Andrew Harvey told me a powerful story of faith and transformation for my book, Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything. Here is an excerpt from his story, beginning with his bio.
Harvey, an author, teacher, and mystical scholar, has written and edited more than thirty books. His own works include Son of Man: The Mystical Path to Christ, The Sun at Midnight: A Memoir of the Dark Night, and A Walk with Four Spiritual Guides: Krishna, Buddha, Jesus, and Ramakrishna. Click here to visit Andrew’s website.
In 1997, my mother sent me a fax from Coimbatore in southern India, where I was born, saying that my father was dying and that I should get there as quickly as possible. I was living in San Francisco at the time. I managed to get a visa within two days and got to his bedside in the next week.
What followed was the most beautiful week of my life, because my father and I were able to communicate at a level and depth and true spiritual height that we had never managed before. All our political and personal differences were drowned in great sweetness and tender communication. And I realized how finely and absolutely he had always loved me, and how much he had always held me in his heart. This was in itself a huge healing. But another healing on an even larger scale was going to take place.
During our time together, my father and I did not talk about anything that had ever happened between us. What we talked about was Jesus. My father spoke out of the depth of his passionate and simple faith in Jesus. Now that he was facing death, he was speaking inwardly to Jesus in Gethsemane—because, as he said, Jesus knows everything about terrors of the heart, and He accompanies us in whatever anguish and loneliness we go into. “So now I am facing death as He faced it in the garden of Gethsemane,” my father said. “I’m speaking to him as if He were in the garden, so that He can help me.”
I was deeply moved by my father’s faith and by the simplicity and purity and nobility of it. And I understood that my father’s great qualities as a human being—courtesy, humility, generosity, tolerance—had been rooted in a lifelong spiritual friendship with the Christ. Many times as we spoke, I felt in the room the presence of an extraordinary power that enfolded us in wings of light. And he felt it, too.
On his deathbed, I was able to teach my father a practice that I had learned from the Tibetan masters on how to visualize the Divine Beloved in whatever form you love him or her, so that you could enter into total relationship with the divine. One of the greatest joys of my life is that before he died, he said to my mother that he had practiced this visualization and that he had indeed seen the living Christ.
I had arrived in Coimbatore on a Tuesday. That Sunday, I went to services at a Catholic church called The Church of Christ the King. A small, plump Indian priest gave an utterly simple and heartbreaking sermon about how Christ is the mystical king of reality—not only because of the miracles that Jesus did, or the enormous influence that He has had, but because of Jesus’ abandoned service to all beings out of complete compassion and complete and final love.
These words absolutely pierced my soul. I had been utterly flayed by my closeness to my father’s dying, and had been completely opened by the bliss and heartbreak that were passing between us. I heard the priest’s words as if they were spoken to me directly to wake me up to the essence of the spiritual path—which is, I believe, service in all its forms in the spirit of absolute tender compassion to all beings.
When the priest finished talking and sat down, I looked up at the statue of the resurrected Christ at the end of the church. To my absolute awe and astonishment, it became alive and began to emit radiant golden light. I knew beyond a shadow of any doubt that the living resurrected Christ was appearing to me and radiating toward me, burning an infinite passion. My whole being trembled and blazed in the exquisite, terrible, fierce, glorious force of intense, ecstatic passion that was flowing from Him to me. As this force entered me, it seemed to hack my chest open and split open my heart, so that from the depths of my heart, an answering, if smaller, force started to radiate back to the great force emanating from the Christ.
And in those sacred moments, I understood the truth of what the great mystics of divine love of all traditions have been trying to teach us—that lover, beloved, and love are one, and that this oneness in the burning tender communion of divine love is the absolute and final reality of the universe.
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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.
Who will benefit from reading Through God’s Eyes?
Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one.
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to.
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier.
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SEE EVERY MOMENT AS A GIFT
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Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.
• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders
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THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
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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.
Order it at GodIsLogical.com.
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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Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Here is a three-minute video introduction to Sixty Seconds.
Tags: Andrew Harvey