The Old Fox crawled into his hiding place and went to sleep. He thought he would dream again, but he did not.
2 He awoke to someone calling his name, and looked outside his shelter to see that the sun was already setting, and a young man awaited him. "Come, brother," he said, "we are many a footfall from where we must be at sunrise, and along our way you must have food and drink."
3 "Where you lead," The Old Fox answered, "I will follow," and they started off.
4 His companion seemed strangely silent, as they journeyed on, and The Old Fox occupied himself with studying the youth. He was strangely familiar. As he watched the man walk, he noticed his fotsteps lifted no dust, and he turned and looked back and saw only his own footprints. "You seem so real," he said, "I forgot for a moment that you are a Spirit."
5 "We are all Spirits," the young man answered, "even you are a Spirit."
6 They journeyed on, and The Old Fox pondered this thought. "They told me I was not dead," he said, "and I leave tracks. How can I be a Spirit?"
7 "You ARE a Spirit," the young man answered, "in a body. I am a Spirit outside of a body. But we are both Spirits. Someday I will have a new body, but I will still be a Spirit. Someday you will leave THAT body, but you will still be a Spirit."
8 "You play games with me!" The Old Fox sighed. "You talk in riddles."
9 "No," the young man answered, "I tell you true."
10 "Then answer my question without riddles," The Old Fox demanded, "are we Spirits with a body, or are we bodies with a Spirit?"
11 The young man laughed. "Why are such foolish questions," he asked, "always on the minds of the wisest of men? Surely, good brother, you understand of all men, that in the material world you are both. You are a Spirit that has a body, and a body that has a Spirit! Without either, the other cannot exist!
12 I can only visit this world for very short times, but you can live in it for years and years because you are encased in a body that feeds your Spirit, and protects it.
13 By the time the sun is an hour high, I must be back to the place I belong, or I would perish. But you can enjoy a picnic on a hot, summer day. Your body and your Spirit are one, from the moment you are born, to the moment you die."
14 They had come to a small secluded valley, and The Old Fox saw something that made his energies renew. "Tabr!" he cried. Rushing forward he found a mature plant and quickly dug up its roots. Peeling the skin from the fruit, he ate, while his companion watched. 15 "You'd better dig some more," his companion instructed, "and put them in your pockets." The Old Fox obeyed. When he was done digging, he found the spring that watered the plants, and quenched his thirst. Then he sat back and looked at his companion. 16 "I think I understand what you're saying," he began. "The whole argument, the whole question is meaningless. It doesn't matter! The thing is, we exist! We are here!"
17 "You do learn quickly, brother!" the other laughed. "But come! We must journey on!"
18 "All right," The Old Fox asked, "we exist. Why do we exist?"
19 "Some men say to please the gods," his companion answered, "others say, to please ourselves. Still others say for no good reason at all."
20 The Old Fox stopped. "Stop playing games with me," he snapped. "Answer my question!"
21 "Elder," his companion replied, "I AM answering your question! We exist because WE EXIST. Our purpose is the purpose of all living things....to grow, to mature, and to wither and die. You saw one thing in The Darkness. There are many more. Some of them will survive, some will not.
22 Our purpose is to find The Right Path, to reach for The Light, to become one with all that lives. And then, when we are at peace with ourselves and the universe, to make life ourselves, so that it all continues.
23 If some of us do not reach Ultimacy, do not complete The Circle, then, The Darkness wins. Life disappears, and there is only nothingness. Only by existing do we keep life alive."
24 "That is the purpose of these bodies?" The Old Fox asked.
25 "I was not speaking of the body," his companion replied, "I was speaking of the soul. The purpose of the body, each body; for you will have many, and have HAD many, is to feed the soul and help it to grow, until it reaches Ultimacy."
26 The Old Fox was getting very weary and the sky was all ready becoming light. "You give me much to think about," he said, "much, indeed. But tell me, why do we need bodies? Why can't we just stay in The Spirit World and grow there?"
27 The young man stopped. "Because," he answered, "without living things there can be no Spirit World. If all life on this world died, every Spirit living on it would have to leave it, and journey into The Darkness so that their energy would not be drained away. They could not grow until they found another world where there were living things. And their chances of surviving until they found such a world would be next to none.
28 Many people think that the Spiritual and the material are separate, but I tell you now, they are not. They are
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