By MARK ROBERT A. DY
DOOMED TO BE FREE
The disembodied spirit is immortal; there is nothing of it that can grow old or die. But the embodied spirit sees death on the horizon as soon as its day dawns.Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679)
FOR those of us who work with the law, we often think in terms of finality. We believe ourselves to be boxed in by parameters set by old men and women who seem all-knowing of all there is and all there ever will be. Our education implies that outside this box we call the Rule of Law, there is no other form of succor. But any person with a bit of life experience knows that there are forces greater than government, institutions and people. There are virtues far greater than the decent human minimums of justice and fairness.
This holy week, I invite everyone to reflect on the greater things in life — more than our business interests, our personal ambitions and our dreams. These are the greater forces of compassion, kindness and love — super-natural urges that seem to always keep us off tangent from normal human behavior and reasoning. Why are we capable of being generous at a time of personal need? Why are we able to reach out and pull up those we fairly defeat in life’s race? Why do we still believe in miracles after all that education we’ve been put through?
There exists that great force that keeps humanity reaching out for its best qualities. Whether you are Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist or even a self-declared atheist, there is reason and meaning behind every good work that you do and reprieve from your baser actions. The inevitable truth is that we are all spiritual beings and no denial, no backsliding, no distancing mechanism can change that.
Whatever may be your interpretation, there will always be room for greater things and greater ideas in your life. Call it God, goodness or love; we recognize it almost immediately when we see it. We are forever drawn towards it in our search for meaning.
Sometimes your cynicism may leak out through your words, but your actions will always betray the truth. How hard you work for your family will show it. How you comfort a friend at a time of loss will show it.
How you tip the cab driver or the waiter will show it. How you call people through your mobile phone for no reason except to say “How’s it going?” will show it. How you forgive someone who took much from you or betrayed you in the most terrible way will show it. These things are who we are. These things fuel our hope.
Our failures, our pains, our frustrations fade in time because we are spiritual beings, mindful of things more important than simply what we go through this day. We are a constant work-in-progress and will remain this way until the day we die. This is our common journey towards perfection––towards the spirit.
Thus, we are not of this world. We will never be satisfied with what we have now because they lock us up in this place so fleeting and temporary. That bigger TV or faster car will become old and meaningless in time. Your clothes and jewelry will go out of style. Your gadgets will become obsolete and stop working. Your beauty will fade. Relationships will end, whether by choice or by death. Everything has an expiration date.
So survey your blessings. Value the good things in your life because all these are temporary: our careers, our material things and our loved ones. Someday, we will lose them. Someday, only shadows and memories of the good old days will remain. But even on those days, we will survive. Through any war, recession, heartbreak or frustration, we will survive. Because at the end of every episode of pain, after every loss and even when everything else fades into wind, the human spirit remains.
Peace and blessings to you all. Happy Easter!