Over the years, I’ve met enlightened beings who seemed to be able to appear or disappear, much as UFOs do. I’ve also witnessed the phenomenon of mysterious entities showing up just when I seem to need them, such as the angel who visited us in the Kinko’s Copy Shop who had some firm words for Whitley.
In his extraordinary book Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor E. Frankl tells about working in a concentration camp, breaking ice with an axe. He was thinking of his wife and having an imaginary dialog with her in his head. At that point, he didn’t know if she was alive or dead. Suddenly a bird landed on the pile of ice and dirt he had dug, cocked its head and looked at him, as if he was listening.
Some people would say this was a mere coincidence and others would assert that his wife’s spirit had somehow transformed itself into the bird’s body and come to visit him. I prefer to think of it as a living metaphor. Somehow (and I can’t explain the physics of it) his mind “created” a kind of reality. He saw what he needed to see to give him hope for the future. This image could have been created by his mind, but it is NOT as simple as it being “just” his imagination. The angel I met was a real flesh-and-blood person and when my dead cat Coe visited me in the hospital, I could feel his soft fur. Perhaps these apparitions are examples of what Jung called the “collective unconscious,” which he postulated as being a kind of deep level of mind that is common to all humanity, a sort of psychological DNA.
While we were in New York City recently, where we visited our publishers and Whitley was interviewed for a History Channel show on 2012, we found ourselves in the neighborhood of the Gurdjieff Foundation on the upper east side, a place we visited regularly for years. This is the place where Whitley developed the meditation techniques that he writes about in The Path and leads our subscribers in. It’s a small, unprepossessing gray stone building with no sign of any kind on it and I thought it would be pleasant to walk by it again. Whitley was actually a group leader there for a time, and as such he met our late friend Dora who “woke him up” when she came clanking into a meeting on roller skates. Dora is the mother of the goddaughter I got the urgent message to get back in touch with, and she was with us when we visited the building.
As the three of us stood in front of it, who should appear but the lady Whitley played the trickster coyote joke on! She recognized Whitley immediately and invited us inside.
We walked up the stairs and saw so many of the areas we remembered so well, including the room where we went to our Thursday night group meetings. The woman told us that she had come to the Foundation to use the library, but Whitley noticed that she didn’t seem to do anything there.
We’ve been traveling back and forth to New York quite often recently, which made me realize that I would like something I always had when we lived there: A raincoat with a zip-out liner, which is a handy item to have for the in-between seasons in the Northeast. I had a black coat with a liner that I’d bought online a few years earlier, but it was dowdy and I felt fairly unsophisticated wearing it around the city streets. But I didn’t want to replace it with a dull tan coat, I wanted a RED one! I went to several stores in California and even visited a department store in New York, but I couldn’t find what I wanted.
Then, when we were leaving the Foundation, I realized that we were within walking distance of a department store where I spent many happy hours wandering around in the days when we lived in New York, daydreaming about all the glamorous clothes (and a more glamorous ME wearing them). We had some spare time so we walked over there and made our way up to the coat department, past all the people trying to spray us with perfume, and there it was: My red raincoat!
I once found a red rose on my balcony as a kind of “message received” and I got a red message this time as well. Whitley has interpreted his meeting to mean he should return to his Gurdjieff work, this time in California. I don’t know if it’s also a message for me, but it’s due to rain here this week (a rare event in California) so I’m going to mull it over while wearing my new coat.
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