In the end what is the essence of being? What is at the very heart of our being human? How do we really get a hold of a nature that is invisibly yet indelibly imprinted on us? Are we even capable of imagining or beholding this reality?
Are we even ready to really see ourselves for all we are? A human being. The penultimate of the creation of God. Higher even than the angels. Superior in craft and in nature. The pinnacle of God’s creative hand.
Are we ready to look in that mirror? Reflecting back at us is something beyond our ability to imagine, a mystery even to ourselves, the owner so to speak. In that dark reflection we can begin to embrace the profound stillness of being.
For a moment we are like Adam, the man made of sand, animated by the very breath of God. Suddenly from non-existence we are given life, being, consciousness. We are able to consider from inside ourselves as we in wonder gaze at his handiwork.
Ash Wednesday on one hand is such a morbid ceremony. With ash on the forehead we are reminded: “from ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” All these millions of particles that are being held together right now will slowly start un-connecting.
Soon we will be millions of disintegrated cells, just particles and so on. In a casket somewhere in the ground our bodies will eventually decompose into dust. Morbid right? But also full of wonder. How truly amazing that for now we are connected.
For now everything works together. We are animated, and our bodies respond to our brain’s wishes. Things move when we simply will them to. We think something and it happens. It is truly amazing how integrated our being-ness is now.
Body-soul-spirit. Mind-will-emotions. We are all in one encapsulated area. Millions of particles working together to make life, and to give us meaning. It is truly mystifying and actually humbling. But ultimately it is temporary. We don’t last forever.
At least in this form. We someday will transcend these aging, broken bodies. Though we do our best now to eat healthy and exercise we can not ultimately stop the breaking process. Our bodies will break down, slowly but surely.
It is frustrating. The flesh is weak. But by very nature our spirits are willing. We can feel the freedom, energy and wonder of the child still in there. No matter our age, the spirit remains almost ageless, free from the corruption of mortality.
It reminds us that there must be something else, some place more fitting for our spirit’s freedom - a place where our bodies will match the agelessness of our souls. For most thinking on such things is a sign of weakness or resignation.
“We must focus on the here and now.” Yes, maybe. But how? If we don’t see through this world our view of it may be quite small. The help we hope to give the here and now will fall flat. To what end our we going? Where is this all leading?