Volume 4, Issue 1, page 3

moor "
f ROM THE moment man first shapes his
thoughts in words, he talks to himself.
He listens to himself in the silent
places of his heart. Possibly as a
babe, fresh fran the Unknown, he talks
to himself without words. This may have
been what Jesus meant when he said that man
should become asalittle child to enter in,
that is, to understand, the Kingdom. For
man learns, if only he listens to himself,
that the more perfectly he thinks without
words, the more nearly he knows the Kingdom, the more nearly the Kingdom is his
Native Country.

Man's first urge, as a babe, is to feast.
He murmurs comfortable nothings to the
breast and the bottle. He kicks his feet in
his booties for small reasons of his own.
He palms the breasts of his mother or
clings to his bottle with hands and feet.
He looks about him at his small world. In
his heart he asks himself, without words:
"Who and what is this which provides me
with warmth and food?"
He hears the words of his mother, his
father, and the noises have a meaning which
he does not know. Because he does not know,
he fears. Fearing, he weeps. The louder the
noises the louder he weeps, seeking thus to
hide from himself the terror filling his
world. If his cries drown out the noises,
the noises do not exist. Thus early he
forms a pattern of thought, of speech, of
feeling. If he does not hear it, how can it
be? As months pass, it becomes easier to
hide from noise behind noise. As years pass
it becomes easier to hide by simply ignoring the unknown.

But the unknown will not be ignored. One
does not hide from it. The unknown demands
that it be known. So man talks to himself,
informing himself even when he ignores his
own words.

Man, very young, thinks to himself: "Who
are these people?"
They are people to whom he becomes accustomed gradually. They are first, his
mother, who is always near. There is next
the sister, the brother. The sisters and/or
brothers. Then, the father. Then, other relatives, friends of the family. Time and
thought and feeling are needed to become
acquainted with them all. But man, as a
babe, tries. He never ceases from trying,
even when he would rather do anything else
but try. Man studies his mother. Vaguely he
wonders why she is always near, even when
all others are beyond his range of vision;
even, often, beyond his hearing. He murmurs
to himself, words that only a mother can
dnderstand. But the child knows, for the
child does not mistake any other for his
mother from the very first of his days on
earth. He considers her face, and the smile
which shows her white teeth, before he
knows aught of face, smile, or teeth; certainly long before he knows the words for
those items. He considers her hair. He is
aware of her warmth, of the fragrance of
her body, of the ridges which form her lap
in which he snuggles so surely, so securely. His world enlarges when his sister
takes him on her knees, or jiggles him, or
rattles strange items before his eyes. His
world enlarges when his father takes him,
and he is afraid, being so early made aware
of awkwardness, knowing so soon the father's unsureness.

The man-child, the girl-child -- and there
is forever from the beginning an incomprehensible difference between them -- sleeps
after feeding, and changing, and the lullaby, or the jiggling on the knees; and no
human being -- not even the child perhaps --
knows whither the child journeys in its
seemingly endless sleep. And yet, does the
child not know? Does the child, so fresh
from the unknown, return there in sleep for
further instructions and explanations about
the world in which he must again and again
awaken? The child does not remember or, remembering, cannot or will not tell. He
grows with time, and memory is covered over
with outward forgetfulness so that he never
knows again whence he has been. With adulthood, unknown yesterdays, and last nights,
are hidden away and forgotten.
yet all the time, from the beginning, and
before there was a beginning, wisdom whispers within, reminding the child, the boy,
the girl, the adult: "Somewhere there is
something for me that I do not know; or,
knowing, do not remember. Tell me what it
is! It fills me with longing. It is a kind
of nostalgia. It is a place, or a person,
or something, something. I must go until I
find it."
As a child, man seeks to know, even when
he does not know that he seeks, or is capable of knowing. His mother, on a warm day,
brushes the damp hair out of her eyes. He
wonders about her hair, like that of no
other person, about her brushing hand, the
gentlest of all the hands he knows. He wonders about her eyes, the shape of her
cheeks, the breadth of her shoulders, the
shape and meaning of her mouth. He hears
her words without