Aiming High

Last week I attended a conference at Esalen Institute near Big Sur. It’s hosted by Esalen’s Center for Theory and Research. It’s focused on peacemaking among the Abrahamic faiths. After the first day of the meeting, I got into a rich conversation with Esalen’s co-founder, Michael Murphy, two rabbis, and a medical doctor with Talmudic training. For hours we talked about resurrection, reincarnation, and the far reaches of human spiritual and physical capacities. Then I went alone for a walk, gazing over the ocean into the brilliant night sky, and this poem came to me:

Aiming High

While leaping to catch the moon,
Orion tripped, his right foot caught on a silvered cloud
hovering over the shivering Pacific
beyond the high dark bluffs of Big Sur.

If he fell on Esalen Institute,
would that be such a bad end
to his reach for his full human potential?

About Jim Burklo

Rev. Jim Burklo is the Associate Dean of Religious Life at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. An ordained United Church of Christ pastor, he is the author of three books in print, OPEN CHRISTIANITY (2000), BIRDLIKE AND BARNLESS (2008), and HITCH-HIKING TO ALASKA: THE WAY OF SOULFUL SERVICE (2013). See more about him at jimburklo.com .


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