The Stage  (08/16/2013)

Though far from wealthy, I live a pretty decent life.

I earn a moderately middle income; I am not unemployed. My career challenges me and involves something that I enjoy doing. I live in a comfortable raised ranch; fairly affordable. The lawn is nice, and it's located in a decent neighborhood. I drive a three year old, one previous owner automobile that gets me to where I need to go and doesn't cost me a small fortune in upkeep or repair. Inside this modest home, I have two bathrooms to choose from, a comfortable family room and living room, a modern kitchen (though the dishwasher is broken, as I write this). My home work area is surrounded by my favorite books, dvd's, video games. I have an HD television with more channels than I could ever hope to watch: I do not lack for entertainment.

More often than not, my idea of a vacation is to spend a week home, sleeping late and going to bed equally as late. If I travel, it's to visit friends or relatives, usually nearby but never more than a few hours away. Within an easy hour's drive, I have access to beautiful forests, grand cliffs, mountainous regions, open meadows filled with flowers, and some of the best beaches in New England. Though less than ten minutes from a major highway and the city, I live on a dead-end road in a neighborhood that's both safe and peaceful. I have food, clean clothes, decent shoes, family photos on the wall and a view from this hilltop that's simply stunning when the sun goes down...

But here's the twist: It all amounts to NOTHING, really.

Without my beautiful wife, children, family, and decent, co-workers, acquaintances, and caring neighbors, I would be merely lost in a tiny hovel of meaningless, temporal accessories. My three year old car could be, perhaps, transformed magically into an expensive stretch limosine, but if I were entrapped in the back seat, alone, I would be most miserable. My simple middle-income home could be spelled into a luxurious mansion, with paid servants, a pool and jacuzzi; crystal windows and chandeliers, but if I had no one to share it with, my life would be both meaningless and hollow.

I find myself shocked and yet pleased to discover that, were my loved ones still with me, my life would be just as rich if we lived under a bridge...

When the day comes that I pass the veil of this world and journey into the next, all of these rather costly items become what they were, all along: Mere window dressing; the simple staging to decorate a far more meaningful play and support a far more meaningful theme than what mere possessions alone could ever supply. When that day arrives, the only thing of value that I will take with me into the next life will be the relationships that I have built, the simple emotional joys of moments, both pleasant and painful, that I have shared with others, and the knowledge that the path I have chosen, no matter how meager and simple, was not travelled alone...

This realization and this, alone, both empowers and enriches me: I am more than the feeble three-dimensional possessions that the universe has deigned to surround me with, during this journey.

I am a spirit residing in three dimensions and striving for the fourth; I am an extension of the one true Human who has been fortunate enough, most of the time, to keep the props of this world where they belong, but set his eyes on a grander, more worthy journey: to seek out others of like mind and empathy, draw them close to myself in harmony, love, and mutual respect, and strive forward into the next world not alone, but surrounded by other extensions of Human of a like mind, path, and purpose. I have learned, during a journey filled with mistakes, false starts, and difficulties, to keep that with uplifts me and to cast away any that would seek to drag me back into the second dimension...

I own no limosine; I do not enjoy vacations flung far across the world. I have no massive bank account, no gold in storage, and no jewels or diamonds on my fingers. I have neither Fame, Fortune, or Worldy Power.

But thankfully, I am wealthy beyond measure, in the end: Not because of what I possess, but because of the trials and tribulations I have overcome, because of the lessons they have taught me, the strength and character they have engendered in me, and because of the inner joy, peace, and Love that I have been fortunate to be blessed with. And I have, by the grace of the One, been fortunate enough to turn my gaze inward, not outward, to find strength, comfort, camaraderie, and joy in others, not myself, and to develop a vision for the grand, unseen, glorious universe that so precious few of us ever get the chance to see...

I am more than my toys: I am Human. I am encased in the third dimension but preparing for the fourth. Like an actor who forsakes a simple stage for Broadway, I will continue on this incredible journey, though the props that I enjoy now will not take this journey with me.

And THIS is worth far more, in the end, than any riches, comfort, or entertainment that this sorry excuse for a World can ever hope to provide...

We are Human.

In the Three we may seem like Many, but in the total Order of all that is, We are One.

Turn your eyes away from the paltry baubles of this corrupt planet, and journey WITH me...

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