Q: What are tears?
Well, first of all, tears are the single greatest proof, and simplest, that the body is ruled by the soul. The water of the ocean floods the eyes and rains down in a spring thaw: the winter was in the soul, the vernal reawakening is imaged, in the body, in tears.
Repentance is a relief, you know. Truth be told, the wearing of the mask, the drudgery of the doldrums, the parades in the vestibule, the cardboard fascinations – it all became hard, the days turned slate, nondistinct, thinking became skittish, fuzzy, aching and dulled. Love sang only in reproachful memory, regret, notions echoed of a better destiny whose way was now shut, kept from the dead.
Repentance is nice, as some alcoholics know that it really helps to say that you are, you know, what you are. Believing otherwise, thinking otherwise, just makes you mad, heavy in the head.
Repentance is not so hard, not nearly so hard as you have heard. How hard is it, really, to cast yourself down to the sweet earth, under the silver-dusted sapphire sky, and to throw your heart into a single exaltation of love for the world, to take responsibility for all your worlds and names, to throw off your stiff reserve and to play the fool, as the angels taught you once, remember, when you were young?
Infants know their friends who stand for them, in the Presence, and they laugh with the recognition.
“Heker na? Do you recognize this?” you are asked, over and over again, just as Tamar presented the signet to Judah, just as the brothers presented the sin-stained coat to Jacob, just as Joseph presented himself to his persecutors, just as you are presented with God in every phenomena.
“Heker na? Do you recognize this, that in life on your own justice comes round in vengeance, but God, your Redeemer, liveth?”
I suppose you do, the old, infant familiarities are rekindled, the hearth is lit again: now you know the etiology of tears, for they are only the adult distillation of infant laughter at the comedy of angels.
The soul is child again, and has entered cleansed, under the Passover lintel, the Everhouse of Spring.