Learn to Return
By John Bickart, Phd | 20 Opportunities to Transform Yourself While Teaching | “Revitalizing Your Ability to Lead”
“Time is always against us” (The Matrix)
In 1971, I tried to learn to return to the here and now. I went to India where I was meditating for 25 days in an ashram in Haridwar, India, right at the base of the Himalayas, on the Ganges River. It was a beautiful place. I would meditate every day for hours. You come to the here and now. Here is a space. Now is a time. Spacetime. This played on my mind for years and years. Now, I’m 70 years old and I’m just realizing that for the spiritual world – I’ve heard this and I’m just realizing it – time is space. If we give up our time, we go to the spiritual world to a place of here. And, for them (the spiritual beings) – they can’t have a meeting place unless we do that. So, I wrote a story about it. It’s fable #23 in my book, Bickart’s Just-in-Time Fables (2020), which carries a right to copy (which means that they may be copied as a whole or in part and shared in print or any electronic media as long as they are not sold or used to carry advertising).
The Fairy Gate
There was a fairy who lived in the water at the base of a cliff. She lived behind a gate. The gate was in the spiritual world, so if you went there and looked only with your physical eyes, you would not see it. On the gate, inscribed in lettering that had remained forever and ever was this poem.
Forever is a time
And also a place.
To be here now
Creates a space.
Everywhere is anywhere
Enter without fear.
Just find the door;
It’s always here.
When will I find Eternity?
When will I learn how?
When will I realize?
The time is now.
The fairy longed for the princess who lived in the castle on the cliff to let go of time, so that they could be together. Often, the princess would dream that she had a friend who was a fairy. But alas, day after day, the princess’s parents, the king and queen, insisted that she keep a schedule. Every day she rose, had a first meal, played in the nursery, had reading time, a second meal, play time in the yard, helped with dinner chores, dinner, helped with clean up, then story time and bed. If the princess was allowed to walk in the woods or swim in the lake, it was done so under supervision, for a designated amount of time. Her parents had inadvertently taught her to lose herself in her schedule. She always knew where she should be. And she always knew when. But in being so adept at WHERE AND WHEN – she had lost HERE AND NOW. Now, there was a further problem. Since the princess never forgot about time, she left no room for the fairy to approach her. To the fairy this was a literal fact. You see, for the fairy, a room or space – a meeting place – could only be created if the princess forgot to have a schedule. TIME for the princess was SPACE for the fairy.
One day, the princess woke from another dream about the fairy. The fairy was pleading with the princess, “Please bring me a present.” “Sure,” said the princess, “what would you like?” “I would love to have your free time,” replied the fairy. “How do I give you time?” asked the princess. “Ask your mother, the queen, for the afternoon, promising to be home for dinner,” explained the fairy. “Come to the weeping willow tree at the edge of the lake with no thought of your schedule. I will meet you there. And I will tell you when it is time to go home for dinner. This will form a place into which I can come to you and we can meet.” “Oh how lovely!”, cried the princess. “How will I know you are there?” The fairy simply replied, “You will feel like you are passing through a gate, and you will see me as if you are in a dream.”
The princess asked her mother for the afternoon and passed through the fairy gate to begin a most beautiful and lasting friendship with the fairy. And from that day forward, the princess knew how to leave the where and when, and pass through the gate to the here and now.
THE WHERE AND WHEN
IS HERE AND NOW
Bickart, J. (2020). Bickart’s Just-in-Time Fables (Vol. 1). Asheville, NC: Red Shirt Interactive Group.