When I started to dance to the mystery of God
taken from I, FOR LACK OF A BETTER TERM: a soul's soliloquy, from early writings by Jack Haas: this is a rare, online book
When I started to dance it was like finding a map without a territory. Like coming upon an unknown wildland inside of me.
In a millisecond of absolute forgetfulness everything altered and yet it all remained completely the same. One moment I was me, walking along somewhere, somehow, as somebody, and then, just like as if there was a mutiny within me, a massive exodus from my Egypt walked out into my own Israel. Which is to say, I awoke in the sleep I was dreaming.
I came to, gaping and wide. Clenching my forehead, I went to my knees. I was smiling and weeping (and who has not done that?) But man it was different. It was as if I smiled without smiling, wept without weeping, and gasped without taking a breath. No, perhaps it wasn't like that. But still I realized for the first time in my life (and here is where it gets crazy again) ...that I knew nothing, nothing of anything, of the world, of myself, of our meaning. I was in the mystery, and ...I was the Mystery. Finally I had forgotten everything. Everything. Nothing but a blank, brilliant slate remained. Even that nebulous, impossible word 'God'- even that- I forgot what it means, and, more importantly ...what it does not mean.
What is god? What is not god? Suddenly these became the same question, with only one answer. God. Do you understand what that implies? No, of course you don't. Neither do I. I cannot explain the vanishing dichotomy any further.
But then, let me continue, after that stupefying event- after His, or Hers, or My own unknowable being sprang forth in awful mystic bewilderment before me- I could not help but ponder whether I- like the worn-out and disheveled seers of old, wandering aimlessly about, ruined by their half-baked visions- whether I would also fall helplessly away from all meaning and life, and would I also go on, and on, and on, as drunk as the ether ...and sober as the sun.
Euphoria, you see, is indeed a ghastly blessing; I expired from the inspirations by which I was engulfed, I was dispersed by the ecstasies which described me, was exploded against the firmament, and then was torn asunder, shredded magnanimously into digestible bits, and swallowed back into the fulcrum of torturous, graced bewilderments. I lived then intoxicated by a thousand realms at once, respirating in the thin abysses.
Oh, there are indeed limitless depths of disbelief which I have swum through breathlessly; the rare, exhilarating moments when I remember I do not understand. Mind is now a lung through which I inhale impossibilities. My endurance is infinite. Never have I come up gasping.
Whatever divorces me from the intimacy of my own strangeness, from the incontestable wonder of what is; whatever binds me into knowing; whatever rescinds the mind's colossal absences‑ of incomprehension comprehending itself; whatever thieves those alien, incorruptible distances; whatever a-muses me... that is what I abhor.
I live now in the impunity of not‑knowing (ergo in the redemption of awe). Now every moment in which I do not stare incapably off into space, aghast with disbelief‑ every moment in which I am not honest enough to seize up, inexorably baffled, every moment that my being does not turn incorrigibly towards the splendor of the unreachable, immanent mecca that is and is not mind‑ is a golden moment lost.
If only I could last forever in these ephemeral cataclysms, in these lost velocities and spent configurations. I am composed of problematic ecstasies, of masochistic ebullience. I inhabit perfectly only those disastrous tranquilities, expatiating along the harrowing, vertiginous ridge of lostness, thriving fecund only in dimensions which exhaust me.
You see, as the context of our borderless spirits dissolved within and before me- in the wordless proximity to being- I, frought with indecision and panic, had gazed and intruded into the manner of it all. Into the welcoming abyss.
Which is to say, after it all came together, or perhaps fell apart, in that one irrevocable, passionate invasion- I was emancipated of all thought; when it was over I lay embalmed in a viscous mix of incapacity and exaltation.
I was baptized in disbelief.
Understand that if I speak of these visions, they are not of sight, but of sudden, lucid confusions, when the mind implodes and explodes, dissipates and expands; when the mind, whatever it is, forgets what it thought it was, does not question what it is, and lives intimately within, and as, that mystery which, in the reflective, drunken aftermath of such experience, it will forever disputably call mind.
It was not enlightenment that I underwent, but its opposite; a pure, absolute, intelligent ignorance. I was new again- like an innocent child- or so it seemed then, in my delirium and rapture. For in fact I was not new either, for now I was not completely ignorant- I still had the memory of what I now knew I was not.
Like a fledgling alien- spawned from the bird which lays its eggs in another species' nest, and then flies off, never to be known by its offspring- suddenly I knew it was all wrong- that we were not what we thought we were, nor what we might claimed to have been.
Who are we? Why are we? What are we? I tell you I do not know. I only know that we are not what we think we are, thus we are what we are not. Hallelujah indeed!
I now had one dead-end marked off on the map of the infinite labyrinth of being. That was something.
Oh, where were you then in that long night, to take my hand completely? To be this dumb-founded by being, is to be completely alone. No one understands like I understand, because I ...Eye do not understand.
Hold onto me now, lest I vanish in the clouds of newness, blessed in their lifeless birth. Hold onto me as I dwindle in the solvent never ending. As I fall away from knowing, and melt as the unknown.
Are there others habitually compelled by the mysteriousness of being as much as me? Are there others abandoned on this earth as impossibly as this? It is all too sad and beautiful.
It was only after I walked amongst the scorching flames of hell, and was charred clean through, that I came out bright and flying.
Oh, burn me fine and white in Thine arduous hastenings, Lord. Mend me in the fire.
Are there others who have lost their mind as grace‑fully as me?
Early writings by Jack Haas: a rare, online book.