This story is by Thomas Lee Abshier and was part of our 2019 Summer Writing Contest. You can find all the writing contest stories here.
It’s 1987, a cold March day in Minneapolis. Same as usual, gray, featureless skies, barren trees; dirty snow and ice coat the front yard and roads. I’ve been preceptoring with doctors for months, and I’m ready to leave this confinement. My mood is as colorless as the sky – I’m depressed. Soon I’ll graduate, open a practice, and then live an ordinary life. I’ve searched my whole life to find meaning – what is the point of it all?
My housemate, Dr. Gary, asked me to speak to his patients in a couple of weeks. I’m nervous. I’ve given myself an impossible goal – a presentation that answers my deepest questions – “Health and the Soul.” But, my clinical schedule is light, which gives me time to prepare the lecture we code named, “Find God by Tuesday.”
I begin by studying my childhood Bible and Alice Bailey’s anthology, called “The Soul.”
Ms. Bailey’s story of the soul’s odyssey from primordial slime, through humans, to the angelic thrills me. The climax comes as the soul reaches its home, the final destination – reuniting and dissolving into the Mind of God. I’m reminded of the Sikh Dharma lyrics, “God is the boat, and God is the boatman.”
I’ve been on this path, seeking “enlightenment” for 20 years – and I still don’t even know what enlightenment is.
I remember Daniel’s Cabala class, The Work of the Chariot, in his Hancock Park mansion. Its spacious front room felt ancient and mystical, like an occult temple with its stylized yantra of the Hebrew YHVH framed on the altar. This week he was victorious in his battle with a troublesome witch, confining her inside a crystal.
What kind of spiritual adventure was that? I’d love to travel the astral planes, but I just see the inside of my eyelids when I meditate and chant the Name.
“How’s your progress using the mantra of non-existence? You know I don’t recommend that,” he warned.
“Something unusual happened while showering last week. I lathered up and put the soap back into its wall indent – the green pointy soap protector was gone. Probably one of my Ashram roommates. While rinsing, I bemoaned the soap’s soggy fate. I glanced back at the doomed soap – the green pointy thing was resting on top of the bar. Reality is not as solid as I had thought. I can’t prove it had happened, but I know it did.”
“The universe is showing its cracks.”
He had a repertoire of pithy phrases. “Chant the Name, wake up, and get off your guru’s back. There is no liberation, no bondage, none striving for liberation, none longing for liberation, and none liberated. The world is an illusion. It’s not the mantra, it’s the size of the bead. All paths lead to the same end.” I wonder if he picked them up during his time as a monk in the Vivikenanda Ashram?
Daniel’s method is working. The universe is starting to go unstable. As he often said, the goal is “liberation from all worlds of name and form, never to be thought of again, even by accident.”
The finality and goal of Alice Bailey’s description of the soul’s journey into the sea of God’s Mind rings true – it’s Daniel’s message. I know it’s real. He wanted out of the endless cycle of births and deaths, and she is describing the same journey.
Ms. Bailey presents her story as fact, a history of the inevitable evolution of the soul. But, it’s just a story, her opinion. Or, maybe she too traveled the spirit realm like Daniel and saw the creation and destruction of worlds.
It’s real for me. I see the fragility of it all – the universe built on nothing. What is to prevent it from being forgotten? Rolled up like a window shade – one of Daniel’s favorite analogies.
I see it. I’ve dedicated the last 20 year of my life to my spiritual death. The samadhi promised by the Sutras of Patanjali, the Nirvana of the Buddha, and the release from the Wheel of 84 of the Yogis, the dissolution of Daniel and dissolving of Alice Bailey all guide me down the same path.
The universe is built on sand.
I’m repulsed and sickened. I want a path that leads to solid ground. I’ve worked so hard to develop my personality and master myself and life. This is worse than dying – pursuing annihilation of my soul.
The foundation of the Creation is an illusion. Nothing is substantial. The worlds of name and form are like Russian dolls, layer inside layer – and the last one is empty. Daniel said, “The only reality is the Mind of God. Hashem created the worlds of name and form in sequence, first from the clear empty void and then from the pregnant void.”
I meditate on this mystery. I pray and cry out for revelation. The vigil went on for days. My fertile imagination always conjures a new vision – ideas and insights come frequently. I’m used to the routine – New Age concepts about the ultimate structure of reality arise. Each new idea seems profound today, and fades in the morning – its petals, leaves, and stems wither and rot – another useless theory disconnected from reality.
Today I see a galactic center in my mind’s eye. A gossamer thread connects every star and planet to its brilliant core. It’s unusual, not the character of my typical internal visions – it’s quiet, stable, and vivid – I contemplate it for hours. What does it symbolize? It’s cryptic and silent – no answers come. I fall into dreamless sleep.
Another day begins, a day closer to my deadline – what is the foundation of life? I repeat my meditative vigil – the same vision returns. This is unusual. I meditate and pray to the God of my childhood for understanding.
Words and knowing pour in on me.
John 1:1, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
The Son spoke every point of the Creation into existence. He filled the clear empty void with Living Points by His Word, arranging them as seeds, and the heavens and earth were formed. He said, “Let there be light.” The Moment by Moment flow of time began, the dimensions of space arose, and the order of energy emerged. The Big Bang scattered His seeds and the galaxies, stars, and planets condensed. He guided evolution and created man in His image.
Exodus 3:14 Moses asked, what is your name? YHVH replied, “I am, THAT, I am.”
The Father duplicated Himself and begat the Son, ex nihilo. In like manner, the Son created the worlds of name and form by His Word.
He is the Rock, the Cornerstone, the Firm Foundation upon which the Creation rests. His mind, will, and commitment sustain the worlds. He is faithful to the Father, and the creation’s eternal existence is forever certain. He created the universe and mankind with all its possibilities. Acts which please the Father are Good – they are His Way. The prophets revealed His Way and foretold of the coming Messiah. John the Baptist made straight His way in preparation, and Yeshua fulfilled the prophecies of His coming. He created the creation and died into it, replacing the blood sacrifices needed to satisfy our debts to the unholiness we served.
The Father’s nature is perfect love. Our work in His creation and honoring His Law and Way, express our love and satisfy His desire for love. In Him, we may dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The lecture motivated me to seek, to pray, and ask for a miracle. In the search, I found the Pearl of Great Price. I understand enough now to walk confidently in life. His Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.
The reward for a lifetime of sincere searching for Truth lies glistening in front of me. I was given a sacred vision and saw a glimpse of how and why God created the universe. It was just a seed – but seeds grow. Yesterday He revealed enough for me to come to faith, today enough do the work He expects of me.
The skies of Minneapolis are still gray, but I feel a ray of hope. I asked for a revelation, and by grace, He gave me what I needed. Now it’s my responsibility to pass on the vision. I’ll take one step at a time. Life will teach me. Eventually, I’ll be ready. Now I have a guiding light – my Savior and the voice of the Holy Spirit in my heart. I’ve taken the first step on an endless journey. How will the arc of life’s trajectory evolve? I pray for today’s miracle.