Tom and Jerry, who were caretakers at The Place, had sneaked out the back door for a smoke. They had worked hard for the previous few days, in preparation for the spiritual gathering that had begun only a half hour prior. As rules governing social attendance had been dismissed, The Place was packed to the rafters with one thousand men, women, and children.
“Should be a quiet night,” said Jerry, after he exhaled a deep draw from his cigarette, “I don’t think those spiritual folks will get too rowdy.”
“Yup,” said Tom, “clean up should be a breeze, too.”
They continued to puff and chat; but within the next few minutes, they noticed a groundswell of sound from behind them. They could actually feel it; it pulsed through the air as though by its own life.
“What the heck…” began Jerry.
“…is going on?” finished Tom. With that, both men stubbed their cigarettes beneath their boots and went back inside and climbed the iron stairs that led to a small overhead viewing platform.
Below them, a woman holding a microphone was jubilantly shouting questions. She moved with electrified vigour upon the stage, making full use of its dimensions.
“What’s The Center of your life?” she cried, with a triumphant wave of her free hand.
From the crowd (consisting of persons who were rising to their feet in increasing numbers) came the powerful reply: “God Is!” In unanimous agreement, they accentuated their replies with a loud “Thump, Wump” stomp of their feet.
“And where is The Center?”
“Wherever I Am!” Thump, Wump!
“Is The Center in you?”
“Oh, yes!” Thump, Wump!
“Is The Center in your neighbour?”
“Yes, there, too!” Thump, Wump!
“Is there anywhere that The Center isn’t?“
“Nooo!” Thump, Wump!
As the sound continued to build in intensity, Tom and Jerry looked at each other, stunned by the appearance of persons young and old being moved by the Spirit of Truth.
“I’ve heard rock bands quieter than this!” shouted Jerry, with a hand cupped aside his mouth.
“Me, too!” shouted Tom.
Again, the woman on stage urged the crowd onward: “Where is The Center?”
Leaning forward, she filled her lungs to the brim, then turned and cried, “I can’t hearrr you!”
“EVERYWHERE!” came the thunderous reply. Thump, Wump!
“And where does IT end?”
“Nowhere!” Thump, Wump! Thump, Wump!
“Is it your essential nature?!”
“Yes,” cried the crowd, “oh, yes!” Thump, Wump!
With the last reply, Tom and Jerry turned from the platform and made their way outside for another smoke. “Crazy kooks,” muttered Jerry. “I second that!” exclaimed Tom, raising his hand. It was time, they agreed, to break out the bottle of whiskey that they had stashed behind a panel for just such an emergency.
What Tom and Jerry didn’t realize is that the Omnipresent God that the people were celebrating is often simply referred to as Consciousness. It has been described as a sphere, whose center is everywhere and perimeter nowhere. It is “That,” the one-and-only Power which was actually empowering Tom and Jerry’s freedom to deny Its very existence. Due to innocent ignorance, Tom and Jerry were unintentionally “prodigal sons.” If they grow weary enough of the world, Grace might gently nudge them to look within and discover their true nature. Conversely, they might continue to cope with life’s apparent ups and downs through bottles of malty distraction. Regardless of the outcome, All is ultimately good.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2022 – 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. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🤍