“And an old priest said, Speak to us of Religion.
And he said:
Have I spoken this day of aught else?
Is not religion all deeds and all reflection,
And that which is neither deed nor reflection, but a wonder and a surprise ever springing in the soul, even while the hands hew the stone or tend the loom?
Who can separate his faith from his actions, or his belief from his occupations?
Who can spread his hours before him, saying, “This for God and this for myself; This for my soul and this other for my body”?
All your hours are wings that beat through space from self to self.
He who wears his mortality but as his best garment were better naked.
The wind and the sun will tear no holes in his skin.
And he who defines his conduct by ethics imprisons his song-bird in a cage.
The freest song comes not through bars and wires.
And he to whom worshiping is a window, to open but also to shut, has not yet visited the house of his soul whose windows are from dawn to dawn.
Your daily life is your temple and your religion.
Whenever you enter into it take with you your all.
Take the plough and the forge and the mallet and the lute,
The things you have fashioned in necessity or for delight.
For in reverie you cannot rise above your achievements nor fall lower than your failures.
And take with you all men:
For in adoration you cannot fly higher than their hopes nor humble yourself lower than their despair.
And if you would know God, be not therefore a solver of riddles.
Rather look about you and you shall see Him playing with your children.
And look into space; you shall see Him walking in the cloud, outstretching His arms in the lightning and descending in rain.
You shall see Him smiling in flowers, then rising and waving His hands in trees.”
STROY 2 : The Lightning Flash
T here was a Christian bishop in his cathedral on a stormy day, and an un-Christian woman came and stood before him, and she said, “I am not a Christian. Is there salvation for me from hell-fire?”
And the bishop looked upon the woman, and he answered her saying, “Nay, there is salvation for those only who are baptized of water and of the spirit.”
And even as he spoke a bolt from the sky fell with thunder upon the cathedral and it was filled with fire.
And the men of the city came running, and they saved the woman, but the bishop was consumed, food of the fire.
Story – 3 : The King
The people of the kingdom of Sadik surrounded the palace of their king shouting in rebellion against him. And he came down the steps of the palace carrying his crown in one hand and his sceptre in the other. The majesty of his appearance silenced the multitude, and he stood before them and said, “My friends, who are no longer my subjects, here I yield my crown and sceptre unto you. I would be one of you. I am only one man, but as a man I would work together with you that our lot may be made better. There is no need for king. Let us go therefore to the fields and the vineyards and labor hand with hand. Only you must tell me to what field or vineyard I should go. All of you now are king.”
And the people marveled, and stillness was upon them, for the king whom they had deemed the source of their discontent now yielding his crown and sceptre to them and became as one of them.
Then each and every one of them went his way, and the king walked with one man to a field.
But the Kingdom of Sadik fared not better without a king, and the mist of discontent was still upon the land. The people cried out in the market places saying that they have a king to rule them. And the elders and the youths said as if with one voice, “We will have our king.”
And they sought the king and found him toiling in the field, and they brought him to his seat, and yielded unto his crown and his sceptre. And they said, “Now rule us, with might and with justice.”
And he said, “I will indeed rule you with might, and may the gods of the heaven and the earth help me that I may also rule with justice.”
Now, there came to his presence men and women and spoke unto him of a baron who mistreated them, and to whom they were but serfs.
And straightway the king brought the baron before him and said, “The life of one man is as weighty in the scales of God as the life of another. And because you know not how to weigh the lives of those who work in your fiends and your vineyards, you are banished, and you shall leave this kingdom forever.”
The following day came another company to the king and spoke of the cruelty of a countess beyond the hills, and how she brought them down to misery. Instantly the countess was brought to court, and the king sentenced her also to banishment, saying, “Those who till our fields and care for our vineyards are nobler than we who eat the bread they prepare and drink the wine of their wine-press. And because you know not this, you shall leave this land and be afar from this kingdom.”
Then came men and women who said that the bishop made them bring stones and hew the stones for the cathedral, yet he gave them naught, though they knew the bishop’s coffer was full of gold and silver while they themselves were empty with hunger.
And the king called for the bishop, and when the bishop came the king spoke and said unto his, “That cross you wear upon your bosom should mean giving life unto life. But you have taken life from life and you have given none. Therefore you shall leave this kingdom never to return.”
Thus each day for a full moon men and women came to the king to tell him of the burdens laid upon them. And each and every day a full moon some oppressor was exiled from the land.
And the people of Sadik were amazed, and there was cheer in their heart.
And upon a day the elders and the youths came and surrounded the tower of the king and called for him. And he came down holding his crown with one hand and his sceptre with the other.
And he spoke unto and said, “Now, what would you do of me? Behold, I yield back to you that which you desired me to hold.”
But they cried. “Nay, nay, you are our rightful king. You have made clean the land of vipers, and you have brought the wolves to naught, and we welcome to sing our thanksgiving unto you. The crown is yours in majesty and the sceptre is yours in glory.”
Then the king said, “Not I, not I. You yourselves are king. When you deemed me weak and a misruler, you yourselves were weak and misruling. And now the land fares well because it is in your will. I am but a thought in the mind of you all, and I exist not save in your actions. There is no such person as governor. Only the governed exist to govern themselves.”
And the king re-entered his tower with his crown and his sceptre. And the elders and the youths went their various ways and they were content.
And each and every one thought of himself as king with a crown in one hand and a sceptre in the other.