with themselves. In this way they polish their souls, and
kindle remembering in others" ~ Rumi
This has always been one of my favorite quotes. It talks of how we each must hold a mirror up to remind each other of who we truly are. We used to know, when we were children, before we started being taught otherwise. Just tell a little one how beautiful they are and they smile and giggle--if they could talk grown up language, they's be saying--"oh, ain't it the truth!" Later on, someone tells us we're beautiful and we'll point out the misshaped nose, or stringy hair or too big this and too small that. Later on we forget who we are and start believing we are these clothes we're wearing. Later on, we're told that by others who've also forgotten.
When we're still new to the world, we remember we're a radiant eternal spirit in a body and every moment is filled with adventure and discovery of this magnificent playground we've been sent to. When we take our first steps, we stumble and fall, and pick ourselves up, and try again, and again and again and pretty soon we're running with joy. Later on, we stumble and we're told we're clumsy. And we believe it. Later on we make a mistake and we're told we're bad. And we believe it. Pretty soon, every time we stumble, we start telling ourselves we're stupid, or bad, or (fill in your own words here, you know them as well as I do). AND WE BELIEVE IT.
That would be harmful enough, but you see everything we believe about ourselves, we project outward, and soon you're seeing the same thing in everyone else. What you see around you is a mirror. What you see is a reflection of your own perceptions. And no doubt, it's gotten pretty muddy over the years. So has mine. And you'd think I'd know better.
You see, I have this memory of something that happened to me when I was very small. I don't know how old I was, but I can still see it in my mind's eye as I was looking around that day. Judging from the height of the fence around my yard, I was very small indeed.
I don't know how to explain this exactly, so bear with me. At that moment, I was not a child--I wasn't exactly ancient, more like timeless. And I wasn't really looking at, but more experiencing a total connection to everything around me. And I felt like
There's a man that lives in my neighborhood. His name is Mike. He stands on the avenue most mornings and at different times of the day, and just wishes everyone a good day. Most of the time he'll come up and take your hand while he's doing it. The first time I saw him, he took my hand and sang to me. I thought he was a little crazy at first, but definitely harmless, and he just brightened up my whole day. He likes to stand in the subway terminal and wish everyone a good day going to work. After September 11th, he was there, and this time I (and most everyone else) got a huge hug and kiss on the cheek. With tears in his eyes he was making sure all his friends were ok. And make no mistake, we are all his friends though I doubt anyone knows his last name.
Mike isn't crazy. He's not homeless, though he appears to be to most people. He told me one day when he insisted on carrying my groceries around the block to my apartment, that he had to quit work due to an injury and his wife doesn't like going out, but he just loves people so he goes out every day to be with all his friends. I doubt Mike thinks much about inner light, or life dramas. I doubt he'd think he was anyone special. But I tell you, at the end of my life, when I think about the people who have brought me joy, Mike is going to be there. In just being someone who loves people, he IS the light. He didn't have to study it in some esoteric spiritual literature. He just is. Because he loves. And because he loves, everyone is his friend. And all his friends take his light and shine it back out to everyone else they meet, and on and on.
This website is about reminding you of who you are, of who we all are. As Mike holds up a mirror to the beautiful ones to remember, I hope to do the same.
In a world that seems to be drowning in shadows, there are many who remember and who are shining their light to the dark places to kindle remembering. The following pages will tell you about a few of them. There are many more. Some are simply kind men who stand on the street and wish you a good day, or hold the door open for you, or give you their seat on the bus. There is darkness, but the light grows stronger each day, each minute, each time we remember and kindle remembering in others.
This is our production number. We write it as we go along. All of us. And we are all responsible for the storyline. The following pages are my way of sending light into the dark places. You may have your own. You may be struggling with darkness and looking for a glimmer of light. You may have totally forgotten your true identity. My hope is that something here helps you remember. My hope is that you take that remembrance and hold the mirror up for another, however you choose to do that.
To those of you who already know, or have never forgotten, thank you for lighting the way for the rest of us.
To all of you, I just want to tell you how beautiful you are. If you just smiled, giggled and said, "oh, ain't that the truth" congratulations for retaining the wisdom of a child. If not, well, we'll work on it together. It gets easier.
The next few pages are about groups I belong to who are dedicated to shining their light. If there are other groups out there doing the same, please let me know and I'll add a link to their websites. There is no right way to shine the light. All paths, if they are based on unconditional love and not based on separation, ultimately lead to the same place. It's where we're from. It's who we are.
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