had an amazing life once. It was a rich and fulfilling existence filled with the serenity of the Rocky Mountains and the hustle and bustle of New York City. Today, like all fantastic events, it sleeps in the cemetery of dreams and itÕs hoping for someone to revive it and relive it. Once lived, though, attempting to recapture its enchanting qualities is futile, and I only say this after trying many a time. So IÕm now resigned to this truth and all I can say is that IÕm grateful the heavens ever cast me in such an extraordinary fairy tale, for whatever length of time it lasted. Let me tell you about itÉ
Back then, seemingly mundane events mesmerized me, from the warm radiance of the sun to the mirroring and refracting qualities of soothing pond water. I had the luxury of living nature and the whyÕs and howÕs of its existence didnÕt concern me. I gazed at every awesome sunset and felt its presence in every pore of my body. I could see the sunrays piercing the clouds overhead and randomly spotting the soiled crevices under my feet. Its warmth felt sweet, soft, and surreal. The quiet vigilant moon also celebrated the evening hour with soft, penetrating brilliance. Every night earned a unique identity in celestial history. How was it that these things impressed me so? I donÕt know.
Jane, my beautiful JaneÉHer beauty was bewitching. She was the very essence of life. She was full of vigor and excitement. Like the morning flower in the shining path of the sun, her sweet, rose-petal face inspired countless masterpieces. Her exquisiteness emanated from within, showering her already gorgeous exterior with the divine qualities of a Greek goddess. Her mere presence radiated humility and compassion. She could pacify the devil himself, and I believe she actually did because he was nowhere in sight.
She didnÕt worry about tomorrow, yesterday, or anything; none of us did, really. We took life in small doses and didnÕt reminisce about the past, what couldÕve been, or what wasnÕt. Our spirits absorbed absolutely everything. We grew and evolved daily, and noticeably. We morphed into eleven thousand and one different personas, and personified the infinite spectrum of life-giving light in the process.
The constitution to which our community subscribed was neither recorded nor mandated. We simply followed an intuitive set of natural ethical standards well understood and practiced by every living soul. No one was concerned with knowing anything in particular. Our moral obligation was to live, not exist. Comfort to us was not the absence of daily chores for the demeaning purpose of making life easier. On the contrary, partaking in all communal activities, large and small, was an enjoyment we could not very well surrender. We couldnÕt deprive ourselves of the pleasures of cooking a colorfully tasty meal, weaving a perfectly beautiful dress, or restoring life to a moldy, water-torn shell. It wouldÕve been absurd.
Schools didnÕt exist. We were content and delighted to learn from our immediate surroundings and our friends, at our own life-given pace. We found bliss in teaching others how to live and how to squeeze the life-giving joy out of every second. We didnÕt necessarily teach others how to do things but rather how to enjoy doing them. Marveling at the soft curls of a blooming violet, the scented perfume of a wild pink rose, and the protruded veins of a lush spring leaf without minding how or why they existed mattered more to us than anything else. Sheer knowledge for the sake of wisdom was repulsive. Its spiritual quality paralleled that of a lifeless pit. Living was the key to life and pride and ambition denied us of that very joy, viciously destroying any reason for existence.
Back when ambitions and aspirations still muddled the insides of my confused heart, I would talk to Jane and feel one hundred and fifty percent better. I always felt like an alien in a strange land whenever these ill-fated feelings surfaced, but I eventually learned to suppress and disregard them.
ŌWhat about engineering feats, medicine, and politics, doesnÕt anybody bother with those? How can society at large survive?Ķ I would often start a conversation with Jane this way.
She didnÕt understand my questions. As the days would pass, even the reason behind me asking them in the first place escaped me. She did answer what she could, though, after I managed to elaborate my own tenuous doubts.
ŌThereÕs no need to improve anything,Ķ (and she would softly chuckle) Ōno need for engineering, as you strangely think of it. Our quality of life is already glorious and enchanting. Look at the sky, the trees, the soil; everything is inspiring. We donÕt need the byproducts of – what did you call it? – engineering to make it any better. Material inventions, as you describe, are perfectly meaningless and quite pointless.Ķ
She did concede to one thing, thoughÉ
ŌThe emotional experiences of building and learning, of erecting and destroying, I grant you, are just as precious as living, but the sheer knowledge acquired in the process, in and of itself, isnÕt really important. When it comes to stirring our core, they seem trivial and inconsequential.Ķ
She had a similar response to medicine and politics. The thought of prolonging life was not very appealing to her. She didnÕt like the idea of postponing her journey into the great unknown. Even the idea of easing physical pain, which was a mere mental state to her, deprived her of emotional growth.
Litigation and arbitration were fruitless in a society that homogeneously praised nature and life in general. They couldnÕt imagine placing value on pride, knowledge, power, or any one particular thing. A perfectly ethical civilization worships life as is and not the technical feats of its inhabitants or the so-called progress of its state, which negates the need for leaders, scholars, and planners. In such a reality, neighbors naturally love and respect one another without judgment or predispositions.
As for religion, society, as it existed, revolved around it, not around deity, per se. People had faith in life and the beauty it procured. They didnÕt question or analyze it. They simply believed it. The idea of spiritual growth through the act of living was Allah and the world was its Church, regardless of what it all meant or why it was. God, however, was not a reason, a goal, or even an inspiration. God was a beautiful reality that was neither defined nor personified. It didnÕt take a shape, earthly or otherwise, nor did it have any more superficial or profound significance. It didnÕt pretend to make any rules other than the ethical bounds born out of respect and love for others, which were already set, understood, and cherished, but never preached – there wasnÕt a need for it. To investigate how life started or how it will end was a hollow, pointless endeavor, especially considering our present and ultimate ignorance of reality, actual or perceived.
I donÕt really remember how I became part of their world or even when and why I went there. I had foreign ideas that sometimes alienated me from the rest. These weird notions of ambitions and aspirations made me uneasy and unable to fully live and enjoy being. I didnÕt altogether become a full-fledged tribal member until I was able to forego and bury these faults of mine. I eventually did let go, which allowed me to understand the true meaning of joy. Only then did the doors to the corridor of spiritual growth open up to me.
That life was not mine for the taking, unfortunately. It wasnÕt meant to last. I donÕt know why. Perhaps I couldnÕt pretend to rid myself of the vices that made me the foreigner I could never deny being. All I know is that I no longer belonged to an enlightened race. This alien nation is now completely inconsistent with my current human reality. For whatever reason, I woke up and suddenly walked out of nirvana – perhaps they evicted me because of my unyielding faults. The days I spent living in that foreign land, which is somehow familiar and still provincial to me, are now gone. IÕve tried to recreate that world and have been somewhat successful at times, but only in the privacy of my thoughts. The truth is that I canÕt relive or recreate that life, not without the help of others and the synergy of manyÉor without my own death.
It was only after living this adventure, which destiny painfully and inexplicably robbed from me, that I came to understand, respect, and admire my nephewÕs ant farm, my beautiful and now distant former reality, perceived or otherwise.