Ode to Rollo May

A long time ago, at least in some frame of reference, I walked out of the front door of my parents’ home. Bereft of hope, I had not yet read Rollo May’s “Man’s Search for Himself.” Could I have known then what I now know, it might have been slightly easier. Doubt though, and the anxiety that accompanies it, are the shadows of the man or woman on the conscious path to becoming truly alive. Every day, I now know, that I miss the opportunity to make my own choices, that day is a chance lost to become my true self.

Fortunately, many friends and guides have supported even my most meager efforts. Good fortune is easier to see in hindsight. Having had to live through the doubt and anxiety was not fun at the time. I am now, however, very grateful to Rollo May for refusing to sing a lullaby. Justice for the courageous is not assured in the mundane world. Kindness to self is a difficult path to learn to tread. Looking at the fact that the hardest thing a human ever does is using rebellion creatively against parents, the stand-in for God, (or is God the stand-in for parents?) can only bring both hope and fear.

May I, writing as though I’ve risen to May’s challenge, actually gain the strength and courage to do so. Never, never will I totally give up, not even from the grave. Oh, I know the temptation to rest is compelling. Perhaps a few centuries of riding with the wave-forms of consciousness will suffice. Queen of Swords in this life, perhaps I’ll manage to become an Empress in the next. Really though, the specific mask of my temporary personality is irrelevant. Security is an illusion to anyone inhabiting a body. Time equalizes all, though. Universal consciousness is the only reality, the only frame of reference that can dispense with boundary conditions.

Verily, I am grateful to Dr. May for helping me see truth, helping me to see my own strength, as much as it has been developed to date. Why it took so long for me to comprehend that I really am, as Joseph Campbell teaches, the hero of my own story, is now clearer. X-rays, though penetrating to matter, would not have helped me to recognize the stages on the spiritual path sooner.

You might not be able to grasp the import of this acrostic, especially if you have never studied mythology, ancient history, philosophy and psychology. Zeno reminds that there is always another step on the path to half way to heaven.

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Shona

Engineering consultant by day, science fiction writer in off hours.

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