Sometimes after a period of engagement with the world- of rummaging through a serpentine forest of excessively close-packed motorists, of defusing tasks that have been thrown headlong like live grenades towards the hard wall of Deadline, of displaying all the requisite attributes of a trained specialist embroiled in the local deluge of a world economy – I take a deep breath and return to the Beginning. I stop and take a drink of the Solace that I have been carrying around safely inside of me, sealed up inside of my heart canteen like a limitless, sloshing sea, and if I’m lucky, I fall in and go for a swim. It is helpful to rinse off the coating of another day’s unseemly forgetting, and to be Reminded.
I think of what Jesus said in A Course in Miracles, “You are the work of God, and His work is wholly loving and wholly lovable. This is how a man must think of himself in his heart, because this is what he is.” (T-1.III.3-4)
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In other news, my heart has become a malfunctioning alarm clock. With increasing frequency it goes off and reminds me to take my Medicine. Right in the middle of the day. Right in the middle of my plans. Right in the middle of an extemporaneous soliloquoy in which I am nimbly enumerating the world’s dazzling array of Symptoms, it taps me on the inside of my chest and whispers, “Why don’t you… Shut… UP…” Then the waves really start sloshing. I think it’s good we’re learning to eschew formality. And get down to business.
* * * * *
I think sometimes about beings like Jesus, or Hafiz. You know the Ones I mean. They must get in a mood once in a while, too- get restless with all this “one day” and “then I’ll be” and “if only” business- and let an ecstatic whim lead them down into town to blow the dust off of “just being”.
I bet they dress up like a couple of ne’er-do-wells, infiltrate one of those fancy fortune-telling schools, and sit at the back of class giggling and passing notes back and forth with questions about love, squiggly doodles, and hand-drawn check boxes. When the instructor gets pissed at their impudence, and their complete inattentiveness to the stochastic theories of karmic progressions, he wonders if they might be so kind as to share their jokes with everyone. You know… if they are already such experts on the subject…
Having already passed through the door of non-existence, this particular breed of sarcasm fails to diminish the levity of their Moment. Hafiz points out that ten years forced labor in Love’s encampment may be a more suitable punishment for their insolence. Their jokes are no good, besides. Jesus reminds him they only take volunteers Up There. And they’re not looking for moochers, either.
The two begin to argue.
Hafiz suggests to Jesus he wouldn’t know limitlessness if it dressed up like a man and walked on water.
Jesus tells Hafiz he couldn’t describe Love even if he drowned in the glory of what made him and wrote a thousand poems.
But… like a pair of old friends whose addled minds cannot retain the plot, they cannot entertain petty angers long enough to make them stick and are soon reminiscing about old times and places, beauty they’ve witnessed, and the nature of grace. Soon their mutual complements flow like a river, as if they cannot get enough of one another’s company, like veterans of an ancient war who have discovered in one another echoes of a rare vintage. Nobody can figure out how the conversation turned inside out. No one can understand how the room suddenly filled with audacity and joy. Nobody wants this scene to end…
The two apologize profusely to the instructor for somehow losing focus, but before sitting down, Hafiz points a lone finger towards the sky, as if a thought has captured him, and asks if they might try to read someone’s fortune. Why not? after all… A man offers his hand immediately, but Hafiz, clearly unfamiliar with the approved techniques, kisses his forehead instead, and whispers a secret in his ear. Jesus swims inside his heart, and invites him to try a new setting. No words need to be exchanged. He is reminded, in that one instant, about his essential contribution to Forever.
He realizes that everyone’s Fortune is the same.
His spontaneous knowing is contagious.
The entire room is flooded with the realization that fortune telling is a short-time profession- a temporary craze. Shortly you will be able to watch the entire group filing past the threshold to strike out on the trail towards Love’s encampment, led by a pair of ne’er-do-wells arguing jovially about the proper trail… You’ll see the townspeople shaking their heads in bewildered dismay…
What is this world coming to???