Methinks we have hugely mistaken this matter of Life and Death. Methinks that what they call my shadow here on earth is my true substance. Methinks that in looking at things spiritual, we are too much like oysters observing the sun through the water, and thinking that thick water the thinnest of air. Methinks my body is but the lees of my better being. In fact take my body who will, take it I say, it is not me.
[The words of Ishmael, from Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, while attending chapel before departing with Captain Ahab, as he contemplates the risk of death implicit upon those making a living aboard a whaling vessel.]
It seems the thick water of common and mundane circumstances in this world, thoroughly and consistently inhibiting our view of the light, restricts and confuses us to the point of forgetting ourselves and what is true.
In other words, we easily forget the things that are most important and most true.
Yes, the common and mundane are true, but occasional glimpses of clarity, often prompted by words such as those from Ishmael, quoted above, remind me that such things are only a small and mostly insignificant part of what is true about the miracle of Christ, and all that is Holy, being present here among us.
He is here among us. “Methinks we have hugely mistaken this matter . . . ”
Thick water clouds our view of the light. Let’s move higher, if we can, to breach the surface. Meanwhile, may we at least acknowledge our impairment for what it is. It may be partly true, but it is temporary.