I didnít see Rose again for a month. Every Thursday evening I showed up at the Pyramid Zen Society, but no Rose. The meetings were dry and lifeless without him. They began with Ray reciting almost word-for-word the same opening statement he gave the night of my second meeting. Then heíd try to moderate a discussion on some aspect of Roseís philosophy, or to lead us in confrontation, which he routinely described as "a questioning exercise designed to expose the falseness in our philosophy and behavior." It all seemed forced and contrived. Without Rose the meetings drifted and had no focus or real substance. Ray always said in his introduction that the purpose of the meetings was to clarify Rose's system. But for me, each meeting without Rose only confused me more and I began again to wonder whether I should be coming at all.
I felt I was at a turning point, and that I had come to the end of the "trial period" I had granted myself with Rose and his system. I sensed it was time to decide whether or not to commit to the kind of life that Rose embodied. In a strange way this angered me. One part of me was pulled towards the spiritual, but another part deeply resented having my life and plans so disrupted and devalued by this new turn of events.
One Thursday evening as I drove to the meeting these conflicts flooded me so completely I pulled the car over to the side of the road and sat staring blankly through the windshield, depressed and confused. I came close that night to turning my car around and never going back. Instead I sat there, listening to the engine idle, letting the time pass until I was sure Iíd be late. Then I put the car in gear and drove slowly to the meeting.
Rose was there. No one had known he was coming, yet they were many more people than usual in the room that night. The meeting was in full stride as I made my way to a seat.
"Itís true, I don't object to healing people occasionally," Rose was saying to a thin young man, "but thatís not my primary function. Iím not interested in being a utility. Iím interested in solving once and forever the problem that will solve all other problems. "
"Well, the reason I came here tonight was because Frank told me about some amazing things that have happened at your house."
"Oh, he did, did he?" Rose looked over at Frank, who had been with him almost from the beginning of the group. They exchanged smiles. In the last several weeks Iíd come to know Frank, and look up to him. He was older than most of the other group members--almost thirty--and had been a pretty good football player in college.
"I just mentioned healing in passing," Frank said. "Mostly I was talking about transmission. Like when Jane went into that Experience with you during that rapport sitting."
"Transmission?" someone asked.
Rose pulled absently at his white goatee. "Yes, well, thatís a whole other story. Transmission occurs when someone is leaning on the door and I open it up. You see, the thing is, yes, I can focus attention on people and cause a spark of life. Maybe even shake them into something. But Iím never sure whether thatís a good idea or not. In a way that person becomes a spiritual slave to me. Their spiritual realization gets tied into mine. Whereas when they have their own Experience, I won't exist."
"But the healings. I mean, you have healed people, right?" the thin boy persisted. He looked pale and drained.
"People have been healed around me, yes. But Iím interested in seekers, not people looking for entertainment or rejuvenation. Thereís people whoíve come around who have dissipated their energy and life force in a very negative and self-indulgent lifestyle. They want me to patch up their fun machine for them so they can go out and dissipate some more. They have no intention of changing their lifestyle."
"But wouldn't using these powers bring more people into..."
Rose stopped him with a wave of his hand. "I'm not out to make a name for myself. I'm trying to get a message across, and all this other stuff might get in the way." He smiled. "Already people come down to Benwood to see how I live. Do I have a bathroom? Do I need a bathroom?"
The room exploded in laughter.
"Finding the Answer has nothing to do with healing, or reading minds, or making a splash," he went on, making an effortless transition to total seriousness. "In fact, the path to Truth is very simple. You make a commitment to the Truth, and whenever you come to a crossroads where you have to choose between the Truth and something else, you choose your commitment to Truth, thatís all."
"But it was easy for you, Mister Rose," Frank said. "You were obsessed even as a child with finding the Answer. Most people don't have that kind of fire."
"Nothingís easy for anybody. There's no more God inside me than there is inside of you--if you care to look. You don't learn the Truth the way you learn algebra in high school. Christ didn't say he found the Truth, or that he had the Truth. He said, 'I am the Truth.' What we're talking about here is changing your being."
"But how does a person do that?" asked a respectful voice in the back of the room. "Change your being? I mean..."
"You work towards becoming the Truth the same way you work at anything. If you want to be a baseball player, you allow yourself to become intrigued with baseball, to become obsessed by baseball. You watch, you practice, you hang out with older players and try to pick up a few pointers. Eventually you grow into it. At some point you become a ballplayer.
"It's the same way with spiritual work. The laws are the same. You find ways to become more and more obsessed by the Truth. You live the small truths in all that you do, and eventually you become a more truthful creature. With hard work and luck you become a person capable of perceiving the Truth directly.
"The search itself changes you," Rose went on. "It transforms you. You start off by honestly acknowledging that you have a big problem: you don't know who you are, or where you came from, or where you're going after death. Most people spend their lives keeping themselves too distracted to think about this.
"But a few people get obsessed with knowing. Somewhere along the way they come to understand that the problem must be solved because thereís something enormous at stake. They are the ones who get the answer. They keep feeding the problem into their mental computer--knowing the computer canít solve it, knowing that the only solution is a change of being."
"That kind of conviction is hard to come by," I said. I was actually startled by the sound of my own voice. Iíd had no conscious forethought that I was going to speak.
Rose looked in my direction.
"You can't just hope that some day you'll have conviction. You create conviction by action. Action precedes conviction. Most people wait to be inspired to do something with their lives, when what they really need is to just get moving in some small way in a positive direction. That action will then result in the inspiration to perform increasingly larger and more beneficial actions.
"You need to keep moving, to keep asking the questions. ĎWho am I? Where did I come from? What happens to me when I die?í Keep banging your head against the wall. Make up your mind you're going to find the Truth regardless of what it takes, even if it costs you your life. You must be prepared to die for this, if necessary--then you'll get somewhere."
I spoke up again. "I mean, I donít understand how a person can make himself obsessed with something. You either are or you arenít, right?"
Rose took a drink of soda before answering, then set the can on the floor.
"The mistake people make is to wait for something to happen to them before they begin searching," he said. "They want the voice of God, or something, to tell them to get started. Or maybe they know they should be doing something but they procrastinate, hoping that tomorrow they'll have more conviction and be more determined. What they forget is there may be no tomorrow for them."
"But so much of this is out of our control," I said. "Weíre born with certain..."
"Right, right," he interrupted. "But you still have to work like it all depended on you." His words came more quickly and he began to punctuate them with pointing gestures in the air.
"You have to do everything you can yourself. Push your head from the inside, push it to the end of its capacity. Persist. Have faith in the process and in yourself, regardless of whether you go insane, drop dead, or whatever. Persist. Keep the computer going. Eventually, if you're lucky, your head explodes."
He paused for a moment, then softened his tone.
"That's one side of the equation--persistence. The one you have control over. The other side is grace. A person on the path has help. Once a person makes a commitment to the Truth--I mean truly demonstrates a sincere desire to find his Real Self at all cost--then this commitment will attract assistance and protection. Opportunities arise. Blocks are removed. Decisions may even be made for you."
My thoughts were incoherent and confused but I couldnít stop asking questions. "But who...? What makes these decisions? I mean, where does this help...?"
"I won't presume to name it. All Iím saying is that there are levels of intelligence that help other levels of intelligence. There is an interpenetration of dimensions. But you can't count on this help or get too secure in the knowledge that it's there. Just when you think you need it most, it will desert you and leave you to suffer the Ďdark night of the soul,í as John of the Cross calls it. Because despair is necessary. Despair is part of the final formula for cracking the head. You have to maintain a state of between-ness the whole time. Because no matter how hard you push, in actuality, you can't change your being. You're being is changed for you.
"Then, I mean, whatís a person supposed to be doing while..."
"You canít do it yourself but you have to act as though you can," Rose said, interrupting me. "Action is everything. Everyone has to plot his own road map out of ignorance, and this requires planning. You have to establish an internal 'Ways and Means Committee.' Call on all your faculties--the senses, logic, intuition, memory, emotions--to come up with a plan of action. Then take the first steps in the plan. Start with little things, like coming to these meetings regularly if your intuition tells you this is where you should be. Then build on it, take more action, plan your next steps. Follow the threads and clues you stumble on.
"Itís difficult, but not complex. The path to Truth only seems complex because we have to navigate the complexities and interferences of the mind. As these interferences are removed, the path becomes simpler. Thatís why one of the first things you need to do is get your house in order. Get your life organized to the point where you can at least think. Take an honest look at your life to see what's holding you up. Maybe it's fear, or an appetite, or a habit that no one else would consider destructive--and maybe it isn't destructive, except to the search.
"Once you figure out what the blockages are, you start taking steps to remove them. Then, as each obsession falls away, you get more clarity and confidence. Not only that, you now have the use of the energy you used to burn up on those obsessions.
"Start to cultivate self-discipline. Become a person who can make a decision and carry it out. Set yourself a task and follow through with it. It doesn't have to be anything spectacular. I've advised people to just take a walk around the block every evening after dinner. Literally, just walk once around the block each night. Do that simple thing for one month and you'll have power. Power you can use to take the next step.
"But no, most people think that's too simple. That's not worthy of their great spiritual potential. They want to get right into the heavy work and do something big. The result is that they end up doing nothing.
"If you're honest with yourself--and you have to be honest with yourself if you're going to be a student of the Truth--you start by admitting that you don't know what the Truth is. Otherwise you wouldn't have to go out looking for it. And if you donít know what it is, you certainly donít know how to approach it."
Rose paused and slowly looked around the room before continuing.
"The common denominator among all seekers is ignorance," he said. People who think they already know the answer--or think they know where to find it or how to find it--aren't seekers. They're believers. As soon as you quit doubting and start believing, that's the end of the road as far as your search is concerned."
"If you want to find real answers, as opposed to just accepting what someone else tells you, then you've got to start digging. Christ said, 'Seek and ye shall find,' not 'Believe and ye shall find.' You can't start off presuming to know what you're going to stumble into. Believers do this. Believers postulate what the Truth is--what they hope it is, what they want it to be--and hang on to it for dear life. Seekers search for the Truth plain and simple--whatever it may turn out to be. Truth for Truth's sake. To end up at a state free of error, you have to start with zero convictions and work from there. Belief is no proof for belief. To believe is to weave. To know, is to know beyond a shadow of a doubt what is. Knowing means crossing over and back. Belief, and all our thinking processes, are merely visions. Because we do not think--we conjure."
"If you don't know what you're looking for, how do you know where to look?" I asked.
"Thatís exactly my point!" Rose said enthusiastically. "You canít approach it directly because you donít know what direction itís in. The only thing you can do is create a reverse vector--a movement away from ignorance. You approach the Truth by retreating from un-truth. You don't know what the final or Absolute Truth is, but you can see what isn't true all around you every day of your life. These untruths are what you're looking for, and what you've got to discard once you recognize them.
"Lies, inconsistencies, phoniness..." Rose said.
"Bullshit," someone called out.
There was an expectant silence as Rose looked for the speaker. "Was that an editorial comment?"
"No, no," stammered a young man, "I mean you have to get rid of the bullshit."
Rose smiled. "Right, right. A real seeker of Truth has to scrutinize his beliefs and actions to pick out the true from the false. For instance, a lot of you probably still believe in Santa Claus. Not the fat guy in the red suit, maybe. But your underlying belief is that the universe is run by a jolly, paternalistic creature who has your best interests at heart, and that all you have to do to get into heaven is to fall in step with the herd and hope for the best.
"Or maybe some habit or obsession is sapping your strength. Or youíre scared--fear can paralyze a seeker. Some people face fear and take the next step, but others run away then tell themselves, 'Hell, I didn't want to go into those dark corners anyhow.'
"There's a million ways a man gets fooled, and he first has to get a perspective on these tricks he's been playing on himself before he can discover the nature of God, or the universe, or even the true inner nature of man. He's got to see untruth wherever it is, whether it's in his beliefs about life after death, or in the facade he holds up to the public.
"And once a man faces up to these illusions, the next step is to get rid of them, to dump them from his life and then look around for something that's less phony and more consistent. And as these barnacles fall away, heís automatically going to be headed in a more truthful direction. That's the path."
Rose paused and looked around the room. His gaze stopped on me. As if cued, I asked another question.
"But if you're right, and we can't know what's true, how can we know if your system is any good?"
"You don't know," Rose said emphatically. "And I don't expect or want anyone to merely accept that this system is good. Check everything out for yourself. In this group, doubt is sacred, not belief. A person should doubt everything except their ability to doubt. And that includes doubting me and everything I say. Don't take my word for anything. I may be nothing but an old hillbilly with one pant leg rolled higher than the other, drinking coffee out of a Mason jar."
Rose continued over the laughter.
"Look," Rose said, "you don't need me. Nobody needs me. All you need is your own inner determination. Maybe a few words or lines in a book will help you, maybe they won't. But if something you hear appeals to your intuition, check it out. Prove or disprove it for yourself. Because when you get into these matters the only thing you have to go by is your intuition. And the more perfected your intuition becomes, the better you are at discrimination."
"But if you can't recognize Truth when you see it, how can you recognize untruth?" someone asked.
"It's not that difficult. After awhile you get to know what garbage smells like and you just won't tramp in it. The biggest obstacle to Truth is ourselves. Thatís why you canít lay down a set of rules for how to go about this because different people have different obstacles standing between them and Enlightenment.
"But there are valid disciplines," Rose continued, "valid pursuits, that can be used by a serious seeker. Each will take you part of the way. Thereís philosophy, which tries to discover Truth. Science, which aims for Reality. And religion, which seeks to approach God. The fact is that when you find yourself--your final, absolute, eternally aware Self--you'll become all three: Truth, Reality, God. They are One."
"What about meditation, Mister Rose?" a young woman asked. "Will that help?"
"I don't like to use that word because you need hip boots to wade through some of the stuff they call meditation nowadays." Several people laughed. "Basically, wisdom comes during work, not meditation," Rose continued. However, I do believe a person should sit quietly at a set time each day for a half-hour or an hour."
"Like with a mantra?"
"No. That's a type of meditation I advise against. Repeating a sonorous sound or word isn't going to teach you about yourself. You need to challenge the mind during meditation, not put it to sleep. I don't recommend visualization, either--you know, where you conjure up peaceful scenes and repeat how happy and holy you are. That's just another form of autosuggestion. We're hypnotized enough by life as it is. We don't need to lay it on any thicker. Weíre not looking for peace and relaxation, we're looking for Truth, for the ultimate answer. Now that may sound like a tall order. But some people figure life's not worth living until they know who's living, and why.
"What kind of meditation do you recommend?" someone asked.
"To begin, start looking back at the people and events of your life, especially the traumas. Everybody has an unfinished agenda that needs cleaning up. Itís beneficial to meditate on those people or situations that left you with a sense of injury. Times when you felt mistreated, events that left you feeling sorry for yourself, perhaps. I don't mean relive them or psychoanalyze them. Just go back and try to remember them, then see if you can observe them dispassionately. If you stick with it for awhile, eventually you'll start seeing what a fathead you were, seeing what got you into trouble. And if you follow up on it, maybe you'll see that you're still making the same mistakes right now.
"As you mature, some of this takes place normally," Rose said with a smile. "I just recommend accelerating the process so it doesn't take you ninety years or ninety lifetimes to figure out what a fool you are and start making some adjustments."
A young woman with long blonde hair spoke up softly. "You seemed to intimate that there are also higher forms of meditation?"
"Oh yes. I wrote a little pamphlet about this--the boys here may have some copies at the table, I donít know. But, yes, once you've disciplined the body to sit quietly and have gained a familiarity with your thought processes, you can observe the mind directly. Watch your thoughts as they happen, as they come and go. This brings you into contact with a hidden faculty of the mind--the observer. This observer--that which sees--is a more real part of yourself, because the observer is not a part of this picture show we live.
Ted, a boy who had been coming for a couple weeks but had not met Rose yet, spoke up. "In traditional Zen there is a lot of emphasis on work with koans, you know, like unsolvable riddles that..."
"I donít give people koans," Rose said with a smile. "Your everyday life will give you all the koans you need to get enlightened."
"I mean, it seems like thatís a system that has..."
"Zen is a system that takes into account the fact that most of the game is already fixed. Zen says itís a good idea to see things as they are rather than try to change things that cannot be changed. This is all true. Zen is a system I admire. But there's no rigid formula for finding the Truth. You canít get this stuff out of a cookbook. Each man's path is different. The only thing enlightened people have in common is what they find. I tell people to turn over every rock--read everything you can get your hands on, find teachers, talk to your fellows, compare notes. But I donít presume to prescribe specific practices. Itís up to each person to find his own way. There's no ritual or discipline you can give out that will work for everybody. All you need is a tremendous hunger."
"You mean you don't have a system?" someone asked.
"Oh, we most definitely have a system. That's the whole reason we're here--to try and find ways and means to discover the unspeakable. But it's not some neatly packaged concept structure that piles one unproven postulation upon another. Youíve got to dig through this stuff yourself. It canít be handed to you."
"But there donít seem to be any specific disciplines or practices that you..."
"Those who teach disciplines," Rose interrupted, "unless the disciplines are for introspection or for dying, are teaching systems of orderly leisure, auto-hypnosis, or self deceit."
Rose sat with his hands on his knees, impassively waiting out a long silence. Finally, a professional-looking man in his thirties seated next to a well-dressed woman about the same age raised his hand.
"Mister Rose you continually prod people to work, and study, and make a vector of their lives, but in your book, The Albigen Papers, you wrote that Enlightenment is always an accident."
"Yes, that's true. Spiritual experiences cannot be envisioned beforehand," Rose said. "The spontaneity and utter surprise at what you find is what validates your experience. If you had a spiritual experience that followed your expectations--seeing Jesus, or whatever--you could never be sure that you didn't create the experience yourself to satisfy your own desires."
"But that's my point," the man continued. "If Enlightenment is indeed an accident, why should we try to work for it?"
"You have no choice," Rose replied, his voice rising. "You become what you do. If you do nothing, you become nothing. And so you work. Work without knowing why youíre working. Without even understanding what you're working for. You just want an answer and you know it wonít come if you surrender to lethargy and despair.
"Itís true--the Absolute Answer comes as an accident. But it's an accident that is the result of work. Work that makes the sum and extent of your entire life your prayer for the answer. And if that prayer is persistent and sincere enough, maybe you'll develop into someone who becomes accident prone.
"But how do you..."
"By making Truth your God. By living and telling and seeking the truth in everything you do. By refusing to allow the least bit of falseness to creep into your life or your philosophy. Because if you rationalize even 'little' lies you become comfortable with lies and rationalizations. If you can't face small truths about yourself, you'll never develop the capacity to withstand the impact of Absolute Truth. You'd never survive it."
Rose paused and let the room stay silent for a moment before speaking again. "Truth is kind," he said finally. "If you're weak, it keeps it's distance. It won't reveal itself until you're strong enough to take it."
A tentative hand went up in the middle of he crowd.
"What exactly are you trying to do here tonight?" There was both respect and confusion in the young man's voice.
"Do? Nothing really. Iím just trying to find people whose heads are partly open, then pry them open a little more. I believe the only thing anyone does who has a genuine spiritual message--the only thing he can do--is to be there when someone is ready. When you feel you have to go out and convert people, thatís just an ego talking. At the same time, if you've discovered something, there's an obligation to pass it on if you can.
"I know it sounds paradoxical, but if you have something to offer that you think could help somebody transcend his level, then you have to make yourself known. Because people looking for a higher level are blind on that level--they can't find you. But if you put yourself in their path these people might bump into you at the right moment. Then, perhaps, you might be able to be of some service.
"I have discovered. I don't know how many others can discover through the same procedure, but I feel compelled to make it known. So I draw diagrams and make noises as if it might make a difference. But in the end I know each man must find it for himself.
"When I was in my twenties I used to curse the darkness. Every place I looked on the path, it seemed, I found phonies and hucksters, even some people with truly bad intentions. It made me doubt the validity of what I was trying to do. I began to feel I was wasting the most valuable years of my life when I could be having fun getting drunk or raising a bunch of kids, or whatever having fun is supposed to be.
"The temptation was always there, naturally, but I kept putting it aside, hoping I'd find this thing called Truth someday. And as I fought my way through, I made a vow that if I ever found anything, I'd try to pass it on, if I ever found anybody that wanted help, I'd try to help them. That was my obligation.
"Looking back, I believe it may have been the final piece of the puzzle that propelled me into my Experience, and I encourage anyone on the path to make the same vow. I encourage the people who work with me to work with others as they go--to teach along the way. I think everyone in the group should teach. When people say to me, 'But I don't know anything.' I say 'Nonsense.' You do know something. Something that people on the rung below you can use."
"What do you mean, Ďthe rung below youí?" someone asked.
"All human effort and success is pyramidal in form," Rose replied, "including spiritual. In finances, for instance, you've got massive amounts of people on the lower levels, then fewer and fewer as you go up, until at the top you have only a handful of billionaires. Itís the same no matter how you slice up the population--by IQ, artistic ability, athletic ability, anything.
"Itís the same with spiritual levels. The majority of people are on the lower levels, with fewer and fewer as you go up. I sometimes describe this as the spiritual ladder--a ladder where the rungs become smaller as you near the top. You've got to fight your way up the ladder, and every step of the way, you'll part company with more and more people. That's okay. That's good. This isn't a convoy where we move at the speed of the slowest vehicle and all arrive together. You are responsible for your own destiny. You are responsible for saving your own soul.
"People are always attacking me at my university lectures because they resent this idea. The popular notion now is that we're all entitled to an equal share, that nobody should be allowed to get too far ahead of the pack. But I don't believe in that kind of equality--where everybody stays at the bottom of the pyramid so that no one feels like a failure. I believe in climbing the pyramid as fast as you can, and in helping anyone who wants to climb with you."
"But arenít other people sometimes a hindrance to your own spiritual search?"
"Absolutely. That's why I emphasize what I call the 'Law of the Ladder.' What I tell people in the group is to work with your fellows, but to obey the Law of the Ladder.
"The Law of the Ladder says that you should work on only three rungs of the ladder, but work on all three at once. You learn from those on the rung above, teach those on the rung below, and join efforts with your fellows on the rung where you stand. If you reach two rungs above, you won't understand what the person is saying. If you reach two rungs below, you'll get crucified."
"But if a person isnít enlightened, how can he keep teaching from becoming just another ego trip?"
"Do like I do," Rose grinned. "Don't shave, don't wash. Wear dead-men's clothes."
There was scattered laughter.
"What about earning a living, though," I said. "What kind of job can you have that will let you be a spiritual teacher or student at the same time?"
"If you're sincere it doesn't matter. Some jobs leave you more time to think your own thoughts than others do, but it will be different for everyone."
"Does that mean a person can have material success and still be on a spiritual path?"
"Depends of what you're committed to. If you're committed to money, no. If you're committed to spiritual work, maybe. But a person can have only one major commitment in life. You canít do everything you want and still arrive at an ultimate answer. You can't let yourself get confused with too many ideas or too many drives. It divides your attention and drains you. A person needs every ounce of energy he can muster for the search. You're going to walk through death, and that takes some vitality."
"You mean if youíre honest commitment is to spiritual work, then financial success wonít hurt you?" I persisted.
"It doesnít have to. If a person wants to be successful in spiritual matters he should be a success on every level of his life. A man doesn't achieve success, whether it's spiritual or material. He becomes a success. And that requires getting into the habit of success--establishing a vector of success that can be applied in any direction he chooses."
"But doesn't material success just feed the ego?" someone asked.
"If you let it. The trick is to work dynamically towards your goals until somewhere along the way, if you're lucky, you realize that you do nothing in this life. You're just an observer of your destiny. After that, the ego disappears."
"But what's the point of doing anything if all you discover is that there's nothing to be done," I blurted out.
"Because you'll never find out anything unless you do, thatís why." The intensity in Roseís reply bordered on irritation. "Youíve got people who can't wipe their own noses who think their laziness and incompetence is some sort of spiritual detachment. They want to jump over the material world without ever mastering it, and get right into Enlightenment. As a result they end up doing nothing on either the material or the spiritual plane. You have to extend your material being to the limit. Only then will you find out that you don't exist--at least not as you think you do. You've got to fatten up your head before you chop it off."
Rose paused for a moment to take a drink of his soda, then spoke more softly.
"You've got to somehow build up a tremendous ball of energy if you want to find the Answer, and that's not going to happen without a bit of ego. You use the ego, let it go along for the ride. Take on the world, tackle some projects, practice some ascetic disciplines--maybe perform a miracle or two if the opportunity presents itself. Success in these things will give you confidence and momentum--a vector--to use for the bigger task. And when the door opens to the Absolute, your vector is what takes you through it. The ego can't go.
"The point is," he said, "you donít have to give up the material world to embark on a spiritual search. If you're sincere and something lies in your way, you won't have to give it up. It will be taken from you."
"Is that supposed to be comforting?" Frank said. Everyone laughed.
"In a way, yes," Rose said. "It means you can do what thou wilt as long as you hold your head the right way."
"Between-ness," Frank said seriously.
"Yes, between-ness," Rose nodded. "Running between the raindrops. If you make your life a prayer, true prayer--one person continually asking one question--then all the rest is just details."