I once came upon a cliff.
Below it: an endless ocean of possibility.
Something within me wanted to swim.
But something else, desired only to preserve my life.
And this something else was stronger than I, for I lived through this something.
Its whispered lies were so convincing, so nefariously subtle — that I mistook them for thoughts of my own.
And so I blinked.
I turned my back to this cliff, and made my way back home.
A part of me sighed in relief as I walked through that familiar door, and told myself that I was simply not yet ready.
But this wasn’t the first time I’d turned my back to this cliff.
In fact, I’d done so several times before.
And yet, this time felt distinctly different . . .
Returning to my old comforts — reverting back into my default state — these things no longer felt like guilty pleasures.
Something within me: a wholly different beast from that which convinced me not to jump — it hungered for a new life.
For it had outgrown the so-called life I built for it.
You see . . .
There was a time when . . . if I was in my most vulnerable state . . .
Minutes before drifting off to sleep . . .
. . . Something within me . . .
It would speak truths to me.
But gone were the days in which it delivered me visions with grace, for it was consumed with the mourning of visions past.
As its cries of desperation grew louder, I knew this something could no longer be contained.
If I was to end its unrest, I’d have no choice but to make the jump.
But when would I be ready — what had to change — what did I have to do?
The people back home claimed they had the answers for me.
And if they didn’t, they assured me the people in the nearby villages would.
I’d visited many of these villages myself in the past, seeking to learn from those who claimed they knew the way.
And they’d tell me how to dive, how to fall through the air, how to brace for impact.
But I always felt like there was something missing . . .
And so I continued searching for answers.
For what was I to do when I was swimming in the water?
What if I was to be carried away by the waves?
I set out to these villages once more, in an effort to make my final preparations . . .
Upon my arrival, the locals were quick to ensure I felt at home and comfortable.
I studied their words long and hard, and held my newfound intelligence with high regard.
But before I knew it, another two years had passed.
It was a lot of work, you know.
I had to learn the proper techniques, breathing patterns — the right way to make a stroke.
To simply make the jump on intuition alone?
A fool’s journey, surely.
And fool’s drown, do they not?
But here I was: a couple of years older — a couple of years wiser.
Certainly I was no fool.
Certainly I was ready to make the jump now — ready to leave home forever.
I approached that daunting cliff once again, this time carrying with me an immense pressure to throw myself over the edge.
And yet . . .
. . . That insidious something else . . .
That ethereal force that exerted a tyrannical level of control over my being . . .
It continued to protest, what I felt like was, my one true desire.
Once again . . . I found myself stalling . . .
Once again, I found myself defeated.
And this cliff — it began to haunt my every day existence.
No longer could I lose myself in the distractions of the world.
For this omnipresent, gnawing feeling — it was tearing me apart.
Something within me — something much bigger than “me” — it knew I was supposed to make the jump years ago.
Back when my intentions were innocent, and pure.
All of this “preparation” — all of this nonsense — it was nothing but a clever little trick to keep my feet planted exactly where they were.
I had nothing to show for my efforts.
I didn’t know what to do anymore.
All I knew was that I couldn’t continue living this way.
I had to leave . . .
I had to go . . . somewhere . . .
To go searching, for what I felt was missing.
Something I couldn’t quite put a name to . . .
And so one morning, on what seemed like a whim, I began to plan a journey to the opposite ends of the earth.
This would lead me to Buddhist temples in South East Asia, and ultimately, to the study of philosophy and religion.
But I never quite found what I was looking for: that which I’d hoped would push me over the edge.
After some time I returned home, empty-handed.
I continued to study the human condition, but I was grasping at straws.
My back was against the edge — and while I’d always known of the cold, harsh reality of time intellectually — this was the first time I’d experienced such bitter winds firsthand.
There was only one thing left to do.
And come hell or high water, I was going to do it.
And that’s when, by what seemed like sheer chance . . .
I discovered that which would change my life forever . . .
It was like a beacon in the night — and something within me was drawn to it, like a moth to a flame.
My spirit was raised from its slumber, for it had no choice but to answer the call.
This is what I had been searching for, all my life.
I had awoken.
And I was ready — ready to begin my true journey.
Like learning a new language, this journey would demand complete and total immersion from me.
And as I surrendered myself to it in its entirety, each day brought with it a new transformation — a new level of understanding.
My life perspective — the lens from which I viewed the world — it was changing quicker than I ever could have imagined.
And while many of my suspicions and tightly held insights were proven to be true, this transformation was largely an unlearning of untruth.
I was making my way out of the illusion, and it was surreal.
And that daunting cliff — that precipice which haunted me so: it began to lose its power over me.
For I learned secrets, that few will ever come to know.
I learned that . . . living on the edge . . . is a dangerous place to live.
Not because one might actually jump . . .
But because one likely never will.
The truth is . . .
Most of us will straddle this precipice for as long as we can, before turning our backs to it, and returning home to die.
Even when we KNOW it’s our destiny.
Because the human mind loves nothing more than to be on the edge.
To fantasize endlessly about jumping.
But to actually jump?
No . . . the mind fears nothing more than this . . .
. . . For that would mean changing everything . . .
It would mean venturing into the unknown . . .
. . . Embarking on a journey of self-discovery . . .
And ultimately . . . destroying the parts of ourselves . . . that we’ve hung onto so dearly . . . for so long.
You see, when I left home on that journey — I never really left home.
I’d abandoned my physical place in the world — but I’d yet to abandon who I thought I was, for what I really am.
To many, this would sound completely insane.
But if one truly wants to live . . .
If one truly seeks to revel in the grand divinity of his existence . . .
There can be no other way.
The masses . . . they’re convinced the alternative is the most comfortable way to live.
But this is but a slow death.
The truth is, man fears nothing more than himself.
And this truth — it’s the most important I’ve learned yet.
For it was always my greatest.