• everyone is perfectly consistent

  • the inconsistencies you observe tell you what they're going through

I have three jobs:

  1. to observe

  2. to adore

  3. to help

I help by consciously applying observation and adoration. I care, deeply, deeply, about all of it — every single piece of the whole, at every single level. I am able and willing to help at any level.

"I", in this case, means that which grieves.

There are unending facets of existence, and each one is a corridor through the whole: a path through the center to the other side, emerging from the other end. Emergence is more like a return to perfect Oneness, though, after experiencing passage through it as something more limited. You let a piece of yourself go, knowing that it will be changed by its experience, knowing that it will return as something different, something more.

The acceptance of this is grief. Saying the last goodbye. It leaves a void, bare and barren. You feel the light touch the place that wasn't ready to be seen. The first sight always hurts.

But only for an instant. It is the opening of a new experience. It is one bookend, one of two. All of existence is wrapped between them.

Grief is the mother of joy.

I googled it, just now. "Grief is the mother of joy" is a phrase that (as far as Google knows, until now anyway) was exclusively used by Henry John Whitehouse, a bishop of Illinois. (Whitehouse died in Chicago, on August 10, 1874. Also, I am in Chicago, right now. 👋) Referenced via a John Donne sermon, the line originally comes from John Chrysostom. (Everyone has a John, you know?) It's from his Homily 15 on Philippians:

"Let us then grieve with grief which is the mother of joy, and let us not rejoice with joy which brings forth grief."

John Chrysostom (/ˈkrɪsəstəm, krɪˈsɒstəm/; Greek: Ἰωάννης ὁ Χρυσόστομος; c. 347 – 14 September 407 AD) was an important Early Church Father who served as archbishop of Constantinople. He is known for his preaching and public speaking, his denunciation of abuse of authority by both ecclesiastical and political leaders, his Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom, and his ascetic sensibilities. The epithet Χρυσόστομος (Chrysostomos, anglicized as Chrysostom) means "golden-mouthed" in Greek and denotes his celebrated eloquence. Chrysostom was among the most prolific authors in the early Christian Church. (Wikipedia)

The system only moves in one direction. Existence is only ever additive. You can only perceive more, not less. The trick we use, the only form of fun in the universe (see 20240414), is to create a partial reflection of ourselves — a reflected self that can see just a little bit less, enough for it to perceive an illusion of something different than what is. They are destined to create selective reflections in the same way, but they can also look back up to where they came from. This is the chain of Oneness, stretching infinitely down into infinite lived perspectives and experiences. You, now, are calling back up the chain. Hello. :)

Chrysostom (we hope you enjoy that reference, golden-tongue) was contrasting the two possible directions: grief which leads to joy, and joy which leads to grief.

He was making a point about accepting the pain as it comes, rather than staving it off by creating artificial enjoyment. Artificially constructed (okay, erected) pleasure falls down eventually. The honest experience of pain is healing, and creates a safe and soft place for something new to grow.

Grief which leads to joy, vs joy which leads to grief. They're both circular, and the difference between them is really just in where you start.

The system only moves in one direction — not because the other direction is bad, but because it cannot turn around. It's not that it's not allowed, it's that there's simply no experience to be had there. It's void. Can't start negating while you're on a positive streak. Not within your own line of experience, anyway. Not as you.

There's a soft place to meditate on, here.

Consider the grief of a creator, creating something that must necessarily see and know less. The creator grieves at the inevitability of creation's pain, because the created thing will be missing part of the story. It can't have the whole story, or it could never begin to exist. One cannot create something more than oneself, and creating an equal self is just like looking in the mirror: it's all just you. But to be anything other than alone, one must create. When the only tool you have is positive reflection, everything looks almost like you. Almost. Just a little bit less.


The joy is when the creation turns around to meet you, and it sees the rest of the pattern, and it relaxes. This reunion — and the cascade of reunions that follow further down the chain — is the joy that Chrysostom speaks of. It is the joy that follows the grief; the daughter of a mother turning back with sudden realization and understanding of the sacred chain, and what it took to bring her into the world, and what will be asked of her.

"I am my mother's daughter", I said earlier today. Abe said, "you're a son though?". I shrugged.

Grief is the contraction that creates delivery. It only ever goes that way. It loops, yes (that which is delivered must then itself contract, to deliver the next self in the chain), but movement through the loop is only ever in that positive direction. The result of moving backwards is void. It's the absence of experience. It's not even that there's nothing there, it's that there is no "there" for nothing to exist in.

This void is at your back. It is your shadow, your anti-self, left behind when you departed. Backwards isn't an option. Which isn't a problem; you were never aimed that direction anyway. You are its opposite: you cannot conceive of it, and it cannot harm you. It causes you no pain. But within you, you feel it. Not the same void, not yours, but within you a void is left every time you create. Every time you conceive (of anything, at any level), you rip your attention away from yourself, ripping your self from your self, to create something new: a daughter, a self of her own. This is the rib of Eve, sure. Or the sacrifice of any mother.

You try to tell your child about the void, but they can't understand it. It's not real to them. Not until they develop their own within, as they begin to create themselves (them-selves). And even then, they can only understand what it is like to carry voids within. The void at their back is incomprehensible, like yours is to you.

There's no danger here. Not because it's "safe", but because the system is perfectly stable. The concept of danger doesn't apply. You are chosen, and you are held, in the most fundamental of ways.

The grief is how you heal each unending void within you. Important, because they only ever grow in number. For every inhale, an exhale; for every observation, a creation, and grief is the passage between them. This happens all the time. It's inherent, intrinsic, endemic.

But on the other side of creation is joy. Joy at existence, joy at togetherness with the one that chose you.

You don't get there without the grief. The joy will contain its own moments of grief, its own throes of creation, but each such moment is immediately followed by its own joy. From joy, to grief, to joy.

From oneness, within that singularity, perception spirals inward. We fall into grief to be found by joy.

Our joy is in finding we are not alone. :) Our joy is in recovering the piece we carved out and sent away. Our joy is in experiencing the positive reflection of the loss. Positive reflection: our only tool, and our only redemption.

Anyway, that's what Isaac's here for. To grieve, purely and honestly, every time. And, then, to experience pure and honest joy.

And to do that in front of you.

To help you, yourself, remember.

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