Wednesday, July 10, 2019

The Wrong Garden

There’s this TV channel that features movies with titles like, The Wrong Neighbor. The Wrong Stepmother. The Wrong Son. The Wrong Teacher. You name it, it’s wrong. Everything’s wrong. So I’m calling this post, The Wrong Garden. 

It’s a response to Kelly Deutsch’s question last week: “How do you demystify mysticism?”

Short answer. In some circles you can’t. Just as in certain sports you aren’t allowed to tackle your opponent to the ground while he’s running toward his goal… try that on a basketball court or a soccer field and see what happens.

But back to Kelly’s question, which sent me hopping down the bunny trail where I landed in Mr. McGregor’s garden. After contemplating the question for days, that’s where the trail led. I don’t know why I’d dare go back there, but I did. And I can promise you, he was not holding a garden party for me. Or you either.

Please Keep Out!

Not long ago I ran across a certain farmer serving up pesticide-laced lettuce – all the while warning the people gathered around him not to eat from other gardens because of the poison. You can’t be gnawing “doctrines of demons” he said. You can’t empty your mind and let devils in. He got out his flannel board and posted a picture of an eastern guru in lotus pose, chanting ‘om’.   

He called it contemplative prayer and warned that it was just wrong. I quietly hopped off but kept thinking about returning and telling him that he was just wrong. Did he not know that long ago and far away Eastern Christians gathered to empty their minds of stray thoughts which were, to them, like snakes entering their secret gardens? That they even took up their garden hoes to chop off the snake’s head the minute they saw it trying to creep through their gates?

As I pondered all this, imagining his reaction if I did tell him the true story, I heard a voice inside saying to me, “Are you seriously thinking about casting more pearls? You know what’ll happen if you do that? He’ll take up his garden hoe and run your little cotton-tail on out of there. Or worse.

Then I heard the voice of a tiny little child parroting his parent, saying, “Don’t do that anymore, ok? No!” And to this day I keep hearing that wee voice warning me to stay away from the wrong garden.

How about you?

When have you found yourself in the wrong garden?

Or the wrong anywhere.

Do Tell. 

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