Xenos (plural Xenoi) is the Greek word for a stranger or a guest who is a friend.
This guest- friend might well be a god in disguise and may possess the power to bless you and your household. Thus the Greeks have a custom of extending hospitality to all strangers because, who knows which one of them might be a god or goddess in disguise?
As you plod on to your North Star, you will meet many strangers. Some will inspire you, some will impact you negatively; some will not make any impression on you at all. Just as the Greeks believe that not all Xenoi are gods but must all be treated with the potential to be god, so also you may treat all Xenoi as people who have the potential to inspire you.
I was not sure where I was going, and I could not see what I would do when I got [there]. But you saw further and clearer than I, and you opened the seas before my ship, whose track led me across the waters to a place I had never dreamed of, and which you were even then preparing to be my rescue and my shelter and my home.
~ Thomas Merton
Every once in a while you meet a Xenos; perhaps in person or through the pages of a book or online journal. This stranger sits you down and gives you a cup of aromatic tea. Lovingly she puts a low stool under your blistered feet and a cushion behind your aching back. Tenderly, she soothes the frown out of your forehead and causes the anxiety to drain away from you.
Then she talks to you for hours and days. In those hours, she pours her soul into you. She holds you by the hand and takes you along with her into the hallowed recesses of her private world. Sometimes, you become a witness to her courage by becoming a witness to her life. You live through her in those hours and days; laughing her laughter and crying her tears, tearing her hair in despair and beating her breast in grief. You dance her feet and sway to the music in her soul. There is no you in those hours and days; there is only her- gloriously, vibrantly her.
Then, suddenly yet quietly, you find another vision silently being born right in from of your eyes. The stranger’s voice subsides to a low whisper. Her private world fades into the background. The air vibrates with your quickened breath. The flutter in your being matches the rhythm of the dance unfolding breathlessly in front of your eyes.
The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.
~ Lao Tzu
You see the gates of your private world swing open. That world beckons to you alluringly. You’ve been allowed to see this world only because you allowed another being to carry you forward to the place where this world nestled quietly, awaiting your arrival. As you step into that world, wondering what treasures lie in store for you, what wisdom and insights will greet your arrival, you know that to reach THIS place was the reason you walked along beside the Xenos you met.
You understand, in astonished gratitude, that to get you to this private haven, you needed to get caught in another person’s private world.
You are enriched by the grace of the Xenoi you meet.
Every reader finds himself. The writer’s work is merely a kind of optical instrument that makes it possible for the reader to discern what, without this book, he would perhaps never have seen in himself.
~ Marcel Proust
A blind man knows he cannot see, and is glad to be led, though it be by a dog; but he that is blind in his understanding, which is the worst blindness of all, believes he sees as the best, and scorns a guide.
~ Samuel Butler
This is the 300th post on Serenely Rapt. I am amazed- and grateful. You- my Xenoi- have helped me open the doors of my inner world by sharing your journey and insights with me. Thank you dear readers!
You multiply me!