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Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

When Vanishing Vanishes

--by David Steindl-Rast (Jan 03, 2006)


There\'s something to love and faithfulness, beauty and goodness, something that is not subject to time. For me, it is enormously consoling and reassuring that there is only a limited amount of time to work with, that sooner or later my time will be up. For when time is up, then all that has matured during my time remains. Only the aspect of time falls away. Only vanishing remains. And when vanishing vanishes, then \"Is\" remains. [...]

When time is up for me, then all that I ever had -- all the relationships, all the friendships, all the beauty, all the goodness, is. From my present perspective, I would say \"will be\" but that\'s not well expressed. And I then have the whole world through the window of my life which at that moment is completed.

Of course, as we look back on our life we also see shortcomings, many things that we wish we had done differently. And since that perpetuates itself in others, there will be a certain pain. When I see clearly how I have done ill to others, or maybe things that I thought were for the best but which had evil or life-denying effects, that is very painful. But I trust that in the overall view, it will all be meaningful or that we can somehow work that out. How one can work beyond time is a little difficult to explain, and even a little difficult for me to understand, but we know that in some moments life seems to stand still for us, and in this experience, we do more, we work more, and more happens, than at other periods of even long, long stretches of time.

As T.S. Eliot put it, \"What has been and what might have been point to one end which is always present.\" Somehow I trust that in \"the now that doesn\'t pass away,\" all possibilities will be able to blossom forth. Through people that I did know or through things that I did touch, I am connected with everything that ever was and everything that ever will be. Everything hangs together with everything. So when the limitations that time and space impose on me are removed because my time is up and my space is no longer there, then I will be in touch with all that ever was and ever will be. That\'s something to look forward to.

--David Steindl-Rast


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