Choices and Illusions: How Did I Get Where I Am, and How Do I Get Where I Want to Be?
It’s Never Too Late
Excerpt from Choices and Illusions by Eldon Taylor
In my journey there came a point when I hungered for more metaphysical information. I enrolled in a California university, The University of Metaphysics, and by correspondence commenced a study in metaphysical science. This was not the metaphysics of an upper division philosophy course, as I expected; rather, it was a practical metaphysics for living. I had worked for a long time, often doubling the required number of exams in order to reach their designated bachelor’s level of education in this unique form of metaphysical science when they sent me the news. I was ready to advance, but to do so I must become an ordained minister.
This was not a strictly academic environment, and I should have recognized that, but the requirement blind-sided me. Still, I knew I was not worthy of being anyone’s minister, including myself.
Weeks passed, and one Sunday afternoon while reading spiritual materials, I remembered a teaching from the school. I pulled out a binder in which I kept many notes, and the letter from the university fell upon the floor. As I picked it up, I knew immediately that I missed the lessons and all the joy and change they had brought into my life. I sat back down in my recliner and held the letter in my lap.
My thoughts put me to sleep, and soon I was dreaming. This is the dream.
Once upon a time a man looked to himself. He spoke to himself, “I desire to serve God, but my life has been full of error. The example I have set is not that of a cleric. People will only scoff and say, ‘Know ye them by the fruits of their tree.’ Who am I, then, to speak for or of God?”
With these words circling within his head, the troubled man lay down to rest. He spoke to God. “Your will, not mine, be done.”
As he drifted into sleep, pictures began appearing that told this story.
Once there stood a tree—a tree of life, full of fruit. The limbs bent toward the earth under the weight of the lush red cherries. The cherries danced in jubilee with the breeze that bathed their tender skins and turned their fullness and vivid color to face the Father, the Sun of the heavens.
With the dew and the rain they would polish their beauty and drink of the earth; to store within the energy and vitality of life taken from the soil through the roots and fired with the spirit of the Sun radiating through the leaves of their parent tree.
But alas, not all of the children of the tree would mature into lush red fruit. Out of an urge to experience and learn on his own, one turned away from the Father and ignored the parental warnings. Charlie, as he was known by the others, kept his life juices warm, daring the cold, the frost, the elements. He began to fill with color and mature early.
Pivoting on his base, he turned away from the Sun and took shade in the leaves. Daring to fornicate with the world, Charlie refused to release the natural pesticides within himself and took up affairs with the parasites.
Soon his delicate skin was broken, and his fruit exposed. The fragrance attracted the birds, and they too feasted on his flesh. Charlie lived off the flesh and of the world. Passion, experience, and knowledge were his prize.
Then one day the gardener came. Gently he took from the parent the pure and ripened children, leaving only Charlie behind. Hanging alone, Charlie looked about him. The fall nights were cold and lonely. His friends, the birds, were on wing, abandoning him. His flesh had spoiled, and even the insects avoided him now. His soul hung onto his tattered body. The elements he had once faced with a thrill now threatened to snap him from the stem of life. Charlie was sad and lonely. He had learned these things: knowledge is not necessarily wisdom; experience is not always a kind teacher; and passion is sometimes a poison that betrays whatever value there is to be had in experience and knowledge.
Charlie looked up at the beautiful blue sky and the buoyant white billowy clouds adrift, seemingly with nothing to do or a care in the world, lazily on sail across the vast blue heavens. “They and the lilies of the field,” Charlie said to himself.
“Dear God,” he spoke aloud, “I have sinned. I have wasted the beauty of your flower and turned my back on simple truth. In my pursuit of wisdom, I lost sight of Your Great Form and indulged in physical illusions. I was lost. I alone am to blame. I give my essence over to thee, Creator of all that is good within me and all that could ever be love within me. For you are Eternal Love, and what is best for me is also your way. That I should discover this so late in my life is my most significant regret.
“I have watched the caterpillar spin his cocoon and perch on the leaves above me as a butterfly,” Charlie continued, “but I fear that this recognition has come so late in my life that I will be unable to share this Beauty, this Truth, with others.”
With that Charlie lowered his head. Suddenly a squirrel jerked him from the limb and scampered down the tree and across the meadow. The squirrel paused, examined Charlie, and then as though rejecting him, dropped Charlie in the grass.
Charlie rested there for a day or two, and then the snow came. Covered by the white blanket, Charlie slept.
The seasons passed as though in the twinkling of an eye. Charlie took root and grew strong. From his branches came blossoms, followed by fruit more beautiful than Charlie could ever remember beholding.
Charlie praised and gave thanks to God!
The lowly man in my dream raised his head from slumber. His prayer had been answered. The Lord does not forsake man; man forsakes the Lord. Thy will, not mine, be done; for, after all, in their eternal boundless beauty, they are one and the same.
My life has changed since this dream. Today many faces provide that warm fuzzy feeling when I put my head on the pillow.
Eldon Taylor has made a lifelong study of the human mind and has earned doctoral degrees in psychology and metaphysics. He is president of Progressive Awareness Research, an organization dedicated to researching techniques for accessing the immense powers of the mind. For more than 20 years, he has approached personal empowerment from the cornerstone perspective of forgiveness, gratitude, service and respect for all life. To contact Eldon in response to the story, you can reach him via his website: www.innertalk.com. To get a copy of his new book Choices and Illusions, go to: