One little spark can set a whole wilderness on fire. Just a spark.
Let the wolf delight, to howl and to bite. For God has made him so.
If energy is delight and enthusiasm is beauty, the wild depressive knows more about delight and beauty than anyone else. Who else has so much energy and exuberance? I believe the psyche fleeces a certain strategy to increase depression. Isn’t it Freud who said, that happiness is nothing but the remission of pain? The more pain—the more intense the happiness that follows. But there is a prior origin to this, and the psyche—it does create hell on purpose.
All life is, is pondering between then and now, between birth and death, seeking answers to the most influential questions. Such brooding doesn’t always make us any saner, and some may sink into drink, when the answers they seek drive them a little too wild. It has always been me versus madness in my life, and madness has proven much stronger over salvation. But not this time around and I will tell you why.
All this thinking, writing, with it’s feeling sometimes seems to count for nothing. It’s naught but an attack behind the allied lines of my mind—seeking the beauty of my thoughts—and as of late the only effect is except it has worn me out. The noble idea of being a poet or a writer has made me feel at times like a clown or a fool. Maybe humanity no longer needs art and inner miracles. It already has so many outer ones.
So before I can carry on with the green and lovely shades of this wilderness within, I must venture into the darkest and most arid corner of my mind. This is the only way that I feel like I am being genuine with you all. It is true that the only way out is through.
Sure I could fake it and pretend that all I saw was graced with gloriousness, but over the past week it hasn’t been that way for me. I hold close with confidence that by getting this off my chest, the path will clear itself of my well-worn mind’s debris. It is time we talk about hell.
Horrors Of Hell
Hell is the state of the soul powerless to come out of it’s prideful self; it is absolute self-centeredness, dark and evil isolation, and the final incapacity to love. It means to be engulfed in an agonizing moment, which yawns with the abyss of infinity, so that the pain plays repetitively in the mind, while stabbing sharp through the heart. Hell creates and organizes the separation of the soul from God.
Hell is not God’s action upon the soul, retributive and punitive as that action may be—it is the absence of any action of God upon the soul, the soul’s incapacity to open itself up to God’s influence and its complete severance from God.
The horror of hell is not something inspired by thoughts that God’s judgment will be severe and merciless. God is love and mercy, and to give one’s fate to Him means to overcome this horror. In reality the horror is to have our own fates left in our own hands. It is not what God will do to us, but what we will do to ourselves. Hell means that we don’t fall into the Hand of God but instead we abandon ourselves to our own devices.
Every soul is sinful and subject to darkness and cannot by its own power come into the light. The soul will feel inclined to pass into the twilight of dreams written upon semi-existence. Its own free efforts cannot bring it to true and being. It is in the essence of Christianity that we see this designed by these two scriptures.
“The Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.”
“I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.”
The coming of Christ should be seen as not an outward threat of judgment, but an inward recognition that salvation rests within—salvation from the hell that we have so maliciously spent our entire lives preparing for ourselves. The coming of Christ is the turning point for the soul of man, which builds up the Kingdom of God instead of digging for the depths of hell.
Without Christ, our Savior, the Kingdom of God is unattainable for man. Man’s moral efforts alone do not bring him to it. If there is no Christ and no change of heart connected with Christ, hell in some shape or form is inevitable, for man cannot help but create it. The essence of salvation is liberation from our own hell, to which all creatures naturally gravitate.
Hell will not come into eternity, it will remain in time, and hence it cannot be eternal. One of the voices that howls through my soul tells me that all are doomed to hell, because all more or less doom themselves to it. But this to the fullest extent is reckoning without Christ. The other voice that speaks from the goodness of my heart, says that all must be saved, that man’s true freedom must be enlightened from within, without any violence being done to it—and that comes through Christ and is salvation.
In the midst of this spiritual awakening, I no longer think of the devil as outside the human soul, he is engrained in it and means that it is abandoned in itself. Christ frees the soul from the devil. Hell, without question exists, yet it is revealed to us in experience, and it may be our own lot. Hell belongs to time and is temporal. Everything that is in time is temporal. The victory of eternity over time leaves hell and its so called powers behind.
The idea of hell has been turned into an instrument of intimidation, of religious and moral terrorism. Our real horror is not in the threats of a transcendental Divine judgment, but in the immanent working out of human destiny from which all Divine action has been excluded. The most merciless committee is that of one’s own conscious; it brings with it torments of hell, division, loss of wholeness, a fragmentary existence. The only judgment God shall enforce upon us is a downpour of grace upon the creature. His judgment establishes true realities and makes them all secondary to the heights of Heaven, not in a permissible but a metaphysical sense.
I now see something hideous and morally revolting in the idea of eternal torments as retribution for the sins of a short moment of life. Eternal damnation as a result of things done in such a short period of time, known as life, is one of the most disgusting manmade nightmares. But one thing is unquestionably true: after death the soul rich in Christ goes on to Heaven, the soul that never believed in God’s Power goes on to some other plane of being, as it lived before birth.
The Answer Is Christ
The life in our world between birth and death is merely a crumb compared to our destiny, incomprehensible when regarded by itself, apart from the eternal purpose of a man. It is Christ alone that can conquer the horror of hell as a manifestation of the creature’s freedom. This is the last and final demand that dictates the conscious—to have the conscious and the courage to direct all the power of your creative spirit through Christ to free everyone from their own hell. And the rise of hope in this belief is the only way through this wilderness within.
It has been a rough couple of weeks. My depressed mind has been taken over by the grind and has been working overtime with work and all else in between. But 2019 is going to be here in the blink of an eye and I will be spending a few days in one of my favorite places in the world, Alabama Hills, just outside of Lone Pine, California. I have to leave town with just my camera, my tent, my bible, God, and me. Once again, I have to find myself. I must take this beast within and seek some holy waters for the sake of baptismal purposes.
As Christ said, the seed in the ground must die. To be a seed in the ground of one’s very life is to dissolve into that ground in order to become fruitful. One disappears into love, in order to “be Love”
I am finally getting somewhere with the book, so with that being said, this blog will only be posting once a week on Friday’s, starting this Friday. Hope you all had a merry everything and have a happy always. Thanks for stopping by. Til the next time.
The point of writing my name to you is that I see who you are, you see who I am…and that’s what it’s about.
Here is but a post that is two years overdue, call it an extended bio if you choose. And it is true, today marks the second anniversary of the beginning of this little creative outpost. The point of writing my name to you is that I see who you are, you see who I am…and that’s what it’s about.
My name is Ryan Love. I am 41 years young. My nickname is Buddy out west and Bubba back home, hence the Be. Home being the hidden, paradoxical beauty of Alabama. I now live just down a mountain pass from the majestic splendor of Lake Tahoe in beautiful Carson Valley, Nevada. I moved out West sixteen years ago today as well.
A loving and God-fearing family raised me. My mother, bless her soul, with her ability to harness all of our shit, mainly mine, still amazes me. Though my siblings are significantly younger, we have managed to stay close, even with the age difference and me being so far away from home.
I am a single dad to a four-year-old son walking away from a collapsed marriage that I had a strong hand in tearing down. Now I am finding my purpose through God. I am learning how to live alone with Him half the week, the other half I am trying to be the best father to him that I can be.
I was once considered an alcoholic—I for one may not have been, but then again that’s what I perceive from within. I was always one to skirt the idea of moderation, and that is in itself a glaring sign of alcoholism. As I stand today, without staggering, I have almost learned how to master my self-control, ‘tis but the season though, for loneliness to creep up on the right thing to do.
Nowadays I am a Chef in the casino industry, so temptation does flirt with me on a nightly basis, and it is quite the task shaking myself loose from it on those Friday nights when the adrenaline drip is more or less at a steady stream. But the beast within has found purpose and unity with God especially when he gets to push around this pen. And it is true that once I let the wolf in, he has become my greatest teacher.
I first realized that I had a knack for writing when I was in Journalism back in high school—many, many moons ago. I covered the sports beat for the high school paper because I was a bit of a jock and I could spell, which back in those days didn’t always go hand in hand. But then I started to dabble with illegal substances and my dream of making it to the big leagues of life and baseball fell apart. As much as I said no to drugs, they never listened. So let me be a lesson, don’t do drugs.
When not working, my hobbies include writing, reading, snowboarding, exploring God in the wilderness around me, photography, fly-fishing, and creating memories and art with my child.
I have questioned authority at every crossroad in my life. I have always said that I knew the rules but the rules did not know me. This sometimes breathes true even today. I have those who have egged me on, and of course myself. One could say my friends and I were nothing but a bunch of heathens, such is adolescence I guess. But we have a bond between us that will last a lifetime and maybe more. A bond that will never be broken.
I tried my hand at college, but much to no avail because I was too smart for school. Oh good ole fashioned hindsight. It’s worth the mention that I do not regret a damn thing, well maybe one or two things, but that’s neither here nor there. The memories that haven’t faded are still as precious to me as the moment they were created.
Then I fell head over heels in love with a girl. Sure I’d been through the ringer with cherry-popping puppy loves, but this one touched my soul. Next came the heartbreak and the words they rained like poetic tears from the depths of my being. These words were not very well situated in the lyrical sense, still debatable whether they are nowadays. Nonetheless, my soul had finally come to the center stage of me. Then it vanished for a long time, the beast, my ego came front and center, with no intent on feeding the soul.
In the midst of my efforts of dealing with heartbreak, higher learning, hallucinogenics, and a Pink Floyd obsession, I started writing in the sense of reality. I fell in love with the Beat Generation: Kerouac, Ginsberg, Cassady, and di Prima. They were all so transcendental and unique, with all of the philosophical and Zen undertones it was hard to not fall in love with them. Then I read “On The Road” by Kerouac and my soul fell sick with the travel bug. I traveled far and wide looking for a home away from home.
At this stage in my life I considered myself agnostic. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe, as much as I didn’t want to believe one way or another, sort of like taking the high road. And I really to this day do not know why. Sure I had a sturdy moral compass that would fall out of whack from time to time, but for some reason my ego thought intellect was more reasonable than God. More on this down the road.
Then came my second taste of spiritual awakening, or maybe it was a crisis, maybe both are one in the same. Who knows? It was in 2008. I took some classes at the local community college, and finally got around to reading “Heart Of Darkness” and I became consumed with the elements of good and evil within man. I couldn’t stop writing. My writing evolved at a rapid rate this time around. Something was opening up within me.
From here I turned to an infatuation with the Donner Party, so much so that I wrote a screenplay about it. The chaos, the demons of hunger, the capability of what man would do to survive blew my mind wide open. The events that surrounded that winter of 1847, made my mind move in directions it never had, what if we were living in Hell?
This is when I first felt a newfound purpose through my own doubt and God made sure that I felt Him as he started coursing through my veins.
As soon as my soul would bark back, the beast would only tighten his grip, choking the life out of my softness. Then I gave up my passion of writing because my head was swelling instead of moving in linear directions. The beast couldn’t handle it without the soul, and didn’t feel the need to collaborate. And I was still questioning God and his antics. From there I put down the pen and decided to focus on my career as a Chef, being a Chef feeds the ego.
Then came 2016, my child was two and a half. God had very much proved his existence through the eyes of my child. But I became sick at the hate that was dividing our blessed country in half. And yes I sort of blamed God. This is when I first felt a newfound purpose through my own doubt and God made sure that I felt Him as he started coursing through my veins.
I could no longer stand pat within the herds of ignorance and mediocrity. I felt that maybe my way with words could plant seeds that would bloom into hope and salvation, something that made love seem not so distraught and grow into something more beautiful than the world had ever seen. After all what a man sees in the world, he carries in his heart.
Then came a vessel out of nowhere that showed me the true light of God’s work. This vessel gave flight to a new me, and readjusted my system of beliefs. I felt a creative spark that I had never knew existed. Sure being a Chef came with avenues upon avenues of creative effort, from managing different personalities, to creating specials, to setting the standards for the simplicity of a kitchen’s flow. But something was different with this creative spark from writing, to photography; my soul had found its home within the walls of creative gusto.
I have come to find it humbling that the wilderness within the eighteen inches from my head to my heart is the purpose of my journey in life. And I am humbled that you all still listen. And I have learned that I am much happier talking to myself, rather than listening to myself. Try it. It works.
It is in the darkness of faith at the foot of the cross that the light will always flicker.
Now here I am still fighting my inner demons, trying my damndest to keep the beast on a leash, hoping to mind my head, and surrender my heart to the power of God’s Love, and just maybe the consistency of me watering my own seed through prayer and devotion will breathe consistent with my purpose while these words with their rooted message of hope, love, and faith for all mankind shall forever spring from the bottom of my heart. And now every day I awake by acknowledging my dependence for God above and my need for His mercy.
Recently I was saved at my family church back home, but I still have a long and winding path ahead. It is in the darkness of faith at the foot of the cross that the light will always flicker. And the reason why I feel this way is as follows.
Every time we look at the cross Christ seems to say, “I am here because of you, your sin, your curse, your debt, your death, I am here for you. Nothing in the universe cuts us down to size like the cross. We all have self-inflated views of ourselves, especially in the self-righteous state, until we have visited a place called Calvary. It is there at the foot of the cross, that we shrink to our true size.” If anything speaks the truth it starts with minding your head.
One more thing you may not have known about me. This band Widespread Panic, they are very much a part of me, I have traveled all corners of this land to see them, I have made friends of a lifetime through the most hospitable scene behind a traveling circus of music. And even though panic is the one thing that is widespread in this world, it is an honest tune with a lingering lead that has taken me this far, and will always leave me wondering.
This is a story of me. And who knows maybe you may come to find out a little about yourself as I find me.
Love shoves me around this sanctuary of life; it recoils from within like a celestial gong as it reverberates within your soul.
Love brings us around. Love guides us drifted throughout the day. Love, love, love, it lifts us up when feeling down. Love walks with two steps upon the ground and four steps in, it sails with the wind. It is love. It is solace. But I do not care if it is solace. I am no longer attached to solace. I love God and that is why love will always carry me around wherever I choose to go. I do not pay much attention to anything anymore if it is lacking in the realm of His love. I haven’t the time for anything else but love.
And when the time clock of toil rings within my ears, it is like pulling teeth trying to make myself shift with the grind of life all because of love, this secret love, hidden love, opaque love, down in the depths of me and all around me, where I won’t talk about, where I don’t care to talk about. And anyways, I don’t have the time let alone the energy to consider such trivial matters.
I only have time for the divinity of eternity, which is just another way of saying love, love, and more love. Maybe a bit more common sense would snap me out of this, but love has always been seen as spotless through the mirror of clarity, and this I’ll always tell you. I am not attached to it (one would hope) but it is love and it pierces with tenderness through the core of my being, where it is stamped soft upon the bottom of my heart.
Love shoves me around this sanctuary of life; it recoils from within like a celestial gong as it reverberates within your soul. And I must be honest—love is the only thing that gives this heart of mine the gift that continues to tick.
Love radiates the way everything looks today. The way it was up early this morning painting the dawn with shades of a bluebird. These mountain peaks, they speak lovely in the silence of snowfall. And through this patch of fog, or is it a cloud, or may it be smoke if You will, but it is love, and right now it is all I choose to see for You are here with me.
The boy, my child, he bounces brisk through the crackling snow, each of his footsteps symbolic for the fire sizzling within the comforts of the beast. His thousandth question within the hour stumps me with a selfless attention and just like that the beast is gone. He’s off seeking the answer somewhere buried in the depth of a childhood memory. The boy he brings a balance to the beast, he keeps him bustling wild and on his toes. I hear him sing a song under his breath, though hidden by the ruffling leaves, I begin to see, to hear, to sense the man he will grow to be within the love of You that now blooms in me.
This is the way things have come to be after prayer, and speaking of You while having a picnic with my child. Everything seems so mysterious yet simplified in Your Presence. Your Son, Christ died for Love, not just in the collective sense, but within all senses, and even our very own sins, and this is the way that I shall write this, too. For once I feel whole because I am full with You. You are the Love in everything I see as my own child has now taught me.
This is how “love” works, as I so often stood stoned by the choir of my thoughts, the less I worried about creating, the more possessed I became of Love. There is a valuable lesson to be taught in the wealth of being poor in love.
Oh love, why can’t you leave me alone? This is but a question built rhetorical in meaning: so please for the sake of Heaven don’t leave me alone.
At all times we must cooperate with love in His house, and His love sets a fast pace even in the first mile of the marathon, and if you don’t keep up, you may stumble and fall far behind. And yet any speed is too slow for love—and no speed is too fast for you if only you would allow His love to lift you off your feet—after that you have to sail the “whole” way. But it is only in our dual nature that we choose to come down from cloud nine and just walk instead, such is patience one would guess.
Allow me to be poor in the Light of You. I’ve had a tough stretch of doubt, my thoughts twisting and turning, too much, as usual—such is the mind of a creative—always producing problems out of reality’s thinnest of air. This business sometimes burns me, and so I seek some proof.
Be exalted in your strength in the Lord; we will sing and praise your might.
Psalm 21 : 13
I am all dried up of desire and can only think of one thing—I shall stay put by this fire of You that burns so deep inside me.
These demons, my faults, my desire have all run dry, and yes my soul has softened like a wax the closer I am drawn to the candle of You. We have come a long way turning the beast into creative energy, these shadows into support, my fear into fuel, my failures into kindling, my weakness into strength. Let us not waste these agonies of life. Let us use this pain to recycle all hearts with the Spirit of Love.
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
1 Peter 5 : 8
I know not where I’m going. But it is my hope that wherever it is, You are there. I have no idea what path You have laid for me, but I am confident that You have made it the way it should be built for me.
Of one thing I am sure is that pain will fall like rain, but upon my soul it will never stain. And yes, I still do not fully know who I am, but I do feel You in the depths of me, and for that I am hopeful for what it is—I think might be left of the goodness in me.
For I have already found the treasure I sought when it was You I found deeper than just a thought. And just because I talk about following your Will, doesn’t mean I always will. So please allow us to speak more privately of that beneath your eternal Windmill.
But know this, it is your Glory—I will never allow anyone to steal. And the fact that I feel you in my heart brings joy to all my days, and when those days are done, I’d be might to find a bit of a head start upon those Pearly Gates, because of your ways—I would rather not part.
So it is my desire to walk with You and You must know there is not a thing I will not do to prove the Essence of You, except maybe use a double negative or two while writing this letter to You.
But from this moment on, it is through this valley filled with the shadow of death and You—I will walk until my final breath. So please allow me one last jest before I take my daily rest.