The battle commences when no one is looking; when eyes wink with slumber, and men are found in the wilderness – in the dark of space. But there are spheres to enter into, and I am the Savior’s friend.
And now was required further work of internal devastations, for though I was beginning to restore the communications system; and my vessel beginning to align itself with the special attitude of the kingdom fleet despair. As the re-born spirit had begun to mend, it had yet been swallowed up within the elements of my soul which stormed and raged about it. For I had been cast (as you shall recall) into a vortex of despair by Emotion, the hairless beast.
So now identity became of the utmost import, for though the spirit did begin to quicken again, yet should the soul so powerfully tantrum, my gains could be lost. Surely the vortex of despair could have enraptured me forever.
A vortex of despair is a swirling, downward cyclone it captures – mainly – the eyes of one’s soul: temporal perceptions, and fills them with self. Despair churns up an awareness of the most hideous, and unsightly parts of our own being and casts a vile caricature of parts of us ever before our eyes. If you are ever cast into such a vortex, as I have been, do not believe the things that you see there, for there may be truth in those some of those things you see, but they are so contorted and twisted that the proportion of their truth cannot be assessed.
Before me I beheld all the elements of myself with bizarrely exaggerated features; I appeared sickly and weak in those places where I should be healthy and strong – I beheld outrageous ferocity in those places which should be gentle, and kind – I beheld avarice, greed and lust in those places where there should be generosity and self-restraint. Not only did I see my person and character in the midst of this vortex, but also my past, future, and dreams, and all of it turned to unsightly and horrific caricatures. High above me I saw my flesh, a great towering pillar bound with the chains of hell – he who would decide my future; his foot was upon my head.
Every direction I looked, I could see nothing but myself: my weakness, my failure, my insufficiency. I once was told by someone else affected by suicide that killing oneself is the most selfish act one can commit; surely there is truth to that, but I could never condemn such a one for selfishness having, myself, passed through the vortex of despair. The selfishness of despair is no grand pedestal. Despair is, surely, pride yet it is not the pride that sets self as an idol upon a shrine to be worshipped; rather, it makes self the beast lurking under your bed to destroy you.
Who am I?
Although I have discussed sundry parts of me with you, I have yet to declare what portion from which my narrative is told. My name is Will, and I am the moving force behind all the elements of my soul combined. It is I who drive the thought, and feeling into action, and all my motion is to propel Purpose, who is both my slave, and my master. Yet in such a vortex as this, I could exert no force in any direction for I spun and twirled so forcibly by the vortex that I could neither gather bearings enough to know where to exert force – yet also, I was so weakened in the vortex I hadn’t force to exert if I could ascertain which way to do so. Ah… but as I had begun to restore the Gospel, I did verily have an anchor for the soul… and yet, in such a place as this my soul rages above that anchor, and must needs be stilled.
Who am I?
If I commune too oft with Reason, or yet his bride, Emotion, and Purpose is much neglected, I begin swiftly to lose strength, and soon will fall to a dreaded slumber. Truth be told, being caught in a vortex of despair is not as bad as it seems to be whilst in it. Surely, it is dreadful, yet in it the senses are aware something is wrong, and ought to be remedied. Far more dangerous to the soul than being caught in the cyclone of despair is falling into the eye of this cyclone. In the eye of a vortex of despair is the perfect calm, though this not the calm of peace it is a devastating calm called Apathy. In the eye of despair is the place where the soul falls asleep – it has no regard to do good or bad, no concern of future, no remembrance of past for it is as though that one is dead while living. No longer spinning in the whirlwind of self-loathing, one who falls into the eye of this storm simply drops straight down in an un-interrupted fall.
Many exist in the eye of despair, and don’t even realize they are at its epicenter, nor perceive their danger. Far better to be cast out of a cyclone of despair than to find oneself in its eye – yea, and many even pursue the epicenter, seeking to shut out the voice of Emotion and fall asleep within, yet it would be better if they gained a sight of themselves and were filled with sorrow – in this way God awakens many-a sinner from the depths of despair by revealing them a sight of themselves – it is a mercy in such a place to fill one with sorrow – for godly sorrow leads to repentance.
And so I spun and swirled in this cyclone, into which Emotion had cast me, going ever lower with each nauseating pass. Yet it was not her alone, but circumstance which kept the spiral rolling on with such violence, and so the external estate of the living may pour in as scalding pitch upon us.
All my past, present, and what I could see of the future appeared failure – despised by family, and friends, rejected, even prayed against by the brethren; seeking to find some avenue of solace but every aspect of my life disintegrated until there was no reprieve in any direction. In such a state, where was Purpose? For all things collapsing upon me left me with no visible platform of future reprieve either – and Purpose pertaineth very much unto hope.
Yet, I have this even when Purpose is otherwise hidden from my view: the value of my life is not in my happiness, or enjoyment of it for I am a living sacrifice, and my glory is to be poured out upon the altar of God. A sacrifice I can be in pleasure, and a sacrifice I can be in pain – and so always am I able to offer up worship, bless the Lord! And so although my soul did churn and roil, I could be found at inner peace – for though the circumstance (external) abused the mind and feelings (soul) so that these became my focus; yet in the inner depths was I in the secret place of the most High. Would that our conscious awareness were transferred from the things of this earth, yea as declared in the Words Eternal: ‘If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.’
Yet now, how to pull out from this vortex? How to derive myself from this swirling folly in the realm of the soul? For how shall a soul perpetually trapped in isolation fulfill any other Purpose but death? Can you, setting your mind and feelings on detriment, yet make yourself pray? Can you find anything to sink your faith into when all you can see is yourself? Would that I found comfort only in Christ – but that, too, in this place is a distant echo of thought to the soul. Elijah may not have been the only prophet who escaped Jezebel’s slaughter of the righteous, but he knew no other; three years is a long time to live alone and hiding for your life at what, from your vantage, appears to be the end of the world. And his soul was bitterly assaulted by his circumstances, though his spirit grew strong.
Could I be largely received of the brethren? I had seen that many of these did outright pray against me – accusing me before God in prayer (for the Lord of seeds had revealed it to me). Gladly would I admit I was wrong, and cast myself at the mercy of those who scorned me should it salvage me from devastation on every side; but neither was self-abasement before men a valid escape route. Should a man repent unto men for obedience rendered to God? Would it not be a far greater transgression – for this would be to call good evil, and evil good. Had they not already both condemned the righteous and acquitted the guilty (even as Barrabas was freed, and Christ crucified)?
How fully doth the fear of man work in us without our yet knowing it? Have you repented unto man for following your conscience? Let all men disapprove of you, but do not – I adjure you – do not forsake the good that the Lord has called you to and declare it base before men so that they will receive you back among them – that, I tell you, is the fear of man: in such an act (repenting to man for the good God calls us to) man becomes Lord and his number (6) is branded once upon your forehead (let it not thrice be found there!) for that man is enthroned above our conscience. Bear your cross with gladness, for only He was left fully alone – even if it is but you and He, He shall never leave, nor forsake those who go on thus with Him in His sufferings.
Yet there is a principal thus described in the Words Eternal:
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?
By the which I both knew I must keep my heart pure though despised; by the which, also, I recognized a tendency in me. Because man is dust, it is easier for him to set his affection upon a tangible flesh and blood person than it is for him to set his affection upon an invisible person. And so, whereas we receive persecution from men, we receive a palpable social wound, whereas, if we offend God who is invisible we cannot perceive our offence to him but by faith – for this reason the whole world goes on in wickedness, ever blind to the state of the condemnation upon their souls, (If only there were a messenger to declare it to them!) yet fully aware of their standing with men. This is the realm in which men dwell, the lower region of the dust; yet to the man who dwells in both realms there is an impasse of acceptance. If I do that which is acceptable unto man, I am accepted with man but rejected by God (for friendship with the world is enmity with God); but if I do that which is just in the eyes of God, I may be despised in the world by all men. In my soul (mind, emotions) I feel the hurt of man’s rejection because their treatment of me is immediately tangible through the physical senses. Yet in my Spirit, being quickened by faith, I am aware of my standing with God, which is not discerned tangibly with the outward senses, but spiritually with the inward. But the way you are treated by all people generally is the way you will believe yourself treated by God if you cannot see past the dust.
And so though I spun and was flung hither and yon within such a deadly vortex, I looked back, and beheld that I had wrought in the righteousness of my hands; yet I was treated by all those who affected my physical senses as though I had done evil. And in my soul, where I also could see their perspective (though I knew it was wrong), I did also somewhat agree with them against me (for I surely could see their point of view, and understood why they held it – though it was carnal, not spiritual). So could God Truly accept me? Ah! Not if I feared man, more than God, and repented unto them of what He had directed me in. So instead I must needs repent of accepting any of their accusation against me. What a conundrum! And nothing that ever I was taught by man that I should face such a thing! Always the answer we are taught is to submit to the consensus of godly men… but what if you know for a fact (so entirely that you are ready to stake your life on it) that you have been directed by God? If ever you consider repenting of what you’ve done in such a case, the Holy Spirit immediately convicts you of it – it could only be done to His grief.
Does this make me arrogant? I have been repeatedly told so by men.
I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
And so beholding the Seed within I cling to life through every trial, and tribulation. I must cling to the anchor, and place all of my vision there! Let not circumstances fill your eyes; it is Christ’s identity that matters: set your eyes upon Him then no matter what injustices happen to you, you can see Justice; no matter what lies you hear, you can see Truth; no matter what suffering and pain you experience, you can behold the Healer. Nothing in this world is True – therefore the preacher declared: ‘Vanity of vanities! All is vanity!’ For everything in this world will pass away, so look at the Rock eternal.
Thus grasping the anchor, alone (for surely, you cannot hold both the anchor, and other things) I was stopped full in the force of the vortex. Still did the mighty wind of it beat upon me, and it was all my strength to hold on; but now from where I was stationed, Purpose could find me.
[If you are enjoying, the series begins here; each links at the end to the next in the series.]