THE GRYPHON SAID
(A Play on Words)
EXTRACT FIVE - ACT TWO
I gave myself to my Universe as you went to University. I starved with the starving, lived war with the warring, took poverty with the poor, travelled with the homeless. I suffered with the suffering, found tragedy where it happened, look at evil through the magic I which would keep it from me. I mourned with those who had loved and lost, bled with the bleeding, wept with the weeping. I allowed myself to be taut with those tense, ill-used, frowned on, look down on - I learned the lessons of those lesser. I made myself subject to hurt, endurance and sorrow until I reached the objective. I generalized, but did not choose to accept honours. What did you learn within your hallowed portals? As you became more deeply subjective and further from life and feeling; and though you specialized you could take no credit for being special, and did any diversification warrant any merit?
I was the bachelor by no degrees, you had not sat yours. And even when you did, yours would only be a minor degree. My bachelor nights were the highest; yours were the lesser. But once you had sat, did you take the bachelor buttons to wear without the need of ever sewing - my bachelor buttons are worn by the earth, red and yellow and white, and are self-sowing. Your accolade came but once and the valedictory was delivered; mine are many and are perennial. You have your B.A. and so do I. But whom amongst us has achieved the Bachelor of 'Earts and whom Buggar All?
As you then moved into becoming a Master of your subject as a tool to support you in life; I began to define my objective and to seek the supports to the tools of life by which to become a Master. Now a post-graduate, you are lost somewhere in the male; enveloped, addressed and stamped on, changed beyond recognition. I took to altar self, and lay on the shelf of the gradin.
Is it not sad that the purpose of a university is the converse of the school? That, though formal information is available, it is a place where those of greater knowledge are supposed to help you learn to think? A little like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted... For you were moulded to fit into the total system, without ever once being brought to question that system. Perhaps, just perhaps, did you rebel in youthful spirits and test the waters of anarchy, socialism, hedonism - but you did not swim too far... and you returned to conform. As you were crafted to serve the system, and not prepared for life or be open to the secrets of its mystery: the mystery of life would serve no man and prepared herself for her craft. And I was not alone: for many years before had life handed me lemons, and did lemon-aid refresh me. The mark of intellect had kissed my brow and found place within my heart.
You studied and gave dissertation. Spirit was bowed and became sparse, as you supported the Masters by the means and stays by which self would raise the sale. I raised my bow in spirit and rejoiced in the spindrift as it blew upon my bowsprit by which I would raise my masts to sail into the winds. My spar with was the steeve and through the lesson of the stevadore, I found I could measure the angle to my horizon and by lessening load and removing the degrees, horizon and I came to be on the same plane. See, still I flew: I flew to take a bird's eye view of states united. And there did I learn and exercise the tools and techniques, the ladders and laws by which to climb the mountains and come to meet and be one with my beloved craft.
You think you have become MA or MD and, as such, one worthy to command respect, authority and a generous salary - recompense for the years you have denied yourself as you have given that self to serious study: that may be the qualification; but as living, breathing, thinking, feeling people - you are MT... and have so little of value. You may have learned in theory, but you do not know where to begin understanding, compassion, compromise, charity; and why should you learn these? They don't bring home hard cash, put food in your belly or take you to the theatre in your gaudy costumes and the masks of make-up you can hide behind. That which would put fuel into the heart of humanity doesn't put any in the porche; that which would bring a smile to the world wouldn't put one on your face or that of your accountant; that which a man could wear with dignity wouldn't put the symbol on your status...
If I were a mortal woman, I would despise you, and you and you, for your false values and shallow hearts which don't know how to share or care or live or give - but which lies still, which is why your heart beats within you and does not tenderly caress...
But I'm not. So it is I do not.
Mankind you are not, man-cruel and greedy and selfish and lazy and weak and stupid you are; and though I may not like you for whom and what you are not, I hold you with love for that which you are. This I learned through my craft before it became my art: before I knew only the way to Love and Wisdom, now I have learned to let it be.
So though you may be Doctor of Law, Doctor of Philosophy, Doctor of Literature or Doctor of Divinity: it is the unqualified mystery of Life who knows how to teach and heal.