Some years back a good friend took course in Reiki and Therapeutic Touch.  I remember her laughing as she told me that, of course, the problem, once the teaching was safely tucked under one’s belt, was to find suitable patients to practice upon.  Healers, it seemed, were desperately in need of someone to heal.

The intervening decades dissolved as I was swimming this morning: in mid-stroke the exchange resurfaced and I could see it as some kind of basic principle, some sort of, dare I say it, universal law.

Mystical insights being what they are, flashes of beautiful detail and daunting brevity, I immediately doubted my ability to, as the blues song says, bring it all home to you.  I have been exercising my meager aquatic talents for some months now, but as I have yet to engineer a successful and discreet method of bringing along a notebook, several inspirations have gone the way of all flesh.  The dream of waterproof laptops notwithstanding, I steadied myself with sympathetic thoughts of impoverished mystics of the past who lacked even those elementary implements of language storage and retrieval, an HB pencil and a yellow lined pad.

I managed to scribble a few notes at lunchtime, looking out onto a field and trying not to focus on some recent and very local family tragedies.  Yes, as we are part of a seemingly endless stream of evolving souls, we are assured an infinite variety of growth situations in which to engage our expanding abilities.  For every talent learned there will appear tricky predicaments where it can be explored and exploited.  From the simple and local to the complex and multinational, problems and solutions arise simultaneously out of the void, and proceed, with the youthful enthusiasm which produces both acuity and candour, to dash about looking for each other.

At this point in history (April ’97), civil wars and willing tribes seem to have taken the lead over famines and skeletal followers.  Both, of course, require, and receive, their compliment of nurturing caregivers/peacekeepers, and everyone is fulfilled on some, if not several, levels.  All suffering is catered to, all joy eventually unmasked.

Those who see tragedy get to feel sad and soppy with despair; those who see enemies get to hack away at them with as much fury as they can reflect; the lower astral deities of blood lust and racial strife get to gorge themselves like the fearful gluttons they are.  Those who insist on disaster relief get to activate channels for appropriate aid, and if the job is completed with at least a modicum of success, get to pat themselves on the back for being such wonderful human beings.  Those who quickly dive into denial by sticking their heads in the proverbial sand get to taste the grit of their eventual regret and despair.  The mid-astral greeters and helpers get to work a lot of double shifts as the endless waves of the newly dead land on their doorstep, ready to be reawakened to their rightful eternity.  Those who insist on Armageddon get to ignite their favourite conflagration.  Those who await a saviour get to languish in vain a little longer.  Those who champion the struggle of evolution get to cherish the new day of the survivors.  Yes, everyone gets a piece of the action, and magically enough, always the piece they most desire in their muddied heart of hearts.

On the simpler, more local, and inevitably more vexing level, such commonplace grotesqueries as crack babies and their mothers get to enact the familial dance of death, each lunge more feeble than their previous; fathers disfigured at the thought of a family’s future without them, teenagers inflamed with a lust for each others’ shoes; young lovers in love with suicide.

The roles are all waiting, purring for their partners and your kind attentions.  As Franz Kafka wrote, “You do not even have to leave your room.  Remain sitting at your table and listen.  Do not even listen, simply wait.  Do not even wait, be still and solitary.  The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”