I’ve had a lot of teachers in my life. I may not be in contact with them all but they continue to impact me.
For example, as I was walking out of the apartment my roommate handed me a book entitled ‘The Universe’ and asked me to throw it away because it had fallen into the fish tank and was ruined. It was a huge coffee table book with pictures of nebulae leaping into the air and galaxies spinning through the cosmos like Frisbees. It was awesome, in the true sense of the word.
As I walked down the steps toward the dumpster, I had a vision of myself running down the street ripping out page after page handing them to people shouting “This is the universe! This is the universe!”
Instead, with a sigh, I chucked it into the garbage. My mind went to a memory of a teacher I once met who had crazy wisdom. On the surface he was mad. But I could see in the light of his eyes that he knew what he was doing. He would have followed through on the vision, despite what people would have thought.
Example number two. I arrived in Philadelphia by train. I was walking into town and saw a group of people gathered around a figure. As I got closer I saw the figure was a man in the most uncanny position. His forehead was planted on the concrete. His legs were half bent. He balanced like a tripod. Unconscious. Stiff. Turning red, deep purple, blue…
As others had their cellphones out wondering if they should call for help, I had a vision of me putting my hand on the man’s neck to see if he was alive and then laying him out on the ground to give him some air or at least an honorable death while giving a direct order to the person next to me to call 911 now. Instead, looking at his bulging muscles and afraid that if he came-to he’d attack me, I slinked away.
My mind went to a memory of a teacher I once met who knew that death is part of life . He wouldn’t have been weirded out by rigor mortis, but would have handled the body humanely.
I was wrong. That’s all I’m here to say, today.
But I don’t mean to say my teachers were supermen, that I need to become them.
I’m here to thank them for showing me another way of being, and to say that I’ll do my best to act on my own vision, next time.