Monday, 6 April 2009

The Heroes In The Story.

I heard a story last night about a drug addict. He died of an overdose. They found him, some time dead, in his armchair in front of the TV. He had so alienated everyone that ever knew him that almost no one came to the funeral; they were not even willing to celebrate the boy he had been. He died alone, friendless, broke, and a pariah. I was told the story by someone whose story had been similar, but whose story now is one of redemption. The other people who heard the story with me were all in varying places in their own stories of salvation. Every person in the room was busy becoming better, more peaceful, more fulfilled, more in harmony with everything. We all work very hard at not getting in the way of our relationships with others, at doing the next right thing, at surrendering to life. How hard to be the one who doesn't make it. What a difficult role to play. The thoughts and feelings that arise about it are ones of compassion, and this: maybe it's these people, these lost ones, who lash out, who never "fix" themselves, who never call upon some power greater than themselves, who smash into the brick wall at the end of the road to self-destruction, maybe it's these people who can be called heroes. Perhaps the villains of the piece are not so much to be reviled or pitied, but revered. But heroes or not, revered or reviled, there is nothing wrong with anything that seems to happen, including the drug addict's tragic life. It's very, very difficult to accept, but there is also nothing wrong with not accepting. It is only the play of life, it seems to happen, but there is only this perfect endless moment. Crawl deeply into the story of becoming, or not; work hard for salvation, or not; there is no choice in whichever seems to happen anyway. It isn't redemption you are looking for. It is this. You've already found it.

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