Out Beyond the Wall

My thanks again to Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus, this prompt was way too good to resist…

This wall was built long ago…
Too much life for the straight and narrow way,
Great and crashing waves of existence,
Too strong for the emerging mind of man.
 
And so a wall was built deep and high
To keep out the night of unconsciousness,
To hold back the forgotten dread,
That sneaks  in through quiet times
To take us unawares,
Or breaks over ramparts,
And soak us in the icy brine of prehistoric life.
 
What am I, who am I and what does the wall hold back? we might ask,
It protects us from too much life,
It contains the other side we cannot abide,
But now like all good adventurers I must go out,
Out beyond the wall,
Into the camp of night , into winter’s shadowy grip,
And bring back that jewel of the hidden north,
Bring back myself: whole and full.
 
Pray that I return-
Pray that The Wall lets me pass,
Back to warmth and comforts of the mundane…
Or on moonlit nights look out for me;
A knot of night in the passing gloom,
Forever calling you…
Out beyond the wall.
 

The Way of the Warrior

Label the world and you lose it,

Name beauty and you create ugliness,

Claim goodness and there also is evil,

But accept death and you embrace life…

This is the way of the warrior.

Self-help?

Self help: what is it exactly? On the face of it, it appears to be the ability to  address the problems that plague you and your life without outside help. However, it also suggests the existence of an inner strength or power you are presumably unable to tap at present or are unaware of (and that is why you need to read the book, go to the talk or have the life-changing experience).

This has often been called ‘finding yourself’.

So it could be said that you are in fact seeking help from outside yourself, your current self that is. You are looking for a new self, which somehow you already are, but are told that to realise its potential you need to set out on a path of self-growth: from ‘here’ to the longed for ‘there’.

On this path you are not seeking to add anything but rather take away the illusions and misconceptions you label yourself with, and with new eyes discover what you really are. One way this has happened is by hitting rock  bottom – a state of depression where nothing new or interesting is seen, and nothing can ever suprise you. A very dark place indeed. But one day a light will crack open the darkness and introduce you to a new world, one far bigger than the old one, with a fascination that is constantly renewed – enough to hold your interest for a lifetime. This release is what happens when the tiny self or ego that we take to be us is discovered to be only a subset of a wider and real you. This is the Self with a capital ‘S’.

So self-help, at a deeper level, is all about starting off as the little self and ending up as the big Self. It is about discovering who you really are and realising there was nothing wrong in the first place. It is about love. Along the way many skills will be learned and at times this may seem to be what self-help is all about. But actually every new skill mastered is only a easier way of seeing or reminding us that everything is perfectly fine.

That is not to say that we should underestimate the growth of the little self, and the value of all it can learn from the big Self. This is the real meaning of Self-help. It is the big Self helping the little self (you or I) and the little self learning to express or be a conduit for the big Self, which otherwise would be frustrated.

In the coming months I will aim to write about some of these skills and life tools that can help us along this challenging but deeply rewarding way.

(C) Copyright Mark B Williams 2014
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