Episode 19

Published on:

16th Oct 2019

Away from the fire

October 16, 2019 | Dear Eric, To the best of my knowledge, you never once went truly alone into the wild. But that's no surprise, as few ever do. For Going Alone is something our species rarely does. No wonder perhaps we then take ourselves so seriously... No wonder we sometimes sense warmth radiating from the cold.

There are campfires

All across this plain

Cold lights, warm with life

Inviting living

Friendship and love

Away from the darkness beyond

I understand, the darkness beyond is indeed a terrible thing. There is nothing very welcoming in deep night. There are few happy stories to bring back from very pure solitude; only close calls with danger and death and fearful tales of strange sights and noises and ideas. So, why then would anyone ever step even once away from the ring of fire that is the centerpiece of their living? Why leave the others behind for any reason other than to briefly move away in order to relieve oneself behind a bush, wondering while so doing if there are eyes in the dark looking back, and considering briefly our vulnerability out there away from the crowd. So, we then dart back quickly when our work is done and take our place again huddled close to the others with our hands held near the flame. Shouldn't this fire be warmer? Why does the flame somehow produce more light than heat? Where's the warmth? Where is the REAL warmth?

But there's talk around the fire, a seemingly incessant warm chatter. There's the heat, perhaps...it's the energy of noisy show and attention and the draw of distraction and trust and deceit and success and failure and the whole lot and production of our living that burns hot. All of this is the source of a sort of warmth we mistake for the fire, which still burns less warm than natural heat should. For should not nature offer us more? Shouldn't the natural world speak plainly of all the dear things we maintain as true: friendship, community, love, peace and forever? How can the flame which we, and our predecessors, kindled and maintain be as cold as the nighttime darkness beyond? This cannot be. I won't have it. I simply will not. I maintain otherwise and sustain my claim with the posture and attitude of certainty. And I back up my position with the substance of faith.

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Hebrews 11:1

I don't understand those other things... Those things you keep bringing up about the seeming cold within the flame. Won't you stop talking of that, please. Let's get on with the community discussion. Let's hear the day's news? And what about those Dodgers! Never mind about the flame... What of it? I told you already, I have faith. I don't need any better answer than that. Huddle close to me won't you. I'm cold.

Full blog post URL: https://www.goingalone.org/post/away-from-the-fire

My website: https://goingalone.org

My email: softypapa@goingalone.org

Listen for free

Show artwork for Stoic Poetry

About the Podcast

Stoic Poetry
A Stoic theory of life adventure | Be safe...but not too safe.
There’s little good news in nature. The universe seems incapable of care, or of opinion, or of preference regarding right or wrong, good or bad, or what constitutes a just and virtuous society or life. The universe’s first opinion on these matters is evident in the dead, bleak environment of space and time; the restless progress of all order in the direction of entropy, and the cold indifference of matter and energy everywhere - where the curious phenomenon of life appears like some strange, exotic exception to a rule of inorganic truth. So, what do we do with this fact? How do we prevent a slide into nihilism? How do we keep our upright posture while our legs buckle and give way as our mind struggles to accept a reality the facts cannot seemingly deny? This project takes on this challenge.

About your host

Profile picture for Kurt Bell

Kurt Bell

I like to walk and think.