The Tao of Roark

by Peter Saint-Andre

Chapter 44: The Light Within

Previous: Chapter 43: Love for Existence

Along with Roark, I love not only existence in general and my own existence in particular, but also my consciousness of all that exists. This consciousness takes many forms: an abiding pleasure in the senses; a love of unadorned awareness; a desire to be actively present in my every interaction; a passionate search for knowledge, insight, discernment, and true perception; the wisdom to know the difference between what I can and cannot change.

To be conscious is to watch myself, to monitor myself, to work hard to overcome the things inside me that resist self-knowledge and self-awareness: the ever-present desire to go through life as if asleep, to deceive myself, to live in unconsciousness and darkness. It is to light the lamp of reason within me and to use that lamp to find the source of all reality, which is individuality — not only the singularity of my own existence but also that of every other person, living being, and physical thing.

As expressed in a beautiful image from the Gnostic Gospels, to be conscious is to knock upon myself as upon a door to a wider and brighter truth, to walk upon myself as upon a road to a higher plateau of awareness. It is to have a root and a center and a purpose. It is to know who I am, where I come from, and where I am going. It is to find the place of life and the name of my soul. It is to become my own best teacher and counselor, to accept my own mind as the father of truth, to seek no authority higher than myself and no value higher than my own judgment of what is right.

I cultivate the light within myself so that I can achieve spiritual maturity, personal enlightenment, and transformed awareness. If I do not cultivate the light of reason, I will not shine forth for myself or for those I care about; and if I do not shine forth, I will live in darkness.

Next: Chapter 45: The Meaning of Life

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