The Garden of Innocence

It’s about immortality; it always was. It’s about how to attain the Garden again – how to live forever in joy and innocence.


Allowing his gaze to travel just beyond the portcullis above the tandoor, Devananda watched the deep midnight blues of early morning slowly come to life while the Master stoked the fire, the pupils of His eyes turning an eerie shade of incandescent green in the glow of the burning embers. He sat silently allowing His disciple to continue the thought.

“But is it wise to know the answer, even before the question has been asked?” Devananda pondered aloud. “Few are inclined to acknowledge their deepest fear, that fear of death, in order to truly know what it means to live a life as a human being, as a child of God.” The Master’s ears twitched as He grinned ever so slightly, nodding to His disciples track.

“Yeah. That’s right.” The Master agreed. “The meaning of life is there, in the Word, for sure. But it is not a one-word answer. Neither can it be found looking hither and thither, in books, or bought in a can from the store.” He said it with a wry chuckle, almost irritably, before His voice softened and He looked compassionately once more at the young man by his side there on the concrete floor before the fire. “The essence of the life is in the experience, eh? What more meaning you can find? Do what you are doing and be as a being; that is what the sages say. Do all that with a great interest. There you can find the meaning of a life – the purpose why you came here.”

Childhood finds the garden ripest, and the fruits of the proverbial Trees of Life and Knowledge most appealing with their multi-colors and sweet perfumes. And in the renaissance of my youth I watched my spirit merge with the arts and sciences of being alive and began to trace the face of my Lord in number and myth. I witnessed the confusion of my brothers under the influence of the demon spawn and understood the source, even while bemoaning the tragic cause of endless cycles of war and wanton suffering. And then I, too, got lost. The God I Am, before I was, before I knew the stories, disappears into the Word, distorted by the definitions as I Babyl-onward into every idea to find Him again.

The Master breaks me from my reverie. “Tell it simply so that they can understand.” He says gently.

“I’m trying!” I fairly explode. I swear, to tell the whole Truth, so help me God, please.” I implore, almost amused by my unintended pun, but not wanting to release the heat of the passion that gripped me for fear that a smile would somehow dampen my resolve. “I will show them my every mistake, Master. For the sake of every child’s innocence I will relay the entire journey and lay my soul bare to ridicule. Isn’t the point after all? To show how a man can be a God and just a man at the same time? But you’re right.” I conceded, calming down, hearing the first chirping of the early birds come to rest on the awning by the now smoldering smokestack peeking out from the portcullis. “My story-telling needs refinement. I have to find the right words.”

Excerpt – The Mirror Sutra