Meditation, the company of saints and intelligent, mentally powerful people, good books, introspection, creative work in art, science, literature and business––all further the development of a strong mind, receptive to the wisdom of the soul.
His name is Corky Burr, age mid-sixties by my calculations. He and I were high school classmates. I don’t believe our paths have crossed since, and we really didn’t know each other well then. I have no memories of him, just a single impression: a small sparkle of kindness. By “small” I mean his physical size, not quality of light. Recently we became Facebook friends, which, as millions of us know, means mostly we get to glimpse at whatever sliver of a person’s life they wish to share with their Facebook companions. The very first statement of Corky’s I was privileged to read was this: “I have 16 more days before I marry the love of my life.”
One of my early wake-up calls happened when I was maybe 10, an alter boy daydreaming of God.
“Steve, a gigantic meteor is headed for China. If you choose, you can prevent the death of the entire Chinese population. To do so, you must dive to the deepest part of the lake and move a stone that covers a secret passage to the center of the earth. Unfortunately, the dive will kill you. Even more, your death will be painful. Will you take on the job?”
“Gee, I guess so, why not?” I found myself saying.
And with that, I could no longer get why anybody thought it was a big deal that Jesus died to save humankind. I mean, who wouldn’t?
“Stopped for speeding in LA. The macho cop slowly swaggers up to my window and says in a somewhat 'gotcha' tone, 'I’ve been waitin’ for you all day.' To which I replied, ‘Gosh officer, I got here as fast as I could.’ He let me off.”
[Email from my friend and creative playmate, Tom Rizzo.]