The Reference Point
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What if everything that made you happy suddenly seemed obsolete? Suppose you're just kicking along, getting a bang out of life in a knocked-back general way, when suddenly something intensely deep and specific puts an addition on life that makes all previous thought and motive fall under the heading of "trivia"? Is this a time to feel isolated or liberated? Awed or abandoned?

The Reference Point begins by telling of an attempted murder gone good. Usually murder, attempted or otherwise, is thought of as a thing gone bad, but with a little help from irony, stress, and mystery, bad intentions slipped into another direction and the participants found themselves in a state that defied earthly description.

Earthly descriptions are famous for falling short of defining what we regard as the spiritual, so rather than struggle to define, maybe we should simply ask, "Is there such a thing as being so close to the edge that you get a glimpse of an awaiting state?"

Regardless, once one is treated to an event of high-impact spirituality, here's where it is understood why beatings, governmental suppression, ridicule, and all other forms of persecution have no power to snuff the idea that "Yes, there is much more than materiality, and to this I need to connect."

Like it or not, it's how we're wired. We want a vital connection with a higher state, and with most of us, maybe is not an option. We see that humanity, unlike water, seeks higher than its own level, and we see that people have a need to go there.

The Reference Point tells of people who went there. First they are seen on a wild and primitive tour by boxcar through the Northern Rockies, up the Alaska Highway in a VW Microbus, and down the Yukon River in a canoe. And there they are seen again in a little mountain cabin built next to a big creek flowing into a deep lake. Outwardly, the people in mention are tramps, preachers, dog mushers, innkeepers, nut cases, hitchhikers, homesteaders, students, prospectors, and (saving the best for last), you. Why, oh you? Mostly because you are likely to see your own self in here, in harmony with the others, pushing back the superficial, cutting through the clutter, so when you step off your last mile you can look back and say, "Not only have I held, but I have also risen."

Finally, since the book is subtitled "A Journey to the Origin of Belief," from front to back it steadily grows into one person's quest to find on purpose the home address of an exalted state of mind once stumbled upon by accident.

305 pages, by Johnny Bock. Lunchbreak Press. Drive alive.