The silent chambers of the soul

August 17, 2022 Off By Mark Paul

You know, part of me was hoping that I would for the first time in my life have a million pounds. Only once before did I ever imagine having that much money. I wrestled with the loss of my brother, who was the most special person in my life, but, at the same time hoped that this dream of riches may not be so far-fetched, often justifying my compromised soul with the notion that even in death Chris was reaching out to help me.

It doesn’t matter now. In fact, when I heard about the money sequestered from the Afghanistan Central Bank and Biden’s suggestion to give half to the families of the victims of 9:11, and then read in the Guardian about the plight of the Afghani people, the poverty and chaos, an economy in tatters and the relentless oppression under the ruling cloud of the Taliban, I couldn’t help thinking that I couldn’t take this money, it should go towards helping those poor individuals and families whose lives have been wrecked. This notion was a tough one! Being handed a life-changing amount of money that brings untold opportunities into one’s life; could I really hand it back and say no, I don’t want it, it belongs to you. A supreme test of character. One I would probably fail miserably!

The world is in turmoil, economically and environmentally, each feeding on the other in one way or another for more or for less. We are all in a vessel of our own making, steering towards an uncertain destination in turbulent seas, and while we think we are moving forward, we are all the time being silently pulled by a changing tide, we cannot see or feel, towards something that none of us expect.

Every day I wake up and realize that we have less and less control, even over our own destiny. Now, more than any other time in my life it is important that I live in gratitude for what I have and the beauty that surrounds me every day, and I like to think that Chris is still with me, ever present, listening, watching and waiting to meet me when my time comes.

We would not judge and blame for our misfortunes if we ourselves did not have self-interest at heart. Therein lies the human tragedy of inate weakness and defensive denial and so we look to give meaning to our lives through achievement and possession, shoring up the edifices of our accomplishments. And despite all the riches and losses, and loves and hates, and truths and lies, and upheavals and comforts, and all the altruistic acts and good deeds, noble intentions and kind promises, the soul forever continues to yearn for that which is unobtainable in this “mortal coil”.

In the words of David McKay – “The greatest battles of life are fought out daily in the silent chambers of the soul.”