Herman’s Benediction

The buzz of our keyboards had died down. We had turned our minds to other tasks – editing, polishing, and preparing the manuscript for publication. But there was something portentous in the air. We scratched our heads.

Herman reappeared.

“Good job, boys!” the angel exclaimed. “I like the way you’ve handled it. It makes meditation simple.”

“Simple?” Carl replied, frowning a bit. “Why do you say that? We tried to make this a complete statement on the fundamentals of meditation for Westerners. I don’t think it’s simple at all. In fact, we worked hard to make it as profound as possible.”

“I keep forgetting that many of the words in your language have several meanings, and even shades of meanings,” Herman replied, almost apologetically, as apologetic as an angel dares appear.

“I didn’t mean to suggest that the book is simplistic or lacking in depth. In fact, I was paying you a compliment. It makes meditation simple, so that everyone can understand it.

Your ideas and descriptions are simple, even though the practice of meditation, and the wisdom and love you contact by meditating, isn’t. It is complex, beautiful, enriching, infinite, expanding, something that cannot be captured entirely in mere words. And because of that, the best way to describe meditation is to do so as simply as possible.”

“Ah, I see what you are saying,” Bob interjected. “In our effort to be precise, sensible, and logical, we have removed some of the mystery that has been hanging over meditation for century after century. Yet perhaps we haven’t removed the mystery at all. The mystery is still there, a veil to be parted by each individual as he or she learns the skills of Active Meditation and seeks out the Higher Self.

“All we have done, I suspect, is remove the mystery which never was the real mystery, the fog, the smoke, and the obfuscations which have been created by people who did not really understand meditation.”

Herman looked intently at the two of us. “I like the way you put that.

The real mystery of meditation is not in your words or ideas, it’s not even in my words or ideas.

It is in the spiritual and invisible essence of life.

That is the profound mystery which makes even my head ache at times in wonderment about its vastness, its splendor, its purpose. We should never lose our awe for that, whether we are angel or human.

“The ‘ultimates’ and the ‘absolutes’ and the ‘laws’ which you or I take so much delight in proclaiming have a way of seeming insubstantial and conditional once we discover that there is something even more profound beyond them.

This something more profound never negates the ultimates and absolutes and laws, it just makes them simple. It goes beyond them, and embraces a larger dimension.

“This is the mystery and the challenge of meditation. It’s real, and it calls out to me, as it calls out to you. It is the mystery and challenge which we always need to keep in mind, no matter how much we understand the simple truth.”

And having pronounced the benediction, Herman faded away.

It was quite a while before either one of us spoke. Finally, Carl said, “I guess we need to write another chapter.”

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