The Angel and the Seekers

Here is a fable I wrote which was published in the East-West Journal in 1975. I feel it appropriate to share through this authenticity blog, given that the tale addresses the seemingly misdirected spiritual striving which still is rampant. We don’t need more “ascended masters”. We need descended masters! Enjoy…..

In the deep recesses of the heavens, such stories are told of the splendor of man and earth that an angel once decided to visit our planet to see for itself if they were true.

As it walked upon the earth for the first time, the beauty of the world overwhelmed the angel: the sunlit mountain peaks and dark forests; the whining winds and tossing rainbow-colored valleys; the dew-christened soil’s lusty smell; the animals fierce and gentle–everywhere there was such beauty!

But, when the angel saw man, it was awed. For within the hearts of the great and the common, the rich and the poor, the good and the bad, the angel saw the many tones of the human heart that give man a meaning and nobility unequaled in the heavens.

Dusk came, but the angel lingered. Man and earth had so moved the angel that it hesitated to leave. Finally, it decided to go, but before going, it wished to help some of us on our way. The angel looked about, saw four persons walking together, and appeared before them suddenly as a human.

“I am from another world,” said the angel. “I have come to grant you each one wish.”

The apparition of the man before them frightened the four. They looked at one another in disbelief. As luck would have it, they were spiritual aspirants.

“Perhaps it’s because we’re such devout seekers,” whispered one.

“Yes, fate is rewarding us for our spiritual striving,” said another.

“With thoughts such as these, they strengthened one another. Then all but one of the aspirants turned to the stranger of uncommon countenance.

“What are your wishes?” asked the angel.

One young man, aged more than his years could account for, spoke up.

“I have striven incessantly after distant, divine truth. Nothing but struggle, struggle, struggle. Give me spiritual peace, ” he said.

“But struggling is one of the joys of life,” said the angel, not understanding the young seeker’s wish.

“I would like peace.”

This being his wish, the angel changed the youth into a cow that chewed the grass of a distant pasture quite contentedly.

A bit disturbed, the angel turned to another aspirant.

“What is your wish?” it asked.

“Transcendent God is pure, but I am not. My passions, emotions. and thoughts — rid me of these impurities,” said this seeker.

“Aren’t they the fount of life?” asked the angel.

“Perhaps, but God is pure,” countered the seeker. he then closed his lackluster eyes and waited for his transformation.

A dark thought fleeted across the angel’s mind. The angel paused as if to say something, but then refrained. The seeker of purity disappeared. In a far-away tower, a white marble statue appeared in his likeness.

“Surely you have a better wish,” the angel said the the next aspirant.

“Yes,” the taut-faced girl replied, confident of her coming boon. Hadn’t her friends disappeared into states of peace and purity?

“Make me perfect, for this is our destiny. Anything less will simply not do,” she said.

“The angel gazed upon the girl’s once-fresh face. A dark understanding slowly permeated the angel’s essence. She vanished, but did not reappear. For nothing on earth is perfect. Heavyhearted, the angel turned to face the last seeker who had held back.

“And what is your wish?”

“I have no wish,” replied the happy youth.

“No wish at all?”

“None, except to be human — fully human and live.”

A near-smothered joy began again to stir within the angel. Its human form took on an almost holy radiance. It looked longingly upon the youth and then leaned over and embraced him with a deep love. The youth continued on his way.

Later, the angel stood amidst the heavenly host that watches over the earth with hushed wonder. The angel suddenly felt a slight kick in the pinions which only God could give. It turned with crumpled spirit to face a gruff-appearing God.

“You tinkered with the works when you were down there!”

“I did, but each received what he desired and deserved,” said the angel.

“Yes… they did,” God said thoughtfully.

“Why does man not understand?” asked the angel.

Who knows whether God could have or would have answered that question? For then God embraced the angel and gave it its deepest wish.

That moment, in a poor country cottage, a young woman lay back in her bed, anxiously pressing her man’s head to her swollen belly.

“Can’t you hear anything? she asked, pressing him harder.

“No,” said the man as he listed intently. “Wait a minute… God, I do hear something! His heart’s just thumping away!”

The couple exploded with joy. Alternately frolicking and listening in astonishment, they slept finally that night locked in an embrace that would keep them warm under a cold and dark sky.


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