ALASKA OF MY HEART
The Uncreated Map: Christ as the Light of Yoga
By Fr. Joseph Magnus Frangipani,
DEATH TO THE WORLD
I’m reminded of pilgrims at the Himalayan foothills seeking passage around the icy mouth of the Ganges River. Among these hikers were two very different men, one an intelligent geologist and the other a simple backpacker.
The geologist put every trust in his mind.
As he told others, “I know all there is about the composition of mountains and valleys. I know how they’re formed and why they’re here. Look, I understand everything and really don’t need backcountry camping lessons, nor do I have time to get in shape for this journey.”
So, he left unprepared, but very confident for the hard journey ahead.
Meanwhile, the simple backpacker didn’t count on his intelligence alone. Rather, he worked out every day, getting his body into good health, also while getting to know the locals who passed through these mountains. He learned where to find shelter, what places and people to avoid, and knew precisely where he was going. He was very humble about this undertaking.
At the first snowstorm the first man panicked. He forgot all about geology and his journey grew difficult and painful. The simpler man, however, brought to mind what he learned from those before him, drawing on ancient wisdom and, remembering his maps, actually wound around these mountains with much effort but safely.
One man arrived from his journey to new land.
The proud man was never found.
The secret closet, man’s heart, is the starting place where we embark on this journey. It is concealed by many thorns and bushes, within the folds of our passions, thoughts and ego. Our life, then, may seem a Russian nesting doll. When Christ comes like a gardener, we may not recognize Him. Sometimes it is only when we don’t experience Him, though, that like the Prodigal Son we remember His bread and turn to face Him, which is what repentance is all about.
When we taste life apart from Him, which is not truly life but pigs and husks, we experience a foretaste of hell. This often has profound effects upon a Continue reading