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Surviving Yosemite
Yosemite National Park, California
Yosemite National Park, California

[Read more about Jehan Semper]

Old Testament Ethics for the People of God / Paperback Torah (Hebrew Bible) / Kindle Edition

What does it mean to die and let go of the concerns and thoughts of those who are alive and involved in the world?


During March 2015, I invested a month of my life camping in the backcountry of Yosemite National Park, various National Forests and rural areas of California seeking a reason to continue living.

I have been pursuing a path of meditation and self-inquiry regarding the meaning of life and the significance of living in the absence of the inspirations that spur people forward with their daily lives. These inspirations include perceived obligations or needs of family, friends, livelihood or sense of obligation predicated on religious beliefs, etc.

I do not have traditional family or friend relationships. I am an artist and thus do not participate in the relationships created during traditional livelihood. However, I have and have had a belief in God and a purpose for humans.

What I have found in recent years since my experience as a "homeless" person began during Occupy Wall Street, is a sense of confusion regarding the reason that people in this condition continue living.

I think that we have all seen or know of examples of lifetime mates dying in quick succession. It appears that the more important the spouse is to the other, the smaller the gap of time between their deaths. What I believe I have learned from that is: When the "thing" that matters most is gone, the spirit no longer clings to the body.

With that in mind, the meditative question I pondered is: What is the reason that I continue to live? What is the reason that my spirit continues to cling to my body?

I believe that everything in this world has some level of consciousness regardless of how small or different from that of humans. These levels of consciousness have different perceptions regardless of how minute. For example, some rocks disintegrate to dust and sand, while others remain giant boulders for millennia.

What is the reason that boulders remain boulders and others wither to dust?

After a month of physical challenges and achievements, including hiking and climbing mountains, camping in some of the coldest weather I have ever experienced and simply managing to live in the midst of nature in solitude, a realization of the reason some rocks continue as huge boulders and others wither to dust continues to elude my perception. However, I do believe that I have witnessed evidence of Heavenly Father--and thus a purpose for humans--in the mountains and rock structures that appeared to "speak" to the soul when one gazes upon them.

I often make signs to silently communicate with those that I believe can read and understand my signs. Would I do this if there was no one to perceive what I have written?

When I lived in Louisiana, I believed that I could see Heavenly Father everywhere. In the stars in the night sky, the lights in the distance beyond the bayou, the patterns of traffic on Hwy 311 as I walked during the early morning.

I believe the inspiration I received during my Yosemite adventure tells me to return to that state of mind, believe that Heavenly Father can be seen everywhere, believe that these symbols and signs are established in love, with love by a Creator that loves.

I believe that is the message of the symbols, signs and artifacts I saw in Yosemite, but do I believe the message?

take a guess



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