Several days would pass before my vision cleared. An experience of seeing the real place lingers in vision and in memory like a colored light image that stays with you when you close your eyes after looking at the sun. I also had learned to be careful and not try to understand the wholeness of what I saw. I had tried to learn to control the fatal human flaw upon encountering the real place: The translation of what was seen into human perspective and images. This flaw has caused problems in the world from the first encounters of primitive humanity to the real.
How does the flaw work? Many people, in fact most people, see or feel the real place in their lives. When it happens that either ignore and build walls against it because by human standards the real place cannot be, shouldn’t challenge the well-trained skills humans have to see the world in their own image and likeness. If not ignored than people quickly translate the experience of the spiritual real world into images they understand. This accounts for all of the many versions of spiritual worlds that people have described and have often created mythology to match.
The Persons of the Trinity have learned to go with the flow of this experience but have often found it frustrating. For example, think of what God the Creator had to put up with in the Old Testament. Amazingly holy people and prophets got some things right like the desire of God to speak to people and be involved in their lives. They often got it wrong shaping God the Creator in human image from being male (no gender with God), vengeful warrior, angry pouting tyrant, jealous God demanding Abraham to sacrifice his son, etc. The windows of the Cathedral of St. Helena on the lower north crux and in the north transept show God the Father (had to be an old man, of course) trying hard to speak to human individuals, who almost immediately run with their own version of who the God they glimpsed or heard was.
The Three also have found beauty, which inherently humans have created from their encounter with real, in the stories and paintings and images that speak of the real world encountered by all tribes and races showing the annoying tendency of humanity, as St. Paul says: “When I am weak, then am I strong.”
The powerful images of God in which humans have seen or heard or felt the truth have created images that have strengthened and comforted people and allowed them to discern the truth against the odds.
On the other hand, the blind conviction of humans to believe that the world matches the limitations of their vision and understanding. Humans move with their world through a landscape of millions of universes bumping into each other. Every person stubbornly holds onto the righteous conviction that what they know and see is the truth. The tendency of a human being to believe that he or she knows the parameters of the world allows for confounding mistakes and often suffering. This tendency, this tenacious conviction that every individual has a right to a unique perspective defines the very powerful nature of being human.
Let me give you some examples:
I was at the grocery store a few days after my naming ceremony and I suddenly could feel a familiar world bumping against the boundaries of my world. At first I felt the sneaking, shadowing strands touching and attempting to wrap around the convictions that I support around me and catch me off guard. I looked up and saw Mimi, a middle aged Helena conniver, looking at me while talking to another woman, who she assumed was part of her world. I knew what she was saying about me was one of the complaints over the years about me caused by my obstinate refusal to accept her world as being absolute.
I didn’t hesitate to push my cart by her as she broke away from her friend and greeted her with pleasant but a what are you up to attitude that I learned to take with her over the years. She glared at me for a moment until she finally acknowledged with bane.
“So, you are out of the Cooper now. I’m sure that a new person will bring a strong new perspective to the place.” She had worked with me and had many disagreements with my vision and decisions.
As she spoke to me, her fortified world tried to do some chest bumping with mine, but I’ve trained my world to be flexible enough to both resist and teasingly surround other annoying worlds with the strength of my convictions. She stepped back recognizing the resistance that I had always offered her absolute world view. She hated this familiar resistance and scowled at me. I walked away from her and as I turned my back to her, I could feel the shadowing strands of her world becoming whip-like, striking at my back. I had to resist a mocking swing of my backside knowing she was watching me go.
This example will be familiar because everyone encounters people like Mimi most days, someone who demand the obeisance of your world bowing to the superiority of their world.
Thankfully, a majority of people allow for a respectful touching and exploration of other people’s world with an openness to theirs. I will relate many examples of both these approaches to communication as this story unfolds.
As I was checking out my groceries, I was aware of the nervous, pacing ghost named Lafayette near me. I ignored him until I got outside knowing he wouldn’t go away until I talked to him. I reluctantly put up with ghostly encounters like, but one of my least favorite ghosts was Lafayette raised in Helena and had perpetrated one of the craziest spiritual Ponzi schemes in history.
I guess I’d better tell you what I know of ghosts.