there is always the story of jonah and the whale. jonah would symbolize man in general and the whale might represent life itself. sometimes life become so big it swallows us up. we find ourselves trapped in its belly and flitting between frozen with fear and struggling to get out. i think i have been in this kind of place over the last few months.
i think life had gotten too huge. i was expected to do things i could not fathom and i couldn’t keep track of the tasks in front of me. it felt like there was no support, only requests to do more. it felt so big i was swallowed up. i crouched in the belly of the beast until i found an opening and jumped out without a parachute or a floatation device.
it’s a wonder i made it at all. yet somehow after travelling blindly as in a barrel over the niagra falls in my own life, i find myself in connecticut with the makings of a spiritual experience at my feet. it is not just my experience but more a cumulative experience of all the attendees of the workshop i am in. i laugh. i tear. they smile. they cry. truth gets spouted like foam from a keg and old dead weight gets tossed over the side.
the tale of time in the belly of the beast was not my tale to tell first. many such tales have come before me and many shall come after. and like a old time whale watcher i will no doubt wander and tell the tale of escaping the belly of the beast to all those who will listen. i never know who might need to hear the story.
“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us — sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.”