Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Mystical Vision


As I walked along the dirt road deep in thought, I paid little attention to the woods on either side of me or the predawn light beginning to fill the sky.   Just as I reached where the road curved and dropped downhill to the trail head, I glanced up.  The trees on my right had given way to a wide, open field and in the distance stood a group of large black mounds.  I had never noticed these minature mountains before, but suddenly I couldn’t take my eyes off them.   Against the dark backdrop of pine, they glowed with a brilliant light that made them appear ethereal.  I stood rooted to my spot, awed by the magnificent spectacle.  

Though a little scared, I decided to investigate and turned onto a path which went down and around a small hill that led in the direction of the scene.   As I walked, I wondered with anticipation what mystical revelation awaited me.  I was in for quite a surprise.  As I rounded the curve and the mounds came into view, my mouth dropped open.  Before me I saw pile after huge pile of trash!  Actually, they were decomposing biodegradable bags filled with greenery, and the light I had seen was the reflection of the rising sun on the tattered remnants flapping in the breeze.  Was this the essence of my mystical vision - a garbage dump?  I was reminded of the popular song that had asked, “Is that all there is?”. 

It’s funny how my experience diminishes when I rationalize and slap labels on it – like “Oh, it’s just a garbage dump.”  Life suddenly losses it’s magic and I wonder why.   Why am I so quick to reduce my experience to a safe formulaic equation, rather than embrace the enthralling possibility that God is present everywhere in everything and is at all times seeking communion with me.  Do I doubt God’s desire, or is it my own fear of appearing foolish or of being disappointed?   Where would the human race be if the masters and the mystics had told themselves that their visions and dreams were “nothing more than...”   It seems that having the “eyes to see and ears to hear” involves a personal choice of faith, a willingness to perceive that which cannot be measured.

Unwilling to explain away my mystical vision as a simple mistaken visual perception, I decided to look within and listen for that “still, small voice”.  The message that came to me then was an image of a poster I had seen in a sunday school classroom.  It said, “God don’t make no junk!”.  I realized that long ago I had decided that mounds of trash were, without exception, ugly and despicable.  Suddenly I had been gifted with new sight and had witnessed mounds of trash transformed by light into a thing of  awesome beauty.  I realized then that all things are made beautiful in the light of God and that, when looked at through the eyes of love, life in all it’s various forms is an amazing and incredibly magical gift.

Again I turned within and reflected on some of the “garbage dumps” in my life which I had judged to be unworthy.  The painful situations which had taught me empathy, the hard choices that had showed me how to trust my intuition, the frustrations that had given birth to patience, and the problematic people who had challenged me to be the forgiving and compassionate person I had longed to be.  I realized that because of those “garbage dumps” I had stretched myself to become more like the person I wanted to be and, as a result, experienced more peace and love and joy in my life than ever before!  These were gifts, not curses!

Then I thought of all the times that I had, in one way or the other, told myself I was junk.  You’re not good enough!  You’re not worthy!  You’re hopeless!  You’ll never amount to anything!  You have nothing of value to offer!   What misguided and destructive messages these are - a garbage dump of the worst kind!  Such beliefs come from living too closely to the world, from interpreting what is good, worthy and of value from the world’s perspective.  This nearsighted view prevents me from seeing the bigger picture, the sacred perspective.  When I look through the eyes of God, through the eyes of Love, I can see that God don’t make no junk...

I mock God and God’s ability to create perfectly when I think of myself or any other as anything less than Holy.  Not only that, it is very unproductive.  The smaller I believe myself to be, the smaller I feel and, as a result, the smaller become my actions.  Where can this take me if my task is to bring about “earth as it is in heaven” for myself and for the world?  I may say that I am made in the image of God, a co-creator with the Divine, and an inheritor of the Kingdom, but imagine if I really believed it in my heart and lived it every moment of my life.  “What a wonderful world it would be!”


  1. I've recently (in the last year) learned a bit about the history of garbage. It's fascinating how big of an impact on the quality of life humans have gained for them selves by coming up with better solutions than tossing old refuse into the streets. People are surprised how much innovation can be done by focusing on the parts of of life that are "ugly" an "worthless".

    1. Now this is the kind of science I love to hear about! :-)