August 30 to September 5 Edition
The Authentic Swing of
Bagger Vance 2
I face the world only as who I am now on my present sojourn. As I attain deeper insights in the mysteries of existence, I feel more humbled by the powers of the universe that govern our lives, even before our first cry and even beyond our last.
"Each of us possesses, inside ourselves, one true Authentic Swing that is ours alone," says Bagger Vance. Our task is "simply to chip away all that is inauthentic." And "The search for the Authentic Swing is a parallel to the search for the Self."
A player must understand the three stages and its unifying principle, surrender: "Surrender of the Little Mind to the Big Mind, surrender of the personal ego to the greater wisdom of the Self."
Who Is Bagger?
I care finding my place in this world, and I care about my fellow men, even if it at times I'm assailed by cynicism about humanity. Then I realize that sometimes I care too much that I lose that crucial sense of detachment. A lot of times I seemed to have lost my connection to the Source of All That Is, and I drift away at the mercy of the tides. Yet it's there all along; I was just too blinded by my runaway emotions.
Bagger Vance inspires me to once again stand outside myself. When the town leaders came to ask Junah to play, Bagger "withdrew unobtrusively to a corner, where he took up a solemn post and stood absolutely still, observing with an utterly detached calm, saying nothing." In everything he does, he has "that same poise and gravity radiating from him so powerfully."
But who is Bagger? "Whatever Vance is, he will never harm you," Junah tells Hardy, the young narrator. "In fact, I'll make you a promise: as long as he stands beside you, no harm can come to you from any quarter.”
"Who are you, Junah?" Bagger would later ask. "Who, in your deepest parts, when all that is inauthentic has been stripped away?" Bagger is relentless. "All your 'selves' are exhausted and gone. Now, hit the ball with what is left!"
Junah is protesting, on the verge of desperation. "But there's nothing left!"
Bagger nods. "Exactly."
Life is about action, like what Krishna, in his guise as a charioteer, tells Arjuna in the midst of another battle. "Act, Junah, but act without attachment, as the earth does, as I do," says Bagger. "The rain falls, with no thought of watering the land. The clouds roll, not seeking to bring shade. They simply do. And we must too."
A Thousand Years
The most precious lessons I learned taught me that, after all is said and done, life is beautiful. At the same time, it is as fragile as the gossamer wings of a butterfly. I would stand on the shore, knowing that the sea were once land. I think about the people who had lived there. Someday, the ground I'm standing on will sink again. Then, new lands will emerge. I wonder if, a thousand years from now, the people of these new lands will gaze at the sea and think of us.
Krewe Island faces the ocean, where another battle has been fought a long time ago. "In the days when the austral constellations hung visible in this Northern Sky, before the Great Ice retreated to the pole, this ocean we call Atlantic withdrew as far as the Arctic shore and gave birth to a brilliant continent, a land called Mu," says Bagger. "Its people were mighty warriors, artists and magicians whose knowledge of the subtle powers far surpasses anything our so-called moderns possess today."
How did Bagger know this?
"I was there."
In The Woods
From The Legend Of Bagger Vance
See The Authentic Swing of Bagger Vance 1