Minds blown, hearts on fire
This month I want to tell you a story. No matter your religious allegiance, this story has universal appeal. It’s about a young itinerant carpenter from a Jewish family who felt a fire inside himself and found the courage to express it, out on the road, in a boat on the sea and on the country hillsides.
After a while, the followers of his message numbered 72. One day he sent them out on their first day of sharing his message with the local folks. They were not rabbis or priests. They were, for the most part, fishermen. And so they went out. When they returned at the day’s end, they were tripping all over themselves with enthusiasm for what they had experienced. People had listened to their words, and those who came for healing were healed. It worked! It all worked!!
Later that night, around the campfire, as I like to think of it, Jesus lifted his heart to the one he called “Father” and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children.” Then he looked affectionately around the circle of his weary but happy followers and said, “Prophets and kings have longed to see what you see, and they never saw it. And to hear what you hear and never heard it.”
What had they seen and heard? It was the power of truth, fired by love, elevated above doctrine, particularity and circumstance, invading their hearts with an overwhelming experience of that love.
It was a fire that had already blazed across the South China Sea and the Ganges, inflaming hearts and expanding minds with the same invisible power in the writings of Confucius, the contemplative vision of the Buddha, and the holy Vedic scriptures of India. It had whispered too on the winds of Judea and inspired Jewish prophets like Elijah to recognize that same voice, not in mighty wind, earthquake or fire, but in a gentle breeze at the mouth of his cave.
Jesus impressed his followers with his authenticity. They said he was not like their scribes and the Pharisees. One night he told them, he wanted them to live full of awareness. He called it having “their lamps lit like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding feast.” And then his voice got very low, almost to a whisper, and he added, “even if the master comes in the wee hours of the night, how happy will those servants be whom he finds awake. The master will put on an apron, sit them down at table and wait on them.”
This fire of love lives inside all of us waiting to be liberated from the prison of our unconscious. Why do so few seek it?
Bill O’Brien is a consciousness coach and shamanic practitioner. He and his wife Linda have lived in Shepherdstown since 2005. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.