We left the graveyard without a word and headed up to the campsite on the hill. By the time we reached the camp, it had cooled off and the Sun had long since set. As we built shelters and a fire and gathered food, time seemed to fly by unnoticed, as my mind was thoroughly engrossed in thoughts of the lessons in the graveyard. I wondered how much I might be like that nameless dead boy in that forgotten grave. Was I just seeking the flesh and not working hard enough in the things of the Spirit?
It was then that I realised the deeper lessons of what Grandfather was trying to teach me. I realised then that I should live life as if I were to die tomorrow, for that is what happened to that young boy. No one can be assured of another day, but we must live each day fully, in flesh and most of all in Spirit. It isn't important that anyone remember who we were, but that we made a positive change in the consciousness of the Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things, the life force of the Earth, and, in doing so, find spiritual rapture and touch the Creator.
I sat by the fire after the work was done, relaxing, still deep in thought about the boy in the graveyard. Grandfather sat at the far end of the fire, his eyes closed, but I suspected that he was not sleeping. In the firelight, his features appeared more that of a spirit than of flesh. Quietly he leaned forward and answered the many questions I had on my mind. At times, his ability to know what was on my mind was unnerving, sometimes making me angry to think that he could know my thoughts.
"Did you ever watch a flock of sandpipers on the beach, how they ebb and flow with the tides, becoming at times not a gathering of individual animals but one organism, moving as a unit together along the surf? When they burst into flight, their cohesiveness is even more startling and wondrous. At once they all will be flying in a certain direction, and then in an instant the entire flock will turn simultaneously and take a new direction.
"Studied closely, there is no one bird that makes the decision to turn, but it seems to be a Spirit, a collective consciousness, that runs through the flock instantly. When viewed from afar, the flock appears to be one animal, one organism, one consciousness, governed by the collective force and spirit of all the individuals. It is this same consciousness that runs through man, Nature and the Earth-that which we call the 'Spirit-that-moves-in-all-things', or the 'life force'.
"I suspect," he continued, "that it is but one bird that creates the thought that turns the flock, and the one thought becomes immediately manifested in all the others. The individual then transcends self and becomes one with the whole. Thus, at once, the bird moves within the flock and the flock moves within the bird. So, then, do not ask what you can do to affect the life force in a positive way, for the same Spirit that moves within the birds also moves within you. One person, one idea, one thought can turn the flock of society away from the destructive path of modern times. It is not a question as to whether we make a difference, for we all make a difference, each of us in our own way. It is the difference we make that is important."
"So if we live a life that is close to the Spirit, seek the spiritual rapture of oneness, that will affect the outcome of life," I said. My statement was more a question than a declaration.
"It is not enough," Grandfather said, "just to seek the things of the Spirit on a personal level. To do so is selfish, and those who just seek the spiritual realms for themselves are not working to change the Spirit that moves through the consciousness of man. Instead they are running away, hiding from their responsibility and using their wisdom for their own glorification. Spiritual man must then work for a principle, a cause, a Quest far greater than the glorification of self, in order to affect the spirit that can change the course of man's destruction."
I sat for a long time in the quietude of the night, trying desperately to understand what Grandfather had told me. In essence, it was not enough to work for spiritual enlightenment for self, but to work for the spiritual enlightenment of all of mankind. To work only for self, to cloister oneself in the seeking of spiritual rapture, is to run from this responsibility. What Grandfather was saying is that a spiritual person must take the wisdom and philosophy of the Earth and bring it back into modern society.
Grandfather spoke again. "Trying to live a spiritual life in modern society is the most difficult path one can walk. It is a path of pain, of isolation and of shaken faith, but that is the only way that our Vision can become reality. Thus the true Quest in life is to live the philosophy of the Earth within the confines of man. There is no church or temple we need to seek peace, for ours are the temples of the wilderness. There are no spiritual leaders, for our hearts and the Creator are our only leaders. Our numbers are scattered; few speak our language or understand the things that we live. Thus we walk this path alone, for each Vision, each Quest, is unique unto the individual. But we must walk within society or our Vision dies, for a man not living his Vision is living death."
For a long time there was no other conversation. I retired into my own thoughts and doubts. I did not want to live within society, for the wilderness was my home, my love, my life and my spiritual rapture. I could not see why a man could not live his Vision in the purity of wilderness, away from the distractions of society. I could feel no urgency or see any reason why I should take what I have learned back to society.
Grandfather's voice shattered my thoughts. "The Earth is dying. The destruction of man is close, so very close, and we must all work to change that path of destruction. We must pay for the sins of our grandfathers and grandmothers, for we have long been a society that kills its grandchildren to feed its children. There can be no rest, and we cannot run away; far too many in the past have run away. It is very easy to live a spiritual life away from man, but the truth of Vision in spiritual life can only be tested and become a reality when lived near society."
"How do I know that we are so close to that destruction?" I asked.
"I had a Vision," Grandfather said. "It was a Vision of the destruction of man. But man was given four warnings to that destruction, two of which gave man a chance to change his ways and two of which would give the children of the Earth time to escape the Creator's wrath."
"How will I know these warnings, these signs?" I asked.
Grandfather continued. "They will be obvious to you and those who have learned to listen to the Spirit of the Earth; but to those who live within the flesh and know only flesh, there is no knowing or understanding. When these signs, these warnings and prophecies, are made manifest, then you will understand the urgency of what I speak. Then you will understand why people must not just work for their own spiritual rapture but to bring that rapture to the consciousness of modern man."