The Neglected Genius Of American Spirituality
Schooling was to be about the creation of loyalty to a principle of abstract central authority, and no serious rival — whether parents, tribe, tradition, self, or God — would be welcome in school. Corporate economics and the developing modern culture eliminated the other rivals, but it took the highest court in the land to bar God.
Silence, as I use the term, is a dimension of existence. You can live in it. It is what spiritual life is all about. It is unfathomable, limitless space permeated by a vast stillness. In a way, it is inside of us — because that is where we seek it — though, ultimately, spatial terms like “inside” and “outside” don’t mean a thing.
A swarm of state aircraft were flying grids over the rugged valley where I live, looking for signs of Larry’s downed plane: broken trees, an oil slick in a lake, a signal fire. Like most others, I went about my work, expecting the search planes to find Larry and the children soon, refusing to indulge bad thoughts while there was still hope for good news.
Thrown into a new environment by a disorienting job relocation, I found myself among people who were, mysteriously for this health-conscious age, smoking. Equally mysteriously, I began to join them, at first not inhaling at all, but then, before I knew it, escalating to two fully inhaled packs a day.