The Outer Limits

1.3 Pilgrim Notes

They told me I would find him if I looked hard enough. A hermit living in a cave deep in the Drakensburg. For almost three decades I conducted the search, and then one day he recently found me. I followed him and in a dream found myself sitting in a sparse grotto which was his home as he continued his teaching.

“You understand about the Soul for it sits at the centre of your life, that is good, that is a start. You also have grasped the idea of balance and the difference between disciplined and creative thinking. I think we are making progress as you expand your understanding of the inner limits. Now I want to take you to the outer limits of your life. Tea?” he gestured. “Thank you” it was hot and sweet.

“I want you to think about the people closest to you, who are they?” I stood up and looked out across the veld below. Not far to the right the mighty Tugela crashed over the rocky edge whipping up spray as the wind swFamilyirled and howled outside the mouth of the cave. “They are my family” I replied, he took hold of both my hands and smiled. “Yes, for you it so. Those are the people you would give up everything for, who you love so deeply you ache. Spouse, child, and parent they might be. Life partner, soul mate or other half, better half even. It is those for whom you would lay down your life, those to whom you give your love unconditionally. There, if you look for it, you will find true love. They are few, but you know who they are”.

Far out beyond the bend in the river an eagle turned a tight circle, eyes piercing the undergrowth. “And what about your friends?” he asked, “What do you think about them?” Somewhere from deep within I could hear soft, relaxing music. “My friends? They fill my life and bring companionship and fill my days with thoughts beyond my lonely existence. With my friends I am renewed and I lift myself and them higher.”DeepConversation

“Exactly so” said the hermit his eyes shone in the gloom, his joy and his excitement I could feel. “Now tell me about the community you live in.” I was unsure what he was getting at. “What do you mean?” He looked at me directly. “All of the universe is connected. It is one big organism and you are a living breathing part of it. Your family supports you, but so does your school, and you are who you are because of those parts of a greater whole. You are shaped by the suburb you grew up in and by the city you now live in. The country and continent shapes your being and even this planet gives you your locus. The time and space you inhabit as a contributor to a group, club or society is part of it. It breathes life into human interaction and endeavour.”

“So what now?” Far below I heard the hardedah’s raucous call. He once again held my hands and looked deeply into my eyes. “First your family, then your friends and lastly your community. They are all components that make up the softer, human outer limits of your life. You must cherish and love each one. You must give time to each one.”

Soon the sun would rise and it would be a new day, soon I would wake and be cradled by those who make up the human side of my outer limits.



About Tom Cottrell

Tom is a struggling author, pilgrim and citizen of Planet Earth.
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