It’s early Saturday morning and I woke up with such excitement in my spirit. Things sometimes come together in such a way that even though in themselves they might not be pleasant, or might not mean very much, when they collide they bring revelation and create harmony.
Our dealings are with real people and not to be rude or arrogant it is fair to say they might be at a different level of understanding from where we are. They may not have answered the call and even begun the hero’s journey or they may well be ahead of us along it. It’s not a time to judge, just to observe.
On Thursday I watched the ‘Finding Joe’ documentary on YouTube. I explained it was a part of a course I am taking or I might not have got away with it. I am sure the other two people in the room could easily have suggested alternative viewing. There was an atmosphere of fear and suspicion in the room, one person was listening with one ear whilst occupying themselves with a electronic game and though the other paid more attention his conclusion was that it was about a cult led by one man called Joseph Campbell. I am not claiming to have been totally enlightened myself, I too was wondering if all the heroes journeys and the myths the documentary talked about would lead to a pulling down of my own faith and lumping it with so many other stories as just another myth.
And if my own beliefs were indeed a myth would I be willing to let them go in order to move on and find the real Truth. Could my Hero stand the test of scrutiny or was He just a 2000 year old version of Luke Skywalker or was the road from Nazareth to Jerusalem just another Yellow Brick Road? Whatever the Truth is, it is The Truth. There is no truth for me and a different truth for someone else, My prayer is that one day we will all know The Truth and The Truth will set us free. I am confident that my prayer will be answered for all who truly seek the answer because my Hero said it would be so. Actually He said “I am The Truth”, a very bold claim.
I was thinking about a story I heard recently about a monkey and a banana, actually I heard it many years ago, there is nothing new under the sun. There is a place somewhere where the natives like to eat monkeys, but monkeys are quick and not easy to catch so they had to come up with a plan. So they make a box with a hole in it just big enough for a monkey to put his hand through. They put a banana in the box which the monkey can see and smell and pretty soon he can taste it so so badly he puts his little monkey hand through the hole and grabs the banana. But now his big monkey fist with a banana in it won’t come out of the hole… so he is faced with a choice, let go of the banana and run for your life or hold on and finish up as roast monkey. Apparently the natives eat a lot of monkey.
So that was Thursday and what happened on Friday slotted right in. I wasn’t involved in the Alpha Course that was taking place in the next room. Some of us were playing table tennis minding our own business in the big hall but afterwards the two groups came together…and lo and behold, there he was, the monkey with his fist gripping the banana for all it was worth. He was full of the knowledge he had brought with him and he was not about to let it go, he knowingly told us “these are only stories, how could someone have lived 969 years, they are like Chinese whispers, they were all written by men, if all this is true I want God himself to come and talk to me personally”. I suggested He might if He truly wanted to hear but perhaps He would use His written Word rather than put in a personal appearance. “No! I want Him to come and talk to me personally.”
That might sound ludicrous but he is actually the second person to say exactly that to me within a week. If I am honest I could feel the tension rising in me, the old man, the old blueprint if you like, wanting to rise to the argument and slay the dragon with my superior knowledge. And how he loved that, and how he sought to feed my ego, I can talk with you (he meant fight) because you know so much more than these others. I tried but I didn’t do a great job of explaining that these, new baby Christians at whom he was pointing his finger knew everything they needed to know to walk into heaven before me. We could have all the knowledge in the world and still be without that simple faith that just holds Daddy’s hand and trusts Him to bring us through. But he was spoiling for the fight and more than that he wanted me to fight.
It was just like the emperor in Star Wars willing young Luke to use the dark side of the force, grab that banana and don’t let go.
Later I thought about the Laws of the Mind and particularly the law of relaxation and I woke up this morning with a wonderful clarity. I can’t expect everyone around me to understand where ‘I am’ because they are at different stages of the journey, but that does not prevent them being Whole, Perfect, Strong, Powerful, Loving, Harmonious and Happy where they are now and I need not be envious or feel inferior to those on the journey who are ahead of me.
And this is what I woke up knowing, and I have said all that to say this…Every myth, every story, every tale of the Hero’s Journey is the same for a reason. The reason is the reason for our being, remember Haanel saying “in it we live and have our being”?
Well it’s not original to Haanel, he took it from Doctor Luke who wrote the Acts of the Apostles.
In Acts 17:28 Paul was troubled by all the idols he saw around him in Athens, but he did not use aggressive argument or even logic, he stayed relaxed and trusted in the Holy Spirit to lead; and the wisdom of God began to pour out of his mouth.
Acts of the Apostles 17:22-28 “So Paul addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries. “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”
So here is what I woke up with in my mind this morning…every great deed of men, every hero’s journey, myth or movie, real or allegorical comes from the pattern that is within mans spirit because man is in direct communication with God’s Spirit. Not the universe, that’s like saying the house is the home, when actually without the heart it’s only bricks.
Every soul longs to know it’s maker and every son wants to see his Father as the hero and to emulate him. When a man answers the call to greatness it is a picture of the Truth that God saw man’s need from heaven. He always knew when and where eternity would invade time, heaven would invade earth, God himself would take the form of a man, take the Hero’s journey into the earth, pay the ultimate price that would allow him access to the dark domain where he could bind the dragon, take back the keys to death and hades and rescue his beloved men. Because the truth is eternal it abides in the spirit of men, who were created in the image of their Father God, before the time of the ‘invasion’: even from the beginning. Because God was destined to make the Hero’s journey at just the right time, the nature of the journey and its purpose was always in the mind of God, and therefore the people who were made in his likeness and who longed to be close to Him were born with the seed of it inside them. The call comes to all…but not all accept it…many are called but few are chosen.