The first two stages of life, that of student and householder, are for doing. The second two stages of life, that of hermit and renunciant, are for undoing. Adapted for the Western mind, per T.S. Eliot, we advance for a while and then we retreat, arriving where we started from and knowing the place for the first time.
Loyalty is less a virtue than a stand-in for love. Less innocently, it elevates patriotism, punishes the un-conforming and beats the drum for our ceremonies of war.
Earth is one of more than 100 billion planets in the Milky Way, which itself is one of more than 100 billion galaxies in the universe. Shall I part my hair? Roll my trousers? Wear white? Eat a peach? Good grief, man! Look up.
The greatest power of them all, by a margin so vast it cannot be measured? Innocence. Yes, it’s despoiled everywhere. But still, by virtue of divine fiat, it is everywhere.
A disciple requests leave to bury his father. Jesus’ response: “Let the dead bury their dead.” Free men do not compromise, cannot be partialized, carry no obligations. “In a world of fugitives, the person taking the opposite direction will appear to be running away.”