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Christopher Foster

Listening to the Secret One
by Christopher Foster

If you want the truth, I'll tell you the truth:
Listen to the secret sound, the real sound, which is inside you.
The one no one talks of speaks the secret sound to himself,
and he is the one who has made it all.

--Kabir (From a translation by Robert Bly appearing in The Enlightened Heart, edited by Stephen Mitchell).

Is there something else happening in my world besides the madness that is spewed out night and day concerning wars and rumors of wars, famine, illness, bloodshed, fear and death? Yes, there is. There is the presence of what Kabir, the 15th century Indian mystic, called the secret one.

The Raven Who Spoke with God

For me, soulful living, especially in these drastic times, is listening in each and every moment to the sweet sound that this universal presence makes as it vibrates within all things. Specifically, though, in this moment, as it vibrates within this little flesh-and-blood creation my parents called Christopher.

It's going on all the time. This sweet sound, sound of the Divine, never changes. It was the same, I realize now, when I was two years old. It was the same when I was 20. And it is the same now that I am 70.

This sweet sound was happening before "Chris" was born and it will be speaking happily to itself when "Chris" is no longer around.

"Before Abraham was, I am," said Jesus. He knew this presence. He WAS It-just as you and I may be.

I accept that the entire universe was made by this presence that I feel vibrating in each moment in my physical flesh.

Of course, it doesn't only vibrate in this little corner of the universe I think of as myself, but it is present everywhere else, in you, in the ant, in the bear, the fish, the river, and in the mountains and seas. There isn't anywhere where it is not.

It's all there is. But now here's the best part.

To be aware of this presence, I have discovered I don't have to do anything special in an external sense. I don't have to go someplace special. And I don't even have to wait for some future (more special) time.

The secret one is present right here and now where I am. All I need to do is to be still and listen, and I hear it speaking to itself, as Kabir puts it. Not only that, I hear it speaking to ME! I hear the universe gently crooning to itself in me and I begin to touch, and taste, the wonder of true fulfillment.

The secret one swallows me up, so to speak, like a robin swallowing a worm (sorry it's not the greatest analogy).

It takes a lot of practice, I find. I see old throwaway moments like brushing my teeth, washing the dishes, or going to the mailbox, in a new light. Here is another chance to stop and realize the miracle that is present with me. "Be still, and know that I am God"--what beautiful words.

Oh yes, my consciousness still spews out a stream of mostly useless, repetitive thoughts, just as it has since I was small. But something has changed. Something is different. I have begun to see these thoughts. I realize I never really saw them before. I see them for what they are, a veil, a block, a hindrance that hides the light of my own true presence, my own true peace, from me.

I let these repetitive thoughts, urges, judgments, criticisms, and desires, drop off, so to speak, moment by moment like a piece of old skin or a withered apricot.

I believe many people in the world are touching the presence of the secret one in these days. In a way, the more terrifying things get, the closer despair looms, the more incentive there is for each of us to scurry after truth quick like a real fast bunny.

I also believe that when two or more people come together in whom the secret one is beginning to yawn and stretch and do its waking up thing, they will recognize each other, regardless of the color of their skin or anything else.

Here is friendship. Here is something new emerging in the earth. I think of it as a new nation, not bound by geography, nationality, religion, or any of the old divisive boundaries that have kept us splintered and in constant conflict. It's a sisterhood, or brotherhood, of the heart, made possible by our soulful living.

© Copyright 2002 Christopher Foster. All Rights Reserved.

Christopher Foster
Christopher Foster.
Born in 1932 in London, England, Christopher Foster started work as a reporter on a South London weekly newspaper at age 17, following in the steps of his father, a longtime British journalist. At age 18 he left home to see the world. He lived for two years in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and worked as a laborer and reporter in New Zealand before returning home to the UK.

After a two year spell as a reporter with the London Daily Express, Foster emigrated to Canada in 1955. A longtime spiritual search led him to a spiritual community in 100 Mile House, British Columbia, known as The Emissaries, where he lived for over 30 years. During this time he was editor of the local weekly newspaper and later initiated a worldwide newsletter named Integrity which took him and his first wife, Joy, on travels all over the world.

In 1984 Foster wrote his first book, a novel entitled Bearers of the Sun. He followed this with a biography, two books of poems, and a second novel, Winds Across the Sky. His latest book, The Raven Who Spoke With God, was published in September 2001. It is a story of a young raven who overcomes grief and fear as he pursues his dream to be a friend and ally to humankind. "Buoyant as the air through which the birds soar, the story lifts the heart and carries it, dancing lightly, all the way through to the end," said NAPRA ReView. "This is a book you will read and then instantly think of ten friends to whom it must be lent." Bob Spear, at Heartland Reviews, has recommended The Raven for Booksense, saying, "It reminded me of Jonathan Livingston Seagull in the Rockies."

Phone: (970) 461-0632. Email: Chris@SingingSpiritBooks.com. Website: www.SingingSpiritBooks.com.


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