Sunday, August 1, 2010

Peek A Boo!

"Michael," I heard Sarah's voice mildly ask after I finished chewing a few bites.

"How are you, really?"

When I looked up from my plate to her face, the eyes that were looking at me were not the same eyes that had been in that face telling jokes.

This new pair of brown eyes looked not just at me, but into me, deep into somewhere I've never even looked myself. Eyes that came from somewhere out of this world.

Suddenly, I felt my throat begin choking up. Quickly, I looked away. With my head down, I blinked fast and furious to prevent any tears from spilling out. I took a deep breath to try and keep my stomach inside of me.

There was no mistaking it. I recognized those eyes instantly -- the eyes of Harold Klemp, the Living ECK Master.

Meeting the Master

We were sitting at a restaurant table. My wife and I, and another couple. It was during the break at an Eckankar seminar.

Up to this point, I was laughing so hard my gut hurt.

While we waited for our food, the other woman, Sarah, was telling these bawdy jokes. They were so funny! The subject matter was not what I would have expected from a higher initiate of Eck. And, to tell you the truth, I was a little embarrassed by the content of the jokes. Yet, they were so hilarious.

I can't remember ever laughing so hard.

Then our plates of food came. We calmed down, and dug in. My wife started up a conversation with Sarah's husband, who was sitting across the table from her, about their music professions. They were both musicians.

Sarah and I, sitting across from each other, were left to ourselves. I couldn't think of anything to talk about, and Sarah seemed busy with her meal.

That's when I heard her voice ask, “How are you, really?”

And I looked up into those brown eyes looking at me – or rather, into me.

With the look of those eyes, I felt powerful things inside. Often, I think people use the word 'love' to label these kinds of feelings. I don't know how to tell you what it was --- but it was good. Very good. All at once it was the most powerful experience of intimacy and understanding I've ever known. And while I craved what I felt like a man dying of thirst in the desert, I was terrified. And awed.

Those eyes did something to me. But my body reacted involuntarily.

Then, as soon as I regained some measure of control, I dared to peek up again, desparately embarrassed, but also desparately wanting to look into those eyes for just a moment more.

Leaning over my plate, barely lifting my head enough to shift my eyes back to Sarah's face, all I saw was Sarah. Just Sarah's eyes.

"Well," she grouched. "are you going to tell me how you're doing or not!"

"I'm . . . I"m fine." I croaked out.

I quickly shoved a forkful of food into my mouth to delay any need to talk further. I needed to get ahold of myself. Regardless, I was strangely quiet and, perhaps, rudely preoccupied for the rest of our meal together.

The Personal Touch

Later, after my mind settled down, I understood I got to meet the Master, again, at this seminar. It had never happened like this before, and never has since. But always, somehow or someway, I seemed to get a little personal attention from the Living Eck Master at these seminars.

That's really the only reason I ever went to them anyway.

With thousands of people at these Eck seminars, there is no way a single man can meet each attendee. But that's never been a problem because the inner side of the Master does not suffer from such limitations. Or so I discovered.

In fact, the outer Master promises, "I am always with you."

This experience got my attention and was a bit more dramatic than most other experiences with the Master. It helped wake me up to the more subtle experiences that happened below my radar.

Even so, this explains for me the massive spiritual benefits in Eckankar. It's not the books, the ideas, the classes. It's the presence of the Master.

If a book or a seminar -- or even a bawdy joke -- can open someone's heart even a tiny crack, maybe they can glimpse what has been waiting there all along.

So the Master pours his love upon the devotee to lift that Soul higher upon the path of God. It is as Jesus said, that those who came unto him would be lifted up
--- Paul Twitchell, Stranger By The River

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