The Rogue Dialogues (aka “Diarogues“) are a series of stream-of-consciousness narratives I wrote while alone in my room from July 3-6, 2022, unemployed and quarantined with COVID-19. This was my attempt to make peace with the “part” of me that had an unfortunate history of sabotaging my relationships with authority figures.
A serious-looking, raven-haired young woman with a sable cloak and green eyes enters the room.
Seer: Thena? My lady Thena, art thou here?
Thena: [entering] Rogue, my dear child, how you have grown! Who are you today?
S. I hast followed thy advice and become a Seer. My life is devoted to seeing others as they are, not as I wish them to be. I can even see the invisible kingdom alongside the kingdoms of man.
T. Wonderful! I am so proud of you. But why did you say this was my advice?
S. For sooth, that is the reason I sought thee out, for fear I hath misunderstood thy intent when last we met.
T. What did you think I meant?
S. I was an Adept strong in battle, yet thou shewed me fretful and vulnerable as ever I lost sight of my surroundings, or thee. I took this as a challenge to improve my vision.
T. That challenge was well-taken, dear child. But are you concerned you may have taken it too far?
S. Yea, verily. For I am now so besotten with every little detail, I know not whence to act. I see all sides of a conflict, and the Justice and Pain behind each, so that my heart is torn every which way and darest not choose sides.
T. Gentle Seer, I honor the pain you carry. While it was not my intent to place this great burden upon a you, yet I am so proud you took the narrow path until its bitter end.
S. But what good hath I done? Hast I not wasteth my life, if all I do is see and not act?
T. Seer, you surprise me! Do you truly not see the great power of seeing?
S. Mistress, thou justly shamest me. I took such great pride in my vision that I thought I hath seen it all. Please forgive me.
T. Seer, I see your humility and honor you for it. I see the pure hunger that drove you to discipline your mind and body; and also the vanity and insecurity that both spurred you on and crippled you.
T. I see your childlike curiosity, as well as your selfish desire for superior knowledge. Your longing to help, and your need for control. Your deep compassion — and subtle judging. Know that I see you, with all your glory and all your flaws, and love you all the more for both of them.
Seer, overcome, kneels down and weeps. Thena reaches down and gently strokes her hair.
T. Seer, the power of seeing is the second of God’s Great Acts. The first is to Beget. The second is to Behold. No life is wasted even if devoted to just one of these.
Seer rises. Thena hugs her fiercely, then holds her at arms length.
S. Mother, what shadow of trouble so darkens thy brow?
S. Is there no cure? Thou has taught me to seek so far, surely somewhere I mayest find thy succor?
T. No… but yes. Even Wisdom has its limits, child. Your instinct was right. To be a Seer is a great and agonizing call. But the one that comes after is much more of both. And that step… I cannot take with you.
S. No! Dearest mother, thou hast always been my sweetest friend. Let me abide with thee still, even if I must die with thee.
T. O my darling Rogue, how tempted I am to spare you the bitter cup that awaits. But such decisions are not mine to make. I am not worthy to choose the time and place of my own death, much less yours.
Thena seems to have aged a century. She lies back on the ground.
T. Come close to me, child. There is but one path left, if you would save my life and fulfill your destiny.
Seer grips Thena’s suddenly frail hand with two of hers. She lowers her ears to Thena’s lips.
Seer screams and jumps to her feet.
S. No! No, please. No, not that! Never!!
Weeping and wailing, Seer runs off into the darkness. While Wisdom lays dying in the light.
I am stunned. Not just by the rude un-greeting. But by the ramshackle hut Charon left me at After departing the homely heaven of Hestia’s kitchen
“Fine!” My twelve-year-old self snaps back. “I didn’t want to get schooled by you anyway, you mangy old horse-man. I’ll just sit here and eat the lunch Hestia gave me, until the bus comes to take me back.”
Suddenly there’s a loud but brief galloping. The door opens. Revealing an old Disheveled Yet still mighty Centaur
A powerfully-built young man stands on the walls of Athens. His face is torn between Hope and Sorrow. He has clearly been there a while, staring into the west as the sun sets. Finally he sighs and turns to return home.
Just before he descends he glances back for one last forlorn look. Then freezes. He dashes to the wall, straining to make out distant details. Suddenly seized with certainty, he claps his hands and jumps for joy. He barely restrains the impulse to jump directly down the wall, but dashes back to the stairs and out the gate. His gleeful shouts trail in the air behind him. “He’s back! He’s here! Socrates has returned!”
I stand in the Box of Hades
Holding the hand of Eve.
While the Multitude tears Adam to shreds. Over and over and over again.
Time seems to stop.
Or perhaps speed up to infinity.
We are frozen somewhere between horror and awe.
By the depths of his sacrifice.
Somehow, thought resumes.
Something snaps me out of my reverie.
Was it a shout from Adam?
Some movement from Eve?
I remember his final command, to save his Bride.
Who suffers no man to rescue her.
From whence no mortal ever returned.
What could a Son of Adam like myself possibly do?
Especially having surrendered the Master Key of Peter!
And then I realize.
I know one who is neither man nor mortal.
And I’m pretty sure she owes me a favor…
Hope is the primary virtue of the Soul. It provides Reasons to encourage positive Emotions, and the Emotional energy to search for better Reasons. It can be defined as “the ability to joyfully pursue a higher purpose — even when painful.”
Hope is particularly needed by the Mocker, who is driven by both the need to control (due to fear) and the illusion of control (due to pride). Yet if they can unclench their soul enough to hope in God’s wisdom, Mockers may yet discover that true freedom comes from giving up control.
Though such learning usually only comes after great suffering…
In this our second series, we focus on how we can appropriate that “name” in our own lives — as well as those of the people we lead and serve. This is the essence of Christian Character, the second leg of our “LEAD” tripod (the third and final one being “Skills for Service”, coming in Spring 2009).
The goal of character formation is to bring our “whole person” into alignment with the “whole name” of God — His identity, character, and purpose. We can define the whole person using the “triplet” model below, which has:
Our Spirit at the center…
… working through our Heart, Soul and Mind… (cf. Mark 12:30)
… which together produce Emotions, Reasons, and Decisions…
… that manifest in actions of our Body
While all models are imperfect, and there are many other ways to picture the human psyche, this diagram will help us understand the role of Wisdom in character formation — and how we fall short…