Essays

Storms

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Today I was thinking about some life challenges a friend is facing and has been facing for some months now. When people we love have big problems to meet, issues to face and decisions to make we want to help. It’s nearly always a bad idea because it very often robs them of the opportunity to develop. Then, in a flash, I remembered the esoteric story of Peter and the other disciples caught in a storm while out on the sea in a small boat. Remember that story? The disciples were rowing at night in the sea. There was a huge storm. The wind and waves were against them. The wind and waves represent the opposing force of life that pushes against us as we struggle to reach better states in the transformation process. Though we rarely see it this way the wind, the waves, are the very things that give us the opportunity we need to transform, though they themselves don’t do it for us. It’s our spiritual response to them that does it.

The full story can be found in Matthew 14:22-33. It speaks of a time like the one my friend is in now. But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. How often in life we feel so far from the security of land, the solid base of our familiar, comfortable experiences and inner states. It seems sometimes like all of life is blowing in the wrong direction, contrary. We feel battered in our little boat of our own consciousness. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. No way! When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, the were terrified, and said, It is a ghost! And they cried out in fear. What greater enemy do we have than fear? What self-induced state cripples us, paralyzes us, freezes our hearts, faster, more effectively than fear? The whole world agrees with us in our fears because the whole world finds itself confused by fear. No way! There is no way this can be done. This cannot be! It’s against all the laws of nature. No one can transcend the raging sea and walk above it when everything is against them. It must be a false vision, a ghost, an unreachable, impractical dream that will only lead to delusion and destruction. They want to keep us in the tiny boat where they feel safer, where they believe we will be safer. It’s our duty to stay in the boat. Everything dear to us is in the boat. Everything dear to them is in the boat. Stay in the boat is what the world screams at us to be heard over the rushing wind. The din of their voices only adds to the contrary wind as they add their fears to it and to our own. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them. Four is a number representing completion, fullness. It’s when we lack the Light of Consciousness we need to see far enough ahead of where we are at the moment. That’s when fear becomes palpable. When our darkness is complete, full and most terrible.

But immediately Jesus, Who in this story represents the Light, among other things, spoke to them, saying, Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid. How often we hear these words when reading esoteric literature, hearing parables and stories that speak of inner states of consciousness. We’re admonished to Take courage as if it was a material thing we could grab and hold. It is I; do not be afraid. Something Higher, some Higher Influence calls to us from above and gives us a way out of the storm. Peter said to Him, Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water. Bold Peter. What a nut. When all of life is contrary there is something in us that loves the Higher in us and boldly reaches up to touch the rope. The matter of fact response comes, And He said, Come! And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. When we lock our attention and love on Higher Influences that first step out of our own, small, personal, limited consciousness is nearly effortless because we sound a strong Do. As long as our attention is fixed on what is Higher we are lifted up above the waves and we walk on the water, as it were. We no longer see the waves and the wind as obstacles and opposing forces to fear that freezes us in our tracks. Let life rage against us. It matters not because we take the Higher as able to overcome what that with which life batters our little boat. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me! Here comes the interval in the ascending octave that would bring us out higher than where we entered. Here comes the moment of truth where we are either overcome by life or we call out for a different Neutralizing Force with which to meet the situation. Because the Universe is designed to respond to a sincere request, Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, You of little faith, why did you doubt?

The Truth of our Being stands above the insanity of the waves, effortlessly. It stands against the contrary winds of other people’s opinions, acquired conscience, societal guidelines and restrictions, and yes, even against the mind of the False Personality that confuses us with fear, conflicts us with visions of horror, suffering, death and destruction. Jesus, the gift of God, the Light of the World stands ready to help us reach our Work Aim. Even as Peter was going under for what must have seemed like the third time for him, he had the good sense to cry out for help. The help comes after we’ve stepped out of the boat, not before. Only when we see we cannot do is our heart purified to the point that it becomes possible for us to stop relying on our own strength, our own logic and the logic of the world. Only then can we receive Force from above that will lift us up. When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. When we join ourselves with Higher Centers we realize the truth. What is Real has no opposite. There is nothing contrary to what is Real.

I so love that story. It reminds me to focus on the beautiful gift that God has given us rather than the opposition that life hurls at us like waves of fear, doubt, suspicion, negative emotions and prophecies of failure, suffering, doom and gloom. The Higher Influences that are constantly calling us to get above all that, to walk atop the waves rather than try to fight them with their logic, at their level. Rather than stand in the sea and argue with the wind that blows so hard against us, they ask us to lift up our eyes, and trust that the One who said, Come! is able to stretch forth His hand and bring us safely to the boat which is now changed. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, You are certainly God’s Son! Maybe Peter was a little wet and wind blown but safe in a better state of consciousness. Gratitude has replaced fear and we are on higher ground.

It makes me weep to think of it. What could be if we would simply follow the song of the heart that keeps calling us to awaken in the middle of our night of fear and confusion. The truth that we seek is seeking us during our dark night of the soul. When we make the request, genuinely, we receive the strength, the ability to endure what it may take for us to answer that call and finally learn to trust what lies above us and calls to us. I pray that we learn to keep our eyes on the Giver of the gift rather than the gift itself.

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Speak from your heart.

About Esoteric Talks

"No good deed goes unpunished."

The person most frequently credited as the originator of the phrase is playwright Clare Boothe Luce. Also credited have been playwright Noel Coward, writer Oscar Wilde, journalist Walter Winchell and the late Washington Post writer Bill Gold. The original idea is probably an ancient proverb.

Appearing cynical on the surface, a closer examination of human nature reveals the False Personality to be incredibly vengeful and petty due to its hubris.

Plato has Socrates say, "An unexamined life is not worth living." The reason no good deed goes unpunished is because most people are living lives not worth living. If you feel a sting that probably means you.