Broker Check

The Mental Prison of Me

By Will Crossan August 2023

The light of God is like fire and flame shining from above, from a sun that is too powerful to withstand directly; no one could survive it, but there is a place in each of us that is so clear and noble that fire meets fire there, and it is in that individual soul where we meet and live with the Holy One. It is in that light that we shine.

At 18 years old I found myself in Technical School for the United States Air Force in Wichita Falls, Texas. This day in October began surprisingly in a hospital room on a gurney with no recollection of how I got here. There was a note on my chest that read…”Today is October 18th, 1996. You are in the hospital because you knocked yourself unconscious. Your name is Will Crossan.” Startled and confused I began trying to piece together what happened. I could remember going to bed earlier that week on Wednesday but I couldn’t remember waking up that Thursday. Slowly an image began to emerge, an image of looking through what appears to be a long tube with multiple people looking towards me. I can hear a voice… “I know my name is Will Crossan, but who the hell am I?!” As long as I can remember I have wrestled with the questions of eternity, identity and reality. The longer I live the more I can see both the darkness and light of all existence. The coin which carries two sides, this dualistic existence of this and that. But beyond the dualism lies the unity of spirit that binds all things and facilitates the experience of soul. With this experience I recognize I am the darkness seeking the light. The more I identify with the darkness that is my “self of Will Crossan” the more I feel separate, afraid, vulnerable, alone. I feel imprisoned in the story of me. A prison I create in my mind as I disconnect from the reality that “I” am all things. I am the “I” that knows my name is Will Crossan but that “I” am not Will Crossan. “I” am having the experience of the darkness which is Will Crossan and “I” am the experiencer of the experience of being Will Crossan.

I have found guilt and shame in my darkness. Knowing my selfish impulses that are self-serving that can cause me to think things, say things and do things which are in conflict with what my heart knows is good and harm others has created this lamenting of the darkness of my soul. What I have found though is the more I bring the darkness of me into the light the more the light saturates my darkness and illuminates the blessing and necessity of that darkness integrated in light. When I crown my darkness under the authority of the light, the light uses the power of my darkness to serve the light in others. In that place my individual soul feels the unity of we and the experience of me. Freed from the mental prison of me and basking in the light of we has become the dance so powerfully illustrated by the divine dance of the Trinity as I move through the days.

If you want to know whether what you are doing builds God’s kingdom, ask yourself this: Do my actions hurt others? Do they trouble my heart? Do they make me feel better than others? If so, you’re like Martha who concerned herself with many things, while missing the one needful thing. What is that one thing? you wonder. You’ll not ask this when you’re truly at peace in your life; you’ll simply know.