An epiphany in the garden

A conversation with an inner voice led to an epiphany in the garden

I passed by a street corner and saw several of my brothers and sisters absorbed in speaking with each other. I paused to listen. And soon I gathered that they were discussing, in the severest language, a sister who had been ‘caught’ in sin. And a Voice within me whispered: “Move on! This is not the place for you!”

I moved on. I went and sat in a quiet corner in a garden. The flowers were in bloom, the earth was carpeted with green grass, and the birds were happily singing songs of love, travelling from tree to tree.

And, me thinks, a Voice spoke to me, saying:

“My child! Remember, there is no sin greater than the sin of separateness. When you sit in judgement upon a brother or a sister, whose sin has been exposed, you indulge in a worse sin, an inexcusable crime. And in judging another, you are condemning yourself too. Is it not true, that if you strip yourself of all ‘coverings’, you will find that within you lurk all the sins man is capable of committing? Alas! The shadow of your passions darkens your eyes!”

The Voice continued:

“If you will honestly examine a thousandth part of the dreams that come to you night after night, if you will analyse the desires that arise out of the deep during your waking hours, you will not have the strength to reveal your face to your fellow people. The tragedy is that we all move about as noble people, whereas all of us are actually creatures of weakness, carrying the stains of many a sin, which are not hidden from Him who seeth all!”

And I asked:

“If I may not condemn a brother who has sinned, how shall I help him to change his ways?”

And the Voice whispered:

“Let the sin of your brother teach you to turn the searchlight on yourself. It will reveal to you your own sin. And as you endeavour to cleanse yourself and to extirpate the sin, you will know how deep the roots of sin are and how oppressive it is to keep up the good light. And through your experience you will know how great is your need of sympathy and love in your struggle against sin, how when this sympathy and love flow to you, you are strengthened in your efforts to find a lasting cure. The best way to help an erring brother is by way of sympathy and love!”

The Voice continued:

“As you sit in your morning meditations and your evening prayers, and as you move about during the day, send out loving thoughts to all who have fallen into the dark abyss of sin, but would fain climb out of it to greet the light of the morning sun. And pray for them who lie fettered in prison-houses and for all who are on beds of illness groaning in the agony of pain. For the sinner, too, is a sick man: he heeds the loving treatment of a great Mother-Heart. Nothing else will cure him, nothing else!”

This was first published in the February 2014 issue of  Complete Wellbeing

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