decorated Navy pilot who served with distinction before, during and after WWII. Everything my uncle was, his medals, his flight logs, his rank, wings a few photos are now located in a small memorial in my basement and this is only because of my familial relation to him. But what will happen to those fading few mementos when I am gone? Who then will know or care who he was or what he did? In the end, how will any of our lives be any different then his? Think of the most monumental moments of your life and ask yourself how many others remember them as you do or even remember them at all?

        The final outcome for the greatest accomplishments of the greatest individuals is to fade to nothingness. While one can still see the crumbling remains of the sphinx, it leaves only a riddle with no clue as to who built it or why. Now consider how many other equally great accomplishments have left no physical trace. Consider the myths of prehistory like those of Atlantis and the Vedic scriptures. Memories now so distant it cannot even be said with certainty if these myths have any basis of fact. Never mind the forgotten individuals who may or may not have existed in the distant past.

        These myths are like ancient bones of prehistory, typically the only remaining physical trace of human existence. However, dry bones say nothing of the individual’s history, their status in the community or their achievements. All they tell us is someone did exist at one time. This is the eventual destiny of every individual that ever lived, until at some point, the planet itself is consumed by cosmic cataclysm.

        In the fullness of time, all creation is eventually destroyed and forgotten. This is the illusion of life laid bare.

        The fact is, no matter what is achieved in this life, in the end it is of no more importance than those who achieved it and we are of no more importance, no greater or lesser worth, than any other organism in this existence. When one can view life from a cosmic perspective, they find themselves on the same level as a worm, ant or one celled organism they so easily crush out of existence. Only then, might reality dawn of one’s true worth in this existence.

        The reason we fear death is because we fear life. We fear we may not be what we think we are and it is death that proves this to be the case.

      4. @AS – “The fear of death is a product of one’s ego, i.e. the illusion that we are someone…” Someone that is momentarily separated from creation itself through co creation of ones own illusion caught in an identity trying to bypass reality in itself and project ones own instead. When a friend of mine with 83 was seeking an open heart surgery to repair what age had corroded and that death was looming to take his identity I mentioned to him that I would embrace death as a long lost friend when the call comes. He became speechless instantly and never spoke to me again.
        “We fear we may not be what we think we are” because most are to afraid to investigate as it would destroy the illusory world that was co created and ones identity in an instant. The biggest threat to the illusion of an ego is death of illusion in itself. An ego is literally to die for.
        Spirited people have no ownership of anything – not even their own bodies. Nature on a property is never owned it rather is destroyed by man for always selfish reasons during care taking. Most natives and aboriginals were very much aware of that. Than came the “freedom” and the bringing of life through Christianity and money changing.

      5. Man’s endowment is for his stewardship to honor the whole of Creation. But in exercising his free will he ventured too far from a state of Grace. In doing so he made himself vulnerable to where he was “snatched” and then trapped in a state of denseness called “matter”. As a result, the battle of GOOD (waged by forces of the Light) vs. EVIL (waged by forces of Darkness) commenced.

        What came about resulting from the two sides drawing off against each other in a spiritual war was the “Great Yugic Cycle” (picture the #8 on its side – the sign of Infinity). This “stand-off” features a recurring movement of “devolution” and “evolution”. When d-evolving, Evil has the upper hand. When e-volving Good has it, and at a certain point in this area of the cycle will occur a “window of opportunity” to break out of its hold and back to the Light.

        This scenario reveals “reincarnation” to be a product of Evil, whose reality wouldn’t have occurred had our free will not been THAT free. This is why amending its parameters has become necessary. Learning the “lesson” means being ready to go through the window when it opens.

        This opportunity is nearing ever closer, as the sacred drums continue to pound


      6. I should amend the above post to read, “blind faith in an unfettered realm of ‘quiet enjoyment’ (“Xanadu”) comes from a belief in dubious doctrine. True faith sees it with a knowing heart”.

    2. Sorry Gil, if I misunderstood your use of the word “reincarnation” used in this context. The word “mending”, as in “mending a broken heart” would have been how I’d phrase it.

      But no matter, it DID allow me to further expound on the subject of reincarnation. 😏

      1. Brownhawk –

        I like Arch’s (rather windy) description, preceding. Makes me think of land, and land’s eternal value, relative to our temporary value. I am merely a steward of my land, and that stewardship will pass on to others after my death. They might be temporarily satisfied that they “own” it – but they are stewards in possession, nonetheless. The responsibility of our lives is that stewardship. Someone else, not even known to us, will someday dwell thereon, or rely upon it for their sustenance. It will remain. We, ourselves, will return to dust. Sometimes, I realize that the idea of “reincarnation” is just a vanity; a passing fancy of the moment as it flashes in Eternity.

  2. Separation —
    humanity’s greatest myth (GOD and me ain’t ONE), projected to this earthly plane, among the densest to which we, souls incarnate as mammalian, top of the heap, the EYE in a metaphorical pyramid —
    manifests most dearly, devotedly, and destructively in relations between man and woman.

    Brevity, ADMIN.

  3. I should amend the above post to read, “blind faith in an unfettered realm of ‘quiet enjoyment’ (“Xanadu”) comes from a belief in dubious doctrine. True faith sees it with a knowing heart”.

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