When you were a young baby I tried to introduce you to books. I would prop you up on my lap and leaf through a little children’s book. You would give me about twenty seconds of your attention before you began to wriggle and whimper. I tried all kinds of books, from Diary of a Wombat to Winnie the Pooh to a six page soft cloth version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. You were simply not interested.
On a visit to your Grandparents house, Grandma gave you some books to celebrate your first birthday. I explained to her that you had no real interest in books as yet but Grandma insisted on sitting next to your pram and opening up one of the books.
As most children do to their parents, you proved me wrong.
Your eyes lit up as Grandma opened the large hardcover. The pages were thick cardboard and brightly covered. They were filled with animals and objects. You pointed at each image with great excitement and Grandma could hardly keep up as you tried to turn the pages. Grandma was most pleased that it was she that opened the door to your literary fascination. A special moment and memory for you both.
You have now fallen in love with books and mostly they fall into my lap at least once a day. You delight in the shared experience of reading a book.
There are countless books at Nanny’s house too but your favourite is a photographic I Spy style book by Walter Wick. The first time I saw it I picked it up to casually flick through the pages. I found myself half an hour later, still captivated and trying to spot objects in each picture. Alongside each image was a panel containing a list of things to find.
A carriage, a cork, a chicken, three forks.
I would search and search in the picture for the objects. Some of them were easily located but others were harder to find. The chicken might be printed on a ball and the carriage might have been made out of sugared lollies. You needed to think outside of the square, or what was obvious for you. However the most fascinating part was that when you finally found something on the list, it was impossible to un-see it. It made me wonder how I could have possibly missed it the first time. They were there the whole time.
This is reflective of my spiritual endeavours.
Anita Moorjani uses the analogy of using a torch in a warehouse when recalling her near death experience. Your torch focuses on various things with its small focused beam of light. Then the lights in the warehouse get switched on and you suddenly become aware of the countless objects that are there, that you just couldn’t see. Because you couldn’t see them does not mean that they are not there. Even after the light is switched off and the warehouse disappears back into the darkness, you know it is there.
You cannot un-see what you have seen.
I have spent the past six years reading various spiritual texts and rebuilding my belief system. Many times I have felt like the rug had been pulled out from beneath me. Not only that, but that the floorboards had been ripped up and the very foundations of my belief system opened for inspection.
It comes down to the manner and grace in which you allow this to happen.
Do you cling to the old foundations or do you dare to tear it all down and rebuild a new home?
Do you have the faith to renovate because you have seen another house in which you can reside? Or do you stay and merely draw the curtains and bolt the door.
Even as you baton down the hatches in your old home, you cannot un-see what you have seen.
Seamus, allow your spiritual eyes to see into the beyond. Fear not your ever expanding range of vision.
Your true home is within. Your real residence has no need for physical sight, for you dwell in the heart of God.
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart”. – Helen Keller