Baby Jane

Still in hospital, John and Joanne Doe were beaming–how proud they were to hold Baby “Jane,” their first child. Weighing in at 6 lbs, 7 ounces, Baby Jane had finally–a week overdue–made her way into the “world.” John was praising “mom” up and down for her fine efforts; for the delivery had been long and exhausting. Grandparents, friends, and other visitors, as permitted, came to congratulate the young couple and sneak a peek at their new family member. Even before she was born, Baby Jane was absorbing all of the information like a little pink sponge.

Days, weeks, and months passed, with mom and dad learning new skills as time went by. There were the nighttime feedings, the changing of diapers, bath-time rituals, and new equipment to be mastered in the rearing of their child. Baby Jane was a trooper; she slept soundly, wet the correct amount of diapers, and gained the weight that informed mom and dad that all was well. After a few months, Baby Jane slept less, focused her attention, and even smiled; and in those weeks, mom, dad, and grandparents–so eager and conscientious–informed Baby Jane that she was her body and her name. They wanted her to learn the truth; to know who she was and help her to be able to navigate this world. Through it all, Baby Jane cooed and seemed content; but within (at the deepest level of her Being), she desperately wanted to tell good ol’ mom and dad a thing or two about Truth. Trouble was, she as yet did not possess the necessary physical or mental equipment to be able to do so. If she had, she would have told them the following:

***

“Dear Sweet but Naïve Parents,

I know that you mean well, but you’re both ill informed and sadly out of touch with Reality, aka Truth. Although you claim that I am your physical baby, and both of you my parents, I am actually a spiritual child of God, the Christ incarnate. I don’t mean to offend, but neither of you (nor any other human, for that matter) possesses the ability or intelligence to make flesh and bones spring to life. Just so you know, as case in point, I saw dad grimace as he struggled to remove the lid of the pickle jar the other night; how I wanted to offer advice that would have helped!

It is true that you were both apparently involved in the act of procreation; but only God, my Maker, knows how to make one of me. Both of you are also spiritual children of God; but your forgetfulness (which is a necessary part of being born to the human realm) is still upon you; that’s quite evident by the way you react to human situations. It may require a great deal more of samsara (cycle of death and rebirth to which life in the material realm is bound) before the Truth of your Being is revealed to you. Don’t dismay; just trust God and know that I’m rooting for you!

I hope that you won’t be hurt by what I’m about to tell you; but when you tell me that I am “Jane Doe,” I inwardly cringe; for I still–intuitively–know in my heart that I cannot possibly be a name. A name is just a word for that to which it refers. Due to your innocent ignorance, you mistake my apparent body-mind for the sum total of my Being! Please investigate the nature of your true Self, my dear spiritual brother and sister, before your bodies expire. Have you never wondered why William Shakespeare stated that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet? Bill (as I like to call him) knew–God love him!–that the name should never be mistaken as the thing. You would both benefit from spending less time in front of the television, and more reading good books. Perhaps you could begin with The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran, the great Lebanese-American writer. Here’s one of his stanzas about children:

"Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you.
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you."

Okay, so it’s getting late, and bedtime approaches. I know that you’ll be tucking me in soon, changing my diaper (thank God!), and singing those lovely lullaby songs. How I wish that I could tell you now–this very moment–the Truth regarding your essential nature. Buddha called this world dukkha, a term which basically translates as suffering. Both of you have lived long enough to know what I’m talking about–one moment you’re on top of the world; the next you feel as though you’re plummeting toward the abyss. Earth is a polar environment of apparent opposites. As a result, humans spend their lives ping-ponging between pain and pleasure. The Source of the happiness you seek can only be found through recognition of true Self. Anyway, that’s all I’ve got to share with you for now. I know that you’re doing the best that you can, given the circumstance. Just easy on the “Jane” story, okay? Oh, and remember to powder when you change me–keeps rash to a minimum. Love you!”

Dare to dream (and care for one another).

With heartfelt regards,

Art

Copyright © – 2021 – R. Arthur Russell

P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. May it help you in your spiritual journey. 🙏🙏

Thank You” & “Note to Publishers

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