Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The gods love to travel in disguise


The Greeks say the gods love to travel in disguise. In Greek folk tradition, it’s good policy to be nice to strangers, and to pay attention to what they say, because you never know what is traveling behind their masks.
On a visit to England, I landed at Heathrow airport on a redeye flight, exhausted and burdened with financial worries. I was carrying too much baggage, and had to wrestle an oversize suitcase down the steps to the Underground.
As I collapsed onto a seat on the train, a roly-poly man, bearded like Santa Claus, winked at me from the seat opposite. He said with a broad grin, “The Buddha says – Walk on the bridge, don’t build on it.”
The words slapped me in the face. They stung me awake. They were exactly what I needed to hear. Caught up in my immediate worries, stressed out and overtired, I had been forgetting one of the secrets of living the Incredible Journey:  it’s the journey, not the destination, that counts
The stranger on the London Tube was an example of how we play everyday angels – even gods in disguise -for each other. The Buddha-quoting Santa figure reminds me that there is a provocative Buddhist text on this theme. In the version translated by Thomas Cleary, it is titled Entry into the Realm of Reality. It describes how authentic spiritual teachers – even the greatest who walk this earth – can appear in any guise, as an exotic dancer or as a monk, as a panhandler or a king, as a scholar or a warrior.
We are most likely to run into them when we are in motion, especially when we are crossing a border into unfamiliar territory, when strong emotions are in play, and when we are facing the greatest challenges. 

Text adapted from The Three "Only" Things: Tapping the Power of Dreams, Coincidence and Imagination by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library.




Picture: from London Transport Museum

2 comments:

janeyk said...

When I was 23, living in San Francisco, I had a horrible summer. I'd just been through a harrowing divorce, was being harassed by members of the satanic church (for real), and just learned my parents couldn't pay for me to go to college in the fall. I was riding the muni one early morning on my way to work and a homeless woman who had been talking to herself for some time suddenly turned to me and shouted: "Why don't you get f%^& out of here?!" The next day I took a bus up to Chico State in northern California and enrolled for fall, found a place to live, and checked out the town. I've always been happy I took this "angel"'s advice!

Eunice DS said...

NYC..after 9.11, I was walking through the crowded underground mess that was the World Trade Center subway reconstruct.
A man went by me whistling and looking right at me..he was whistling "Greensleeves"..
which in the UK we know is a song the elves love to hear...and you are warned not to play it unless you are ready for their sometimes naughty presence.
I never looked at that area the same again..and had to use it a lot for transport for many years.
Another later time in NYC, in midtown, by the Empire State building as I walked past many a time to the subway returning to New Jersey, a man passed, looking at me, saying "You are worthy, you are so worthy"...
It was at a pretty hectic time in my life, I was busy in many areas,and it felt overwhelming at times, with efforts to continue also, my spiritual growth. It helped me know that we are constantly being guided and watched as we progress in life.
I met Robert at the Meta Center in NYC in earlier days, after he had 'returned'.