A runaway angel, yin and yang, God and truth
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
Throughout those formative days of my so called separate existence, there were, if I may say so, many seemingly unexplainable preconceptions, synchronicities, exuberances, coincidences, messages, voices, wonderings, and dreams. Good god there were dreams. Night after night did I writhe upon the mythical membrane in between consciousness and sleep, where the greater and lesser archetypes spun webs of unspeakable drama throughout my defenseless becoming; obstinate realities occurred rhapsodically within me, but of these I can barely admit, even to myself; I had assumed it a privilege that I was being guided, but in fact perhaps it was done begrudgingly‑ because I was incapable of guiding myself.
Oh, like a thief too afraid to steal, I was given everything I needed, though inside myself I still plotted and squirmed.
Yea, like a bivalve of the spirit- relentless miracles through me went, though I remained intolerable. I was a horrid creature of grace.
Lord, oh Lord, forgive me my heartless ingratitude! Would that I but sing with praise on my lips to amend for the curses I grew on.
My soul? My soul indeed! My soul was but the justifications I had contrived for not having a soul. I was Abraham, recklessly pursuing Isaac- escaped, terrified and weeping- down the precipitous slopes of my own tortured necessity? There was no economy in my strides. There was no promise within me, not a single resolution. Why the crowds of passing daemons did not spit on me in disgust, I shall never know; a sinner amongst saints, dog-shit on a cut lawn, a booger on a bare wall, a cyst on supple flesh; every breath I took was another scar upon the earth. What ghastly errors I spawned onto life. A prisoner of guilt and judgment- a frail, recalcitrant, make-believe monstrosity, oh, I was the vilest of pretend things.
While my penance flamed into its full and ruthless glory, how deep indeed I was buried in ignorance, and darkness.
All this happens so secretly- intoxication with the Worm, I mean- but man alive it happens. Let me tell you, I did not rise piously out of the noxious mist, but inhaled its toxic qualities, in the spineless hyperventilation of agreeable illusions. Oh, I had breathed in heavily for such a time- those musty, hallucinogenic vapors of my own expulsion- that I lived in a vacuum, in the nauseous stench of my own halitotic excuses and demands. Which is to say- I did not exhale, I belched.
Like a runaway angel kidnapping the light, feeding the darkness with my own estrangement, and souring the love with my flight, I was all afoul. Like the wretched concubine of a syphilitic Love; I was royalty in the morning, a servant by noon, and a lost thief in love with the night. I stole from our own treasures, and poached fleeing trophies from the kingdom's sparse herd.
Though the magic was boundlessly making me, all I did was get in the way. Many benedictions I swallowed, but only calumnies were expelled; these same hands, thanklessly receiving the manna of heaven, returned it but shortly, as vomit.
Further, and further, down and down came the inescapable fall: I was nothing, existing nowhere, finding nothing, and helping no one, but only because there was naught to begin with, naught to maintain, and naught, in the end, to transform. I could do nothing, and no one could show me how not to do that.
What was life to me, after all, but a looting? It is now painfully obvious how choreographed all my visions were. I was merely held hostage by them; consumed by both the heights and depths, of the unknown and the known, I hovered in between, at a spot where I was equally destroyed by both; I had reached an equilibrium that was not peace, an inaction that was not serenity.
As if the angel had tripped while carrying me, and I was fumbled into unrecognizeable positions, tumbling about in her frantic hands, while she struggled to keep me off the moribund ground; I was not dropped, though neither was I caught gently in the air.
There was no such noble act of willful becoming for me, only a coasting down the hill without an engine, enjoying the ride to hell.
As the Fates merged upon the barren battleground that I called me, I could neither fully believe nor fully disbelieve existence. I lost both truth and untruth, having no foothold in myself, nor in the world; neither in the mundane, nor the spiritual.
These were the trials of my idiosyncratic becoming, of God and Satan making folly in my breast. The flesh wanted me as tenaciously as the spirit; the Mother and Father forces had different ideas of who I should be. I roamed between those invisible barriers, drunk on the shifting adherence, with protean existences competing as me.
Let me tell you, the yin and the yang, if there be such divisions, were stretched agonizingly apart to their furthest possible dimensions in me; mind in the lofty reaches, heart in the pit of hell, and I, ripped open by the insoluble feud in between them. That is why nothing worked. There were two halves, two distinct, separate halves, and those halves made a whole, but I was not whole.
Ah, but things turn when the tide shifts, and as my energy waxed and waned in the smoke and mirrors of the day, I still went forth, found myself again without idea, without purpose, without glee, and plunged ahead some distance further, into and beyond myself, in the ruthless absolution of sublime, divine intent.
Oh, there were tests and appeasements, but no peace, and no return, only a fire flaming hot inside of me, inexorably engulfing everything in its path. I was its path.
I stumbled, I crashed, through rack and ruin, beating blindly without reason. Seeking to find some sort of serenity, or to die within feet of the door. To live, all I wanted to do was live. To get it right, to not fuck up. Somehow.
I did not know then what life's reckless meaning beckoned. I recognize no impetus behind my manic actions but flight and boredom, though I know not why I was bored, nor what it was I fled.
I did not at first seek truth (as if there were such a thing), only a complacency to dispel such arduous yearnings. Every act was an escape from myself and the mind's implications. I was made stable by the force I exerted against what opposed me, and not because I could stand.
God and truth? These were merely my excuses for an inability to live. My dreams and terrors, apathy and awe, all of these I justified along the way. My words were vanity's ambitions, the nomenclature of sin; I was corrupt and absolutely unclean not because of the evil all about me in the world, but ...because of myself. Because I was not trying to come to god, I was trying to get away. Yea, running bolt and lightly through the days of torture and despair, I participated ineffectively, pondering all these supplicative maneuvers, because I was afraid to cease falsely knowing myself. I allowed myself every inadequacy, every sorrow, every confusion, because I was sanctified by the relevance of unfulfilled need. Need became a preface to finding what was needed. As long as I needed, it was almost as good as having.
Anything but to be still.
In fact, if there was to be no joy, I wanted to at to least contain a desperation; to anguish towards or away, it did not matter. I needed something much more than the nothingness I had been allotted; to be wholly crushed, beaten, and bent, to break under the immense strain of being. The weight had no magnitude, it was my weakness that was great.
I kept myself in perpetual limbo by striving only for those things which I was incapable of attaining, and in fact, towards which I was incapable of striving. I tried to walk away a thousand times, and I went as far as I could, but you can never get away. Wherever you run you always carry your cage.
And when eventually I fled to the only place left for me to flee- into myself- I found that I was still running away.
Oh, how I had bolted and run from myself, then towards myself, towards, and away, forward and backward, everywhere and none. I even imagined the piety and disdain with which I groped upon this earth.
And yet, though I was so unprepared for such gross and terrible initiations, I came to capitulation quick, but not easily. Separate and yet not separate, it was a tug-of-war between losses, where hell, and heaven, and earth met like a patch in the fabric of being, inside my weary, radiant core. I was Mary, whore of god; as if being torn in all directions by a band of lunatics, I was painfully going nowhere.
And then, instantly, everything shifted, and yet nothing really changed. It was as if the whole thing were planned out beforehand by some perverse, mad puppeteer, for when it got so hot, and I could not move from my seat, that is when- without prior knowledge or composure, as the flames lept up incorrigibly before me- the whole thing overturned, the nigredo flipped to albedo, the out became the in, and by God if I hadn't suddenly learned ...to move the fire.
I had simply capitulated without losing anything. I won without a victory. I had finally seen rewardlessness in all its guises. Which is to say, I lost gaining, found losing, and every panic and sorrow turned back into ...nothing.
I tell you, at that very moment I stopped. I absolutely stopped. There is no part of me which has moved since. It is as if I escaped without leaving, and left without escaping.
That is when my flight crashed, and, if you can stomach the paradox, that is also when I earned my wings.
I had returned. I don't know to where, but ...I had returned.
Strange that. Let me tell you. Very strange.
Early writings by Jack Haas: a rare, online book.