Friend, do not confuse your Self with your Soul.
For madness and sad old age assure us we might know one
Without the other.
The Self is this affect afflicted, Time-worn shroud,
To which happening happens,
By which events are garnered,
And within which the silt of transient memory is accumulated.
Perishable as flesh, only more so.
The Soul is a box of treasures, outside of Time,
Flattened into an unreachable Forever.
It was used,
Perhaps at conception, perhaps at birth,
By Unknownness, to stamp an unshaped sphere of Self,
As yet unyours,
With the essential conditions of your yet to be lived Life,
Making you the You you now enjoy or endure,
Before you were turned loose,
Naked, stumbling and mindless,
Into this cruel and beautiful existence.
If, in the course of that life,
You should somehow manage to commit
An occasional act of genuine Freedom.
If you should really cause or be caused by.
If you should truly effect or be affected by.
Then maybe a jewel or two will be added to,
Or taken away from, the box of treasures, your Soul.
An exceedingly rare event.
Should you ever learn to sit still.
Should you ever manage to shut up,
For just a few minutes,
Then perhaps your Self will hear your Soul,
Whispering in its ear on Sabbath evenings.
Seem to see your Soul,
Hovering before it in negative distance.
Perhaps will feel the Love and Power,
Maybe misconstrued as for or of it´s Self.
These are the essential conditions of Soul´s Unbeing.
Radiating directionless, unfocussed,
Through all existence and beyond.
Do not take comfort from the Soul, my friend.
Because, while it is Yours it is not yours.
Because, when Time is done with you,
And has shrivelled your Self to the size of a soured walnut,
Nothing will remain of You that the Soul will need,
Or wish to keep, or feel obliged in any way to cherish.
One day perhaps, Unknownness will once more use
The same jewelled pattern as was used to stamp this Self of you,
Into some new Self. Some other Being.
Call it metempsychosis or reincarnation, if you will.
But know, my friend, that this will be a whole new Self,
Distinct and entire as your own.
In no sense a continuance of this Self of You.
The Self of You, my friend, will be gone.
Not even smoke.
Earth cares whom you love and whom you hate.
Whom you lift up and whom diminish.
But the Soul cannot.
For it is beyond Time,
And therefore has no plans.
Copyright © John Ferngrove 2009