Be the pilot light
“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put new ideas into the world.”—Robert McKee
It’s a hot Thursday afternoon here in Lawrence, Kansas so I decided to sit down at my trusty computer and send out a couple stories, all of which inspired me. Hope they bring cheer to you, as well.
1. First story is about Helen Schucman, one of two scribes of the Course in Miracles. In 1965, when she unexpectedly joined Bill Thetford in the idea that “there has GOT to be a better way,” she noticed a psychic switch within her flipping on. For example, when Bill was traveling in the Virgin Islands, she sent him a mental message to bring her back a Florentine gold pin, which he actually did.
Another time, when they traveled to the Mayo Clinic, she saw a clear mental image of a nearby Lutheran Church. She even asked the taxi driver to drive around Rochester trying to locate it–to no avail. Soon thereafter, Bill found a picture of the very Lutheran Church she’d seen that had ironically been torn down to build the Mayo Clinic.
She’d get messages that say, a friend was thinking of suicide. She’d stop in the middle of working on a research paper and instruct Bill, “Quick! We must send (the friend) a message that the answer is life, not death.” And sure enough that friend had been depressed and had picked up a gun.
Another time, at an airport, she felt “waves of misery” from a woman named Charlotte who was terrified of flying. She and Bill ended up sitting with her on the plane, even holding her hand.
The point is, when you finally tire of the sad, lonely story dispensed by the world and sincerely ask for the “other way,” a power switch opens up within you. A power switch you can use to help the world.
2. Congressman John Lewis calls it a pilot light. This beautiful man has been involved in the Black Lives Matter movement (although differently named) since he was 23. He’s now 80 and, even though his skull was fractured during the Selma to Montgomery March, even though he has seen eight decades of racial injustice, he still believes in the reality of Martin Luther King’s beloved community.
In an interview with Krista Tippett, he said he still holds “this sense of faith that what you’re moving toward is already done. If you visualize it, if you can have faith that it’s there, it is already there.”
He said that weeks of training in non-violence enable him to see the spark of the divine in every human being, even those who beat him. He called it one of the highest forms of love.
“You can beat me, arrest me, take me to jail, but in spite of that I’m going to still love you. It’s a very demanding notion,” he admitted, “Not just having faith in yourself or faith in your movement, but faith in your enemies. In spite of the darkness of the hour, you have to believe, and you can never, ever give up on any possibility.
“If you’re a pilot light, you’re going to be around. If you’re a firecracker, you just go off. You’re here one moment, and gone in the next moment.
He called it revolutionary love, a fundamental shift inside our souls. It’s the “other way” advocated by A Course in Miracles.
3. The last story comes from a big-hearted reader named Naren Desai. He is currently coordinating a growing collection of photographers who not only share beauty with the world, but donate half of all proceeds to support charity. Hope you will consider supporting his Pictures for Progress that recently entered into a partnership with Trader Joe’s.
Here’s what he sent to my inbox:
“I am also starting a new Covid-19 “Spread the Love” campaign that has roots in some of the things I learned from you. In short, randomly handing out images to neighbors reminding them of the beauty in the world. Just wanted to say thank you and let you know you are thanked nightly in my gratitude sessions with the universe or FP.”
Maybe that’s why so many cool 222 stories keep coming my way. I just learned Adam Levine has a 222 tattoo and the below song (which makes me cry) was produced by his 222 Records.
So those are my stories for today, kids. Have a great evening, a great weekend and keep being the pilot light.
Pam Grout is the author of 20 books including E-Squared, E-Cubed, Thank & Grow Rich and her latest book, The Course in Miracles Experiment: A Starter Kit for Rewiring Your Mind (And Therefore Your World).