The Ancient Way of Secrets

I feel a bit confused, and distracted.

Tattered epistemological ghosts cling to my shoulders, whisper in my ears, watch the moon rise with me, the silver glinting on my face, illuminating their ethereal rags and bones.


n : the philosophical theory of knowledge

May God save me from myself. Yet I smell it all around me, a war that rages, with human puppets. Gods and ghosts pull at the strung marionettes, jerking and tugging, and the humans kill, hate, drink, multiply and die, while the wild world watches.


What do I see through the shadows and fog?

Why does it matter, what the ghosts whisper in my ears, why does their weeping hammer at my heart?

“The search for knowledge will destroy us all, spirit and flesh,” they wail, “the search for certainty, will certainly seal our fate.”

I never knew ghosts to wring their hands over so much philosophy. Let me go…

But, at my protests, the light in their eyes only becomes more eager, more hungry. “No! This matters, no matter how much you misunderstand it. Listen well.”

Dead leaves skitter and scrap across the night pavement. Stars circle overhead. A car drives by, passengers hooting, celebrating.

The ghost’s voices, like audible moonlight, like cat’s breath, like the hiss of grass stirring in the breeze, they speak in my ear: “You who so long hungered for the right answer, for the immovable rock underfoot, know now that it lays forever sundered from you. Long ago, the pharoahs and kings created this notion, that the dancing spirits that animate the universe would ever remain the same from one moment to the next. They created this notion of the clockwork universe, of the father high above wagging the forefinger, so that your ancestors would bear the yoke unquestioningly. They wanted obedience, and even their descendants, the heirs of modern fortunes and power, have long since forgotten the truth, wrapped in the suffocating spell as much as the rest of us. They believe that the universe will stay, like a pet commanded to heel. But at any moment, you may remove the blindfold you’ve affixed to your own brow, and witness the wild riot around you, the dynamic liberty of a universe fully awake and alive.”

A long moment hushes by, as the night insects dance with each other, and my thoughts gather together, scattering and mixing.

“Free yourself from certainty. Walk open-eyed into a a living cosmos that flows and ebbs, surprised upon awaking to each new day. The sun may rise, and it may not; the miracle of the sunrise is neither guaranteed nor impossible, but rather a sliding infinite continuum between the two. Bless the impenetrable mystery with your innocent gaze. Like a child you will become, drinking deep of the emptiness that undermines answers.”

Besieged by the unknown will of the spectre’s exposition, I submit to the swirling debate. Born from darkness into light, with a solitary flickering light I plunge forward once again, back into darkness.

Written by Willem