When we have time to relax, we are drawn to places where nature has an epic quality—the seashore, the big sky. At Flathead Lake yesterday, the waves came ashore in endless variations of something ceaseless, an aspect of eternal calm. I felt the familiar trust in the constancy and the lastingness of being, the semblances of order deeper and stronger than trouble.
It may seem too obvious to mention, but the waves have direction as do the growth of grasses and trees. So do the passing of the sun and moon and stars. So do we. The cosmos is order within order. The progress of humanity has occurred by perceiving order in the cosmos, then rendering it in the order of our thoughts, our gardens, our cities, our nations. Reality, as we know it through history, is directional, from seed to fruit, from hut to city, from hunger to plenty, from weakness to strength.
We experience the directional tendency in our souls as longing for a higher reality, something beyond the mundane that we glimpse with emotion that has been described as both joy and grief, or both at once. It’s easy, like Gatsby, to mistake the longing, thinking that it is Daisy that we want. Alcohol and promiscuity are low, inarticulate manifestations of the quest. We all feel the pull of desire drawing us toward something more. When we become conscious of the nature of the longing we can begin living into that desire, pursuing joy in earnest.
Philosophers and prophets have through the ages expressed the sense that reality is moving toward a culmination, and that growing consciousness of that movement, the moments when reality becomes luminous, aware of itself in our consciousness, occur as we drawn from wonder to reason, to clarity, and we find words for what we see.