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Whatchamacallit?

July 18, 2014

We called it Jesus, the ultimate high, a spirit trip, the wild wind, the spirit of David, heavenly elixir and a host of other things. We lived it, breathed it and preached it. It was cool, free, cosmic, and mind-blowing. We touched it, felt it and saw it. Our hearts would swell with love and our minds would taste things out of this world. It was an all encompassing experience, of such clarity and perfection that it surpassed all understandings, and yet made sense of everything. It was miraculous, magical and, what’s more, it worked.

They called us “Jesus freaks”, with an emphasis on the second word. They said our Jesus wasn’t the same as theirs, that we were mixing too many things with it, magic, spirits and whatnot. Come to think of it, they were right. We were living on a different plane, and their Jesus wasn’t the same. To us, he looked artificial, a preacher’s invention and no different from any other religious ornament.

What we were experiencing, instead, was so real and… what can I say? … bigger, universal, trans-cultural, non western, nontraditional, beyond dogma… not religious! I can’t define it, really, but the difference was just so great. So we were judged heretical, as a sect and an evil cult. They said we were hypnotized, brainwashed, mind-controlled and just plain out of our minds.

Yes, we were crazy, naive and foolish, but we wouldn’t have traded a single day of it for their “proper” Christianity. Nothing could compare to what we were experiencing. Everything else, by comparison, was but a cheap counterfeit. That’s why we turned on and dropped out, to ride that wave, follow that wild wind and live a life that had no equals.

Well, the day came that the wind stopped and the wave crashed. It was gradual, at first, so we didn’t quite notice. We just kept on going, as if nothing had changed, perhaps hoping for another gust of wind, another wave to lift us up. But the cat had gone to sleep and left its engine running, and the bonfire in the yard had gone out. To make up for the loss, the engineers tried to get a fancy furnace to work. I too, became involved with the technicalities of religious work.

As the years passed, the original experience became a distant memory. We still talked about it and we had programs to revive it, hoping to pass it on to future generations but to no avail. It was like trying to reenact a play for which there was no script. It all became a simulation, as artificial as the churches we had forsaken.

I also wondered “was it all a dream? Is that what brainwashing really is… a mental malady with the illusion of a God above?” “God…” I cried out, “if it was real, do it again.” and then it happened. Better and clearer than ever before, and it was as if no time had passed, as if returning home, to old friends that had been waiting.

Oh, the hours that I danced in that world beyond the veil. Months of bliss, of walking in and out at will. Easy at first and then slowly decreasing in frequency and intensity. Once again, the wind subsided and the wave discharged its power. Everything returned to normal, all but except one thing, that now I knew it wasn’t a dream, not this time nor 30 years earlier. It was as real as ever and, call it what you may, I know it’s there.

I know also that it wasn’t us, as a people or a group. We weren’t the wind or the wave, but we were merely caught by it. That’s what made us into something but without it… we were nothing. Now, in fact, we may no longer be, but our experience testifies to something that is more real than the material.

Yesterday I touched it again and that’s why I am writing this, to say that it’s still the same and it’s always there. Call it Jesus, the ultimate high, a spirit trip, the wild wind, the spirit of David or Heavenly elixir, whatever you prefer, it doesn’t matter. A name is but a handle, and even Jesus had a few (ml2618). It’s not the name that counts (Mat 7:22,23) but what we mean by it. If it’s truth that we desire, we won’t be disappointed, but if religion does suffice us, then the choices are abundant. As for me, I still choose reality, even if they call it fantasy.

Oh, Lord, for a breath of Thy Heavenly air to refresh us and clear our minds and inspire our hearts and give us visions that thrill us, that set our heads awhirl for Thee, Jesus!

 

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From → On the side, Theology

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