Tag Archives: God

The Ant and the Pencil

Once upon a time there was an odd place called Flatland. It was perfectly flat and stretched infinitely in every direction from any point on its surface. Its sole inhabitants were ants, an infinite number of ants. The ants continually walked about the surface of Flatland. They had unlimited energy and did not need to eat or sleep, but they did have one truly odd ability – or perhaps it was an inability. The ants had eyes that could see perfectly but their heads could only face downward. They were unable to see what was ahead of them, beside or behind. They all stared at the surface of flatland as they crawled across its surface and, of course, the ants could never look at each other and so knew little of each other’s existence.

One day, an unknown power decided to place a pencil on Flatland. The power left the pencil standing upright with the eraser pressing against the flat surface on which the resident ants continuously travelled. After too many days to count had passed, one of the ants finally bumped into the pencil. The ant had no idea what had just happened to it. Since it could not look up to see what was ahead, the ant could not see the pencil. Momentarily stunned, the ant allowed a moment to pass until it had overcome its initial shock and then kept walking. But instead of continuing its journey across Flatland, the ant began walking up the length of the pencil away from the surface of Flatland.

When the ant reached the pointed end of the pencil, it paused for an immeasurable amount of time and stood on the tip looking downward as usual. The ant did not know where to go as there was no flat surface ahead, beside or behind on which to travel. But as it continued looking downward from the tip of the pencil, the ant was able to observe something that perhaps no other ant had ever observed before. The ant could see that there was an infinite number of other ants on the surface of Flatland, something it had neither seen nor known before. It then perceived and understood where all of the ants were and what they were doing – but it did not know why.

After another immeasurable amount of time had passed the ant tried again to travel across Flatland and observe more of its surface from its new point of view. As soon as it began to walk, however, the ant’s motion led it back down the length of the pencil toward the surface of Flatland. This single ant was now different from all the other ants. It was aware of the existence of other ants after having been given a new perceptual point of view during its visit to the tip of the pencil. It had observed their unending, apparently meaningless behaviors. The ant decided to communicate to the other ants precisely what it had discovered while motionless at the tip of the pencil. None of the other ants responded because they could not understand a word of what this one ant was saying. So, the ant continued its travels in the same way it had always done but now this particular ant travelled differently.

The different ant now lives its life in Flatland continually wondering why it travels in such a manner. It never stops talking about what it saw while on top of the pencil or asking other ants if they have experienced any of these observations themselves. And even though the ant has never found the pencil again, that does not seem to matter to it at all. Because after bumping into the pencil and spending an eternity, traveling and searching for answers to its questions, the pencil is now alive and very real within the different ant.

The Day I Met Gracie

The experience was somewhat atypical but provided a lesson that was truly unique.

I met Gracie a couple of years ago. A chance encounter lasting only a few moments, it quickly became an auspicious one that I will never forget. Gracie approached me first, unafraid and
appearing to ask a silent question. Her eyes met mine and clearly seemed to say to me, “Is it okay?” My answer was almost automatic as I respectfully honored her politeness with a friendly and affirmative nod of approval. She seemed satisfied with my reply and quite grateful that I had acknowledged her as someone I was happy to know.

Turning her head away as though she was being pulled toward the next item on her agenda, Gracie circled my outstretched legs and made her way over to my wife’s reaching hand. The weather was kind to us that day, another perfect afternoon in San Diego. We relaxed in the shade of a huge tree alongside the harbor, watching boat after boat drifting along with the breeze. Every conceivable necessity had been neatly taken care of, and my wife Debbie and I were comfortably propped in our beach chairs, aware of little more than the invariable passing of time.

All at once I noticed that Gracie must have stumbled on a new best friend! I was delighted by how taken she was with Debbie, the manner in which she expressed a mutual awareness with us about everything that was going on at that moment. Gracie seemed to love just being near Debbie. After another moment we both looked up as Gracie’s owner, a man perhaps in his late sixties, stood near and apologized to us for her boldness. Debbie and I told him not to be concerned, that she really was a dear friend. He explained her restlessness resulted from having been left more or less alone for the past month, during which time he was recovering from a heart attack.

The kind man appeared very sad. He told us he suffered the mild heart attack immediately following the death of his wife and, after he had recovered much of his health again, he began taking Gracie for short walks as he and his wife had done before. Following a moment of silence he said goodbye and resumed his walk, beckoning Gracie to follow. She bounced along here and there, happily following the nice man who had so graciously told us his story. And after another moment, the two disappeared among the other people passing by.

Before we lost sight of them, though, I looked at Debbie and said, “She’s here. His wife is with Gracie.”

Debbie replied, “I know—they’re together now.”

When We Go…

Recently, a colleague that I had known only briefly asked me to answer a couple of intriguing yet provocative questions. At the time, I was taken aback by the idea that there was someone else in my life that also had a strong desire to explore such weighty musings. My friend asked me quite candidly:

“What happens to us when we die?  What will we be taking with us?”

The questions he posed really took me by surprise, but I definitely sensed that he wanted a description of fact rather than opinion or belief.

Laguna0Simply by calling on me, he helped me immensely. He may even have knowingly nudged me closer to the source of infinite understanding, causing another spiritual and psychic awareness to bloom within me once again. I had been posed with two simple yet wonderful questions, an earnest longing for the truth by someone I considered my mentor—not the other way around. Strangely enough, I never before believed they were significant enough to satisfy with an answer.

I wondered intently about what exactly would drive someone to want to know the answers to such questions and then wound up creating the same intense desire within myself. I needed to know the answers as well, and I subsequently remained attentive, listening for the sublime gift of knowledge during my daily meditation. I intentionally posed many of the ideas that I had learned from the spiritual community alongside the generous providence bestowed on me by my friend. (Please see the chapter “My Friend” found in The Primal Contradiction)

There may never be enough time to ponder all that we wish to know and understand but to
know what is truly important will forever peak my spiritual longing. Consequently, I maintained my focus just enough to allow the intuitive, and invariably veered away from any rational explanations that I might come up with on my own. And after several weeks had passed, the entire lesson surprisingly appeared quite reasonable to me—even rational.

I experienced the following impressions during meditation as well as afterward:

~ We will reunite with the one that longs for us.

~ Divine essence will bestow itself upon us and we will completely understand all of it once again.

~ We will know intimately all of the harms we received as well as those we inflicted during our time here.

~ We will begin to learn how the mind was created and the reasons for its attachments to such sources of unrest.

~ We will release everyone and everything until we become one with all again… and our love will expand infinitely.

~ We will begin to remember and continue to know everything we experienced during our lives as corporal beings and recall our existence before our time here.

~ We will have the power to embrace the knowledge we wish to retain.

~ We will continually perceive the essence of our existence as a relationship with not only the divine but also the divine in others.

~ We will never lose our individual awareness of our self or our divine oneness with our self because it has been with us eternally.

~ We will once again truly know the bliss of being one with others.

~ We will continue as… who we are.