Archive for February, 2017

The most perfect prayer

February.12. 2017

It is really the universal prayer. Utterly beautiful in its simplicity, it is almost Zen like in its spareness and conciseness.

Only ten lines, and yet it covers everything that needs to be said.

There is no schmoozing, no fake piousness, no need to say “How great thou art.”

No need, of course, to blare it into every neighborhood.

No need to let anyone know you’re praying. (But of course if you have more sinister intentions in your heart, it’s always useful to proclaim your piousness to the world first before you carry out those intentions.)

And the beauty is, you can say it anywhere you like, whenever you feel like saying it.

Here’s a little analysis of this most elegant of prayers.

First it acknowledges the Creator. (If you don’t believe in a Creator, you can skip this part. I don’t believe that the Creator will be hurt if you do not acknowledge His existence. [It is my belief that He is not burdened with any human vanity.])

And it acknowledges that all things in the Universe ultimately rest in his Hands.

Then it addresses our physical needs, something as mundane as putting food on the table, and it does this in one line!

The next part touches on our spiritual needs—cleanse our hearts of all toxicity, against ourselves and against others. (How do we achieve this? Through forgiveness.)

Then it ends simply by asking that we be kept from harm and evil.

(Evil here refers to anything that will downshift our reality.)

Who can argue with the sentiments expressed in these few lines?

(Well, maybe those whose idea of prayer is that it should be done a fixed number of times a day and facing a certain geographical direction.)

For the rest of us, it says everything that needs to be said.

Another hint

February.12. 2017

Continuing from the previous post, here’s another hint from the Gospel of Thomas:

“These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom.”

This passage recalls another saying from one of the Establishment gospels.

“Unless you become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Ancient writings

February.4. 2017

Ancient writings fascinate me.

I see them as repositories of wisdom, ancient knowledge from a distant past.

Imagine getting into the minds of people who lived two, three, or even five thousand years ago by reading their writings or teachings.

The problem is that of making sense of them.

At first glance, many of them can easily pass for wishful fantasies, folklore, fairy tales, primitive attempts to explain the world around them.

There is one particular ancient story, however, that has had me perplexed for a while.

A paradise on earth where there’s no pain, no sadness and then through some unfortunate twist of fate and thanks to the machinations of one intruder into this paradise, the fall and forced exit from the paradise.

And then a redeemer who had to undergo unimaginable pain and suffering so that you and I and the rest of mankind can regain that paradise.

Who came up with that convoluted story? (My guess is some power committee operating in secrecy back in the day.)

The other day, quite out of the blue, the answer came to me.

Yes, of course.

It makes perfect sense.

It’s not just a fanciful story but a powerful way to explain the human condition and how we can bring ourselves back to the Garden.

I won’t go into the details but I’ll give a hint.

To get at the answer, you’ll have to read the Gospel of Thomas.

Once you get the central theme of that gospel, which is that the Kingdom of Heaven is here and now (and not the hereafter), the rest of the pieces will fall into place.

Short story 2

February.3. 2017

“I just had a dream,” she told him.

“You remember that land the government gave us across river? Your father was lucky, he got a piece of land with a small rolling hill.

“I dreamed we built a little house, a wooden house on that small rolling hill. And I planted vegetables on the land.”

“Wouldn’t it be nice to live in that wooden house? Your father and I, we dreamed of building a wooden house on that hill.”

She paused.

“Mother,” he said, “I’ll build that house for you. Wait till I come back.”

“Wouldn’t it be nice to live in that house?” she continued. “Plant some vegetables in the garden?”

“Yes, it would be very nice,” he said.

“That piece of land, your father was so lucky to get it. But you know, the land clerk, he cheated us. He said because we had a hill on the land, he would give use half an acre less. Such a jealous person.”

“But it’s just a dream. A beautiful dream,” she said. “It’s okay to dream, isn’t it?”

“Yes, it’s okay to dream,” he told her.

She went on. She talked about the house and the land and the vegetables and he listened.

That was one of the last times he spoke to her on the phone.