I love stories like this: A chance meeting between two young people, both of whom will go on to change the world—one as a master of outer space, the other as a master of inner space. You’ll find this story on page 211 of Eckhart Tolle‘s book, A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.
In the late seventies, I would have lunch every day with one or two friends in the cafeteria of the graduate center at Cambridge University, where I was studying. A man in a wheelchair would sometimes sit at a nearby table, usually accompanied by three or four people. One day, when he was sitting at a table directly opposite me, I could not help but look at him more closely, and I was shocked by what I saw. He seemed almost totally paralyzed. His body was emaciated, his head permanently slumped forward. One of the people accompanying him was carefully putting food in his mouth, a great deal of which would fall out again and be caught on a small plate another man was holding under his chin. Occasionally the wheelchair-bound man would produce unintelligible croaking sounds, and someone would hold an ear close to his mouth and then amazingly would interpret what he was trying to say.
Later I asked my friend whether he knew who he was. “Of course,” he said, “he is a professor of mathematics, and the people with him are his graduate students. He has motor neuron disease that progressively paralyzes every part of the body. He has been given five years at the most. It must be the most dreadful fate that can befall a human being.”
A few weeks later, as I was leaving the building, he was coming in, and when I held the door open for his electric wheelchair to come through, our eyes met. With surprise I saw that his eyes were clear. There was no trace in them of unhappiness. I knew immediately he had relinquished resistance; he was living in surrender.
A number of years later when buying a newspaper at a kiosk, I was amazed to see him on the front page of a popular international news magazine. Not only was he still alive, but he had by then become the world’s most famous theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking. There was a beautiful line in the article that confirmed what I had sensed when I had looked into his eyes many years earlier. Commenting upon his life, he said (now with the help of the voice synthesizer), “Who could have wished for more?”
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ABOUT PHIL BOLSTA
Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, is a road map for living a more peaceful, beautiful life. It’s the one book that explains how dozens of spiritual principles interact, how to weave them together into a cohesive worldview, and how to practically apply this spiritual wisdom to daily life.
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Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one.
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SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
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• an overview of the book
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Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents.
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In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• How do you reconcile the “free will vs. Divine Will” conundrum?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?
Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent authors and thought leaders he interviewed. The roster of storytellers includes Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, Caroline Myss, Larry Dossey, Rachel Naomi Remen, Bernie Siegel, Dean Ornish, and Christiane Northrup. Sixty Seconds has been translated into four languages: Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories.
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