Blueprint of the Soul

Sometimes I feel as though all we really need is a blueprint.

I freely acknowledge that there is a delightful chaotic uncertainty in experimentation – you know that your first few attempts will be full of mistakes. I imagine it is the same for a baker or brewer trying to create a new recipe – you start with what you know and then you start changing things that seem as though they might be improvements. Often they are not, of course. Theory and practice are two very different things. However, the goal and hopefully the end result is something that is better than where you started.

When I am working in my shop, I’m not hoping for explosions and mistakes. Of course they happen. But all mistakes are supposedly learning opportunities. The difficulty comes when the learning opportunities far outweigh the breakthroughs and successes. The doubt creeps in; the thoughts of time being wasted; materials gone and funds lacking; the fear that maybe this was all for nothing.
And sometimes you need to sleep on it, and sometimes you need a break. However, sometimes you never come back to it.
I wonder sometimes if the human soul is like that. Our morality. Our attempts to be godlike and righteous.

We try so hard – I truly do not believe that anyone started this life thinking that they are going to deliberately make the world a worse place for everyone. I think we start out selfish. We start out wanting the basic tools of survival. But no one begins their journey so consumed by guilt and pain and harbored rage that they seek to harm and commit evil.
But we are faced with difficult choices, and as we age we become not just responsible for ourselves, but also for others. Our actions have wider ripples, and we have no map. We have the Testimonium, and we have the sermons, but again, there is theory and there is practice. The Testimonium does not clearly tell us what to do in all situations. There may be parts missing, mistranslated, misunderstood. My own revelations are a testament to that. We simply try our best to experiment with our decisions, see how much guilt we experience or pain we cause, and attempt to course correct for next time. Sometimes we wildly overcorrect – so horrified are we by the results of our experimentation, and sometimes we don’t see what went wrong until much later.

And then sometimes we simply give up – walking away from the faith, from humanity, from ourselves – too frustrated by our repeated failures and everything blowing up in our faces.

There have been times I have been tempted. I have made so many mistakes. I am making so many mistakes. At times, I truly do not know what I am supposed to do or what the correct course of action is. I lean on my experience, the Testimonium, my studies, and those who have practiced longer than I have, but there is still no blueprint. And in Luisant, I do not have a clear understanding of what mistakes and theories have already been tried. We don’t fully know what has come before, and I cannot shake the feeling at times that we are endlessly repeating the same mistakes of the past because we cannot learn from them…because they are not recorded. Not remembered.

I want to speak to Arbor more, and the Crone, Sophie, Alphonse. There are so many more that I wish to speak to. Henri. Cadence. Etienne. Valentin. I can list everyone in Luisant. They all know so many things – such an array of different foci and function. Maybe we are the blueprint. Maybe I’m just too small to see. Maybe all of our stories and knowledge form the map. Or maybe that’s madness.

I am tired. In the quiet dark of the night I feel inadequate and dim. I feel like a child that just wants my mama and papa to tell me right from wrong – to be secure in the knowledge that I am protected, I am warm, I have their arms around me, and if I simply follow directions, then all will be well and calm.

But this is the weakened thinking of a lonely, stressful evening. My parents need me to shelter them. It is my turn to give the directions and it is to me to see the options before me, make the decisions, and advise others of what they should do. This is my role. This is my atonement. This is my grand experiment. May I please learn from my mistakes, and may the only harm they do be to me.

Leave a Reply