Another favorite stanza from “East Coker:”
“You say I am repeating
Something I have said before. I shall say it again.
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there,
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not,
You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy.
In order to arrive at what you do not know
You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance.
In order to possess what you do not possess
You must go by the way of dispossession.
In order to arrive at what you are not
You must go through the way in which you are not.
And what you do not know is the only thing you know
And what you own is what you do not own
And where you are is where you are not.”
Again, I love the paradox. The contrasts. The upside down culture and kingdom mentality.
The line that changed things for me: “In order to arrive at what you are not, you must go through the way in which you are not.” This line speaks to me when I’m stuck. When I can’t imagine an alternative ending. When I can’t see past what I currently am and all of the assets and limitations I possess. But God is so much bigger. His endings are so much better. And they require me becoming what I am not, through a way in which I am not, by dying to myself and to what I know.