Some time ago, when riffling through one of the etheric libraries, I ran across an interesting story. It had lots of details and actually filled an entire book, but I’d like to share the highlights with you here, for it seems relevant and timely.
A Master Story
Aye, she was passionate lass, always at the head of the queue, first in line for the next adventure and instantly ready to explore the next amazing thing. As you can imagine, this eagerness made for some fabulous stories, not to mention some hair-raising adventures and bone-chilling calamities along the way. Lifetimes were lived, adventures were had, and then something within her knew it was time to start turning for Home.
This new part of her journey would begin with a lifetime of passionate awakening, and she dived in deep. This thing called the Church was still fresh and new, still shimmering with discoveries of Truth, so that’s where she started. Signing up with the local nunnery at the first possible moment, she committed herself in service to the divine. But, over time and with growing dismay, she began noticing cracks in the façade, inconsistencies in the stories and rust on the halos. When she could take it no longer, she pointed out the obvious – and promptly found her head rolling away from her shoulders.
This was not what she had expected! But, undaunted and almost without thinking, she jumped in again, this time determined to catch the nonsense a little sooner and keep her head a little longer. Somewhere along the way, she ran into an old friend, a fellow rabble-rouser who was also on the path of awakening, and discovered a shared a passion for truth and revolution. Together with some like-minded friends, they began to foment a rebellion against the ‘powers that were.’
Powerful powers they were, however, and eventually they caught up with her. Thrown in the dungeon and relieved of her hands, they left her to rot while the rats nibbled away at her ears. Once again, it wasn’t quite what she’d envisioned but, persistent as ever, she brushed herself off, found a new set of parents, took a deep breath and plunged in again. Third time’s a charm, right?
This time, the two old friends grew up almost next door to each other and, during long conversations under the old oak tree, fanned the delicate embers of curiosity into flames of knowing. Change was afoot and they could feel it! He went off to join the Church this time, wanting to be where the action was, but it didn’t last long. Led by his own awakening and unable to conform to the status quo, pretty soon he was on the run. Then one day, his little band came through the village and told her all about it. Things weren’t going so well at home and her restlessness was at a peak, so she dropped everything and ran off to join his “Le Résistance.” In fact, it was brewing all across the land and many more began to join the cause, although a bit sneakier this time, thanks to the inborn caution they carried from previous misadventures. But the ‘powers’ were getting sneakier too and one day, while out on a scouting mission, she and a little band of renegades stumbled right into a trap.
All this time her faith had grown, along with an oversized dose of optimism, and this arrest was only a brief setback. She saw it as a small price to pay to spread the Truth, and even an opportunity to share with a whole new audience. Finding herself back in the dungeon (but managing to keep her hands this time), she worked hard to keep everyone’s spirits up. They sang and prayed and trusted and wept, waiting for their day in court when all would be set right. Certain that her eloquence would cause hearts to open, a Holy Spirit to illuminate the proceedings and everyone to see the light, she anticipated only freedom.
At last, the day arrived. She was brought before the magistrate and interrogated for hours, answering question after question about what she believed, what she knew, who she loved and who she trusted. Of course she answered truthfully, for didn’t He say, “The truth shall set you free”? Her interrogators occasionally smiled and nodded and, as the day wore on, she was certain their eyes began to glitter with the light of truth. Victory and freedom were surely close at hand; indeed, she hardly felt anymore the ropes that were binding her, almost expecting them to evaporate at any moment. At last they said, “Your testimony has been true and our hearts have been opened. There is only one more question. If you would tell us where your leader is, we long to meet with him and confess our newfound faith.” She’d been careful not to give away that particular secret, but now, exhausted from the ordeal and cheered by their obvious sincerity, she was sure of victory.
Of course, dear reader, you can see the setup! A banana peel tossed right under her shoe, a carefully crafted bait for which she fell – hook, line and sinker. With the glow of Spirit on her face, she took a deep breath and finally shared it all. Such eloquence had never graced the court. The room was silent when her story ended and she smiled, waiting for the ropes to be loosed, ready for that step into freedom. And then the gavel dropped.
Quickly found guilty of both treason and blasphemy, plus aiding and abetting the enemy and various other lewd and malicious charges, they decided to make an example of her. No effort was spared, and after an endless night of knives and whips, the rack, the wheel and more, they dragged her out across the square to the wood pile and stake. Roughly patching up the leaking wounds so she wouldn’t bleed to death too soon, they spread the word and waited for sunset as a crowd gathered to watch the spectacle.
And yes, somewhere between the gavel and the stake, she realized what a fool she’d been. “If only I’d been smarter and kept my mouth shut,” she moaned, “or even told some lies – anything but what I said – none of this would be happening.” Her agony was unbearable, but it added insult to injury when they paraded by with her friend and other comrades who had quickly been captured, bound and gagged thanks to her oh-so-eloquent testimony. The shame and guilt were almost worse than the physical torment.
Sunset finally came, the flames began to rise and, as her torn and shattered body succumbed to one last round of anguish, the devil was finally born. “Never again!!” he bellowed from within her. “Never, ever, EVER again!” was her dying, screaming oath; forgetting that “Never” is the surest way to bring it all back around.
She dawdled through a few more lifetimes. There was a bit more torment, some hiding and sulking, and she then decided to give it one more go. This time she would do it differently, and she would NOT get suckered quite so easily. She would reconnect with all the old comrades, even that grand old friend she’d ratted on, but this time she would keep her mouth shut. There had been enough drama, pain and suffering; she would not be doing that again. This time she would remember.
There was a family she knew a little too well – some of them had even been her tormentors in times past, but it was an easy entry and would provide an opportunity to settle a few accounts – so in she went. And it was true; this time she barely forgot. She was practically born searching and indeed found her people at last. In fact, her dear friend was leading the cause once again, and that old familiar passion kicked in as she felt compelled to join. But this time, it was only for her. There would be no more proselytizing. She didn’t care if anyone else was interested or not and she wasn’t about to blab to anyone. That lesson had been learned – thoroughly.
They reconnected, but it took a while to get to the “friends” part again, for somewhere deep within she was still leery. “Keep it a secret! Don’t let anyone know!” said an urgent voice inside, even while another voice would say, “You’re safe this time, and there’s nothing to hide!!” But her passion was clear, her knowing strong, and once again she found herself in the middle of the action. Still nursing the old wounds, she kept mostly to herself, staying in the background and supporting from the sidelines. There would be no more wasting her breath trying to convert anyone else; this time it was personal. And she absolutely knew that this time they would finally see it through, finally prove what they’d always known.
And then something happened, something so unexpected that it left her breathless. Suddenly, the microphone was in her face, all eyes were on her and the question was asked, “Who is it?” Once again, they wanted to know, “Who are you connected to? Who inspires you? Who’s the oldest friend?” Her initial answer was forgotten, thanks to a thousand aspects on red alert, and it felt as if the question was being asked across the centuries. The alarm bells were deafening, the internal hurricane at level five. “What the bloody hell do I say this time?” she thought. “I’ve been here before and it wasn’t ever pretty.” Then another part of her stepped forward. “Come, my dear. It’s time to be free. You’ve already faced the worst; there’s nothing more to lose except your limitations. Maybe the truth actually will set you free.” She took a deep breath and, once again, named the one who’d inspired her since forever, who’d been a friend through thick and thin, who understood the passion for truth better than any other being.
It was done. After so many “Never again’s” she’d actually said it out loud, and now she braced for the gavel, the flog, the fire, the hell. With racing heart and shredded nerves, she prepared for the worst – but it never came. In fact, nothing actually happened! “See?!” whooped her Master self. “I told you we were safe now!” Slowly easing back into her body, she marveled at how life suddenly seemed so different.
After encountering this story, I just had to know more, so I tracked down the author and she agreed to answer a few more questions. At the top of the list, of course, was: What happened after that?
“The next few weeks were quite interesting,” she replied. “I truly let go, in a way I’d never done before. I had already let go of a lot of people, things and situations in that last lifetime. Sometimes, it was easy, sometimes wrenchingly difficult, but it had come to a point where I didn’t know what else there could possibly be left to release. Then came that moment of discovering a gigantic fear and walking on, rather than obeying it. That truly changed everything! Somehow, after that, I could finally, truly let go completely. I discovered that the ties that had connected me to other people weren’t what I thought they were. I thought it was love and trust and caring and all that, but, as Tobias said years ago, true love has no connection. Rather it was the guilt and shame and debt and self-judgment that had bound me. I’d already let much of that go, but this was a deep release from the very core. And then came the greatest sense of freedom I had ever, ever felt. I realized that what people think is most precious is exactly what they’ll have to let go of, sooner or later. It’s not because these things hold you back or are not good for you, but rather that you have tied yourself to them in some interesting ways. You simply cannot be free as long as you’re so deeply connected or bound to anyone outside yourself.”
But doesn’t it hurt to let go? I asked. “Ah,” she said, “That’s where I discovered a beautiful secret. The pain of letting go comes from pulling on things that are still connected. When you truly and completely let go, the pain goes away too. It’s the difference between pulling on something that’s hooked into you versus simply removing the hook. I thought it would be the most agonizing thing I’d ever done, but that was only true when I wanted to keep hanging on, even just a little bit. It can seem difficult to let go of old friends, loved ones, treasured beliefs, habits, identities and possessions, but it actually doesn’t have to hurt. And the freedom you give yourself in exchange is absolutely priceless.”
I thanked her for her time and rose to leave. “One last thing,” she smiled. “I also found that everything comes back to you in a whole new way, without pain or distortion, and in absolute freedom. Tell your readers that if something hurts, it’s only a sign that a bond is getting tugged at. Don’t worry about who or what is doing the tugging; just unhook yourself from whatever it is and you’ll quickly move from pain to freedom. Then you’ll wonder why you waited so long.”
I’m going to have to check that library again. There must be a lot of good stories there!