Did you feel that?
I did. And it changed me forever.
Back in the 50’s and early 60’s, in my godfather’s church on the south side of Chicago, I would join the congregation and choir to sing an old hymn that begins, “Praise God from whom all blessings flow…”
I do not think I truly understood what that meant until last week, when I saw that beautiful young man turn music into movement. And through the movement, teach the multitudes what it feels and looks like to be a vessel through which the Divine speaks to the multitudes.
I have a rather eclectic and unorthodox belief system. But I do believe, like the Hopi people who came closer than anyone save Jade to teaching me what God looks like in person, that there is an…energy, or a force or whatever you need to call it, which “animates” and “elevates” us.
The latter, that abiity to “elevate,” is reserved for a blessed few who have been called to teach by example.
John Lennon knew this. In his Transcendental Meditation days, he explained it quite eloquently. He said that if you were a carpenter who believed you had been divinely inspired to create the most beautiful chairs in the world, you would not need to preach. People would soon see and hear about your beautiful chairs and come from all over the world to buy them. And in the process of buying those chairs they might actually ask you how you built them.
And that’s when you could tell them your magical story. Or…maybe you wouldn’t need to. Because the beautiful chairs would tell that story far more powerfully than mere words ever could.
When I see someone like Jade perform, I know that there is a magical story behind it. He doesn’t have to tell it. I see it.
And after the performance, a part of me yearns to know more. And to know how it feels to have all that power flowing through, creating something so much more profound than a body could do on its own.
How I envy those who believe so strongly that they can give themselves over to those beliefs so completely that everyone who sees them feels the source of that power they’ve witnessed. I know we all have that opportunity every day. I know that sometimes we’re even aware that there’s something far greater than ourselves at work in something we say or do. Even the least devout amongst us has felt that.
The debate begins when we try to explain or defend or “demystify” it.
And that’s when the magic gets lost. The mind cannot explain or truly comprehend these things. And those who must always know the logic of life deny themselves one of the most magnificent moments life offers. There is a logic in it. But you have to let go long enough to be led to that logic. And that kind of trust is hard to come by, especially in the technology-driven world of today which teaches us that we ourselves are almost omnipotent, creating and entering whole new worlds via The Cloud.
I myself, thanks to Jade, have pledged to be more mindful of those fleeting moments when I get a tiny taste of what he experiences on a daily basis. I will savor and give thanks for those times when the Divine is trying to give me a magical message that only I can pass on to others by doing that one thing only I can do the way I do it. Because I was “called” to do it.
When you allow yourself to be the instrument…the music is mesmerizing. And the message in that music needs no explanation.
But you have to pay attention. And allow yourself to be “used.”
Here’s another celebrity story—an truly moving one, about Steven Spielberg.
At the end of every interview on Inside the Actors Studio, James Lipton asks the guests a series of questions he admittedly stole from French TV host, Bernard Pivot. The final question is always, “If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?”
Upon being asked that question, Spielberg smiled beatifically and said he hoped God would say, simply, “Thank you for listening.”
Thank you, Jade, for listening. And sharing the messages in with us in your own inimitable way.
And in the words of a far less divinely inspired but appropriate Outkast song: I love the way you move.