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
Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?
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
Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.
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
Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!
THROUGH GOD’S EYES PDF SAMPLER
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 on Amazon.
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?
• 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.
Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.
Phil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.
Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.
Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.
Tags: Andrew Harvey