Antevasin in the backcountry

The word ANTEVASIN appears on a number of spiritual seeker blogs (several no longer posting). It is Sanskrit for “one who lives at the border–one who had left the bustling center of worldly life to go live on the edge of the forest where the spiritual masters dwell.” But what if it is literal. I did move from the bustling cities, several of them including New York, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles to end up here on the edge of the Sequoia National Forest. 

I found this explanation in an old notebook and may have copied it from Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert since she is the one receiving most of the credit on a number of blogs. It goes on to explain that the antevasin was not one of the villagers anymore, not a householder with a conventional life. But neither was she a transcendent–not one of those sages who live deep in the unexplored woods, fully realized. The antevasin was an in-between. She lived in sight of both worlds but looked toward the unknown. She was a scholar.

These woods were originally home to the Indians, the Tule tribe, then came the hunters and trappers and then the loggers, then the federal government claimed ownership. And these days all the information, be it sage or otherwise, is available at one’s fingertips.

But it’s nice here in the backcountry, in sight of both worlds. It seems unlikely I will be fully realized in this lifetime. In-between is a good place, in sight of both worlds, looking toward the unknown.

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