Peggy Lee, a popular contemporary vocalist of the 1950s and 60s, recorded a song which reached into the top of the charts in 1969. “IS THAT ALL THERE IS” expresses disillusionment and disappointment with a life which should be filled with unique experiences. She suggests that we “break out the booze and have a ball—if that’s all there is”. Peggy Lee died in 2002.
Sometimes our life’s experiences parallel the lyrics of this song of hopelessness and melancholy. We strive to achieve, to find acceptance within our communities, to perform according to the edicts of our traditional religion. We fear the god of vengeance and punishment portrayed by exhortations from the pulpits of our churches while we fervently pray to that same god for forgiveness and redemption. Yet in the secret recesses of our inner selves we intuitively know that the god of our religions and churches somehow misses the mark of truth, compassion, and relevance which we earnestly desire in our lives. This inner search drives us to search for another day when we can sincerely say “yes, Lord, I will follow”, when we can finally change the word god to a capitalized God.
“9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” Luke 11:9 KJV
That day of transformation from god to God reveals to us an inner trek which fills our lives with the beauty, mystery, awe, and inspiration which God intended for us. It is not a new realization; rather, it has been practiced for thousands of years by Teachers sometimes called “mystics”. They and their followers shared the wonderment of God residing within and without, present in all beings and all creation, available to any who would seek. The Kingdom of God is not reserved for the righteous; it is not a distant, heavenly sphere of religious correctness; it is not the eminent domain of any of the world’s religions.
“21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17:21` KJV
The writings of the New Testament attribute the above verse to Jesus, one of the Teachers who understood the mysteries of the inner search for truth. When his sayings, as recorded in the Bible, are processed in the realm of spiritual rather than worldly understanding we become keenly aware of the depth of inner communion with a God who becomes intensely real and personal.
Luke 17:21 is the essence of “TREKKING WITH THE MYSTICS” and the basis for a necessary life-changing redirect. If our “rock and fortress” dwells within then surely hatred, bigotry, intolerance, government agents, worldly oppression shall be powerless in the presence of the great “I AM”. We are proclaimed to be instruments of and witnesses to that which is Truth and Light. We are destined to walk the earth fearlessly pursuing for all people equality, social justice, and personal liberty. Doing so is our birthright and our Supreme duty.