She heard his voice, coming as though from afar; "I wait to wake up on a day when I will not find myself short on honesty and courage to take responsibility for my thoughts and words. Its hard to own up to the distortion my presence inflicts on the space around me. But I look to those eastern hills to reveal from behind them a dawn that will melt all distortions away and reveal a panorama that pulsates with love, honesty and daring. Till then, its an interminable age of dark that nurtures an obscure pregnancy," he said, the last words dropping like a brick into a dark, abandoned and bottomless well.
His mother watched him softly but with sharp intent. She ahd seen her son like this before. The first time it happened was immediately after he had been discovered stealing a toy plane from a rich doctor's house; the last when he had failed to turn up in time when she lay seriously ill waiting for him to arrive.
She looked at him and suddenly a gentle smile that defined awareness more than relief flitted across her delicate yet divine lips.
"These are not your thoughts," she said softly after a pause."Nor is this your voice. You stole someone else's ghosts thinking these were mock-demons you cold play with. Thats the trouble with our minds. Thats the trouble with ghosts. They soon fall in love with each other, or so did you think. Some part of you wanted these ghosts as toys;you wanted to be a haunted soul so you could rub your ego warm with pity for yourself. There was no need for this because you had everything you would have hoped for to keep you happy," she looked over his somewhat dishevelled hair far into the receding horizon. He thought she had finished as her face revealed a calm which successfully masked her pain.
But she turned her sad soft eyes towards his feet and spoke in a voice barely audible:"You think you want to be happy but the fact is that you dread happiness. It makes you feel unwanted. And it makes you feel burdened wth some gratitude towards something you don't even know. You don't want to thank life because that hurts your pride. It robs you of your chance to walk as a martyr, a chance to mock life, to mock your destiny. It deprives you of grievance by which alone you have lived. Since your childhood, you have needed a grievance to prove your innocence.You have moved as though it was a guilt to live without a grievance.You don't want to live in freedom and joy and gratitude. Gratitude. That is the real cross you dread.You have chosen unreal dark shadows for playmates. They make you feel important. Your grievance tells you you are noble and pious and innocent. Pious but wronged. Wronged because you are noble, you think. You see no other proof for the nobility in you. You don't need any, my son, because piety and you were born together and suckled at the same bosom."
He knew she was right, but he didn't want to believe her. "You speak like a saint. Besides, reality is different. Reality is not so simple. It is harsh. And I am no saint."
"Reality is simple. And it is more simple than you like to think. And innocent. And it is not harsh. And I am no saint either.No one is a saint. There is no need for anyone to be a saint. Or a prophet. There is need only to be true.There is need only not to stop loving. I speak what I see. I am not in a suicidal league with ghosts and the shadows of my fears," she paused, and this time he knew she hadn't finished yet.
"But everyone is saint and everyone needs to know that. That is the only reason we go to saints; so that they may turn us into saints. And what do they do to make that possible. They tell us to stop trying to be saints or trying to be anything. They know we are saints, and they know we will know it too the moment we stop trying."
He found that her hand was already resting gently upon his.
"Never consider or call anyone a saint. That is nothing but your protection against believing in your own saintliness. You can never recognise a saint if there is no saint in you to recognise in the other. When you call someone a saint or a prophet, you are actually buying a clever inusrance against the need to be good yourself. The only way to know a saint is to awaken the one you have sent to sleep withn yourself. That saint alone can truthfully recognsie and address another as a saint. But then, he will recognsie a saint in everyone. "
There was a pregnant silence between the mother and the son. She could see that he was still grappling with phantoms.
"There is so much love in your heart that you really need to hide it so that your mock demons may continue to play with you. That love is the only saint that ever was and is and ever wil be. If he is not put on a leash, these play mates run away. Cut that leash, and there would be no greater saint or prophet you would ever know greater than yourself."