Writing the book “The Watchman …. I was not born to die” has been a solitary adventure into eternal life. It started as I read John 5:24 where the idea that eternal life was a present possession and possibility was presented.
It was confirmed through the writings of David Bohm in his book “Wholeness and the Implicate Order”, where he theorized that the bizarre behavior of the subatomic particles was caused by hidden unobserved subquantum forces and particles that were not in conflict with reality and causality. This "hiddenness" reflected a deeper dimension of reality he called the implicate order that connects everything with everything.
These notions were the starting point for my journey. Ludwig Wittgenstein, the philosopher, said “eternal life belongs to those who live in the present.” St Augustine adds “Do not believe yourself healthy. Immortality is health; this life is a long sickness.” James Allen, stated “Immortality is here and now, and is not a speculative something beyond the grave” Finally. St Catherine of Sienna announced “Live without a thought of dying for dying is not a truth” and the famous Persian poet Hafiz concludes “How fascinating the idea of death can be. Too bad, thought, because it just isn’t true.”
I embarked on a series of three separate 40-day vigils where I avoided the light of day, preferring to work and learn in solitude with “the people of the night”- the poor, the alienated, the wasted, and the mentally ill as well as the working class of night watchmen, cleaners, taxi drivers, law enforcement, and emergency response providers.
When I first began to share my observations with others, I encountered attitudes of benevolent skepticism, which ultimately rejected and dismissed my journey. Accordingly, I retreated further into solitude, choosing to walk alone into the “mystery hidden from mankind of every age.”
In the first vigil, my purpose was to discover heaven on earth. In very short order I found that we all experience momentary moments of heaven on earth and in fact heaven on earth is everywhere for everyone. Unfortunately, I, as others, tend to ignore or deny this playground of peace in the face of the trials and tribulation of life as we know it.
In the second vigil, I became preoccupied in exploring the present moment and the limitations of time and space. I learned about the emergence and manifestation of things out of nothingness and the challenge of the universals. This is where the role of the watchman emerged.
At some point, I imagined myself passing through the gateless gate to stand at the edge of timelessness watching "the eternal flow of life giving love "that Catholic catechism calls “the inner most secret of God.” It was then the words of Joseph Campbell become clear "Eternity is not a long time; rather, it is another dimension. It is that dimension to which time-thinking shuts us.”
By the third vigil I was convinced of the concept of eternal life but was still hampered by the concept of death. At that point, the purpose changed. It was then I realized I was not born to die, rather I was born to live.
If you want to get warm you must stand near the fire: if you want to be wet you must get into the water. If you want joy, power, peace, eternal life, you must get close to, or even into, the thing that has them. They are not a sort of prize which God could, if He chose, hand out to anyone. They are a great fountain of energy and beauty spurting up at the very center of reality. If you are close to it, the spray will wet you: if you are not, you will remain dry. Once a man is united to God, how could he not live forever? Once a man is separated from God, what can he do but wither and die.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
I am not sure I am in the fire but writing has helped me articulate what was happening within me. I now need someone with literary who can work with me to simplify my voice and provide clarity to the writing.
The completed manuscript is 77,000 words (which is more than I planned). It consists of 40 days each with a different title. I am watchman, a security guard. Accordingly, many days offer up experiences of mine with the people of the night- the homeless, the emotionally damaged, the night cleaners and others who have been marginalized by society.
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