Realize you’re going to find the entrance into the most wonderful house you’ve ever been in. Not yet, but at the end of your day, you’re going to go into the bedroom of this house and stretch out in bed and you’re going to remember this bedtime story. It’s the kind of bedtime story that clears the way for us to new adventures—just like a children’s story. The room you’ll be entering is done just the way you like it. The bed is comfortable and clean. The sheets are cool and soft. The pillows are just the way you like them.
I’d like you to imagine that you are preparing to enter that room now as you read this story. Get just as comfortable inside yourself as if you were stretched out in bed. Maybe you can relate to this story or maybe not or maybe over time the story will come to have more meaning for you. It’s something that happened once a long time ago though. As I tell you the story, you may find yourself going deep within yourself. Perhaps, you, (your name) , can see yourself as the hero of this story and perhaps not. It doesn’t really matter the story lives on anyway.
Once upon a time, a long time ago, when the city of Hatillo had not yet been built and the land was vast and open to the swaying of tropical breezes and the sky was crisp and clear and there were no hotels or white people, when the cows walked freely, when no one knew of air force bases in Puerto Rico, you could see to eternity in those days.
In that time there was an amazingly brave and courageous warrior. This warrior loved the earth, loved the sky, loved the clear water and loved riding across the island. People said this warrior had the courage and bravest heart of all warriors. He was proud of his courage and used it for the good of the people.
He lived in a tribe who lived in haciendas by a river that fed into the ocean. They hunted and they ate the wild fruit and they enjoyed their lives. One day, strangers came. These strangers brought with them disease and things that polluted the air and spoiled the water. They brought with them new ways and harsh understandings. This Indian warrior wouldn’t allow it to enter his domain. He said no to these strangers. He found himself at war with them. He shot his bows and arrows at them, but their swords were stronger than him. Later they brought others who had rifles and guns. He rode his horses against them and they brought their cannons. He felt powerless. The people and its lands were swallowed up, but there was nothing that he could do. Few things remained innocent and pure. He who was brave and courageous felt powerless and felt his rage, rage as he saw his people disappear, even his sister was taken to spread the genes of these invaders.
His rage brought a thirst with no ending, and he fell into a fever. When he woke up a strange malady possessed him. It was as if a demon had entered him. He could only see things in black and white. The colors of the island were gone. In his mind everything also became black and white, so all his dealing became all or nothing. He stood by the ocean trying to see her color, but everything was black and white.
The waves, that before set his heart soaring like an eagle in the sky, now seemed to roll back and forth with a reminder of this unquenchable desire. ‘This ocean is not drinkable,” he thought to himself. And, all his dealings with his people became poisoned by his unquenchable desires. When he won, he felt as the bravest warrior again and his heart leaped, as it had when he used to see the maidens walking in the breeze to market with their friends only there was no innocence—only the magic of the excitement of the moment that tricked him and made him forget the pain of all the days lost and all the carelessness amongst people. It gave him power to be like the others.
Since he could not express his power against the white men who tried to educate him to their ways, he beat up his wife who made him feel silly for believing things could be different. He demeaned her and made her feel unworthy of his thoughts and considerations and was cunningly and subtly like a difficult shoe rubbing at a blister until it broke; he stole her light from her. All his feelings of powerlessness, he took out on her. Even his making love to her became an act to feel how much control he could have–control over her very body and soon he became bored with her and fascinated with what was still untouched, because it symbolized the pure and innocent in his mind which he lusted for.
From all this, he became mean and cloudy. His crystal clear thoughts that used to reflect the pure sky and the pure water, the love of eternity became impure and his sky became clouded with dreams of illusions, because his thoughts were no longer pure, so whatever he touched became something unclean to him. He became unfair to everyone who came close to him, but most of all he became unfair to himself. In the end, no one wanted him; because they knew he had the disease. He had become like the others. Then he raged, and he struck out at anything close to him, until one day he died.
At the moment of his death, he saw clearly everything that had gone before and his unseen tears sent a tremor into the deepest heavens and he was blessed. So he promised these things. He said, “Since I once was the bravest and most courageous warrior, I make this promise to the Great Spirit who has given me this blessing: I promise never to abuse my power again. I promise to learn to be a healer of people. I promise never to destroy anyone’s light and innocence again. I promise to be hard on myself, really hard on myself until I’ve learned the true path to healing the human heart, and returning it to innocence purity and joy. I promise to be genuine and fair in my dealings with all people”
So he asked the spirit Gods of his people that he come back to resolve the unhappiness that he had caused. He came back, but no matter how he tried he was beaten, criticized, out smarted and he felt tortured and paralyzed, but he was too scared to trust anyone with his feelings. He became a victim of his own web, and he forgot the reason that he had come back. He was tormented by the thought that something was wrong with him, but he couldn’t speak it to anyone. He had forgotten the promise that he had committed to.
In the cantina there was a proud woman. Her eye had met his one night as she lifted her skirt to put money in her stocking. She was not really his type, but the look in her eye that he could not have her tortured him. One night after winning in some dealings with the local people he saw her bringing a glass of wine to her lips and, as she glanced at him, he believed she wanted him too.
That night he waited till she left the cantina and as she walked away, he pulled her up on his horse and rode with her to a clearing. There he threw her on the ground grabbed her wrists with his hands and pushed his body against hers over and over. In that instant, she looked him in the eyes and a spark flew from her eyes and he realized that he knew her. He saw in her his missing sister and all the women he had ever known and let go of her only to find that he was surrounded. The men had followed the woman’s scream. They were big men, bigger than he was in this life and they pulled him off of her and beat and kicked him and stole his gun, his knife and money. Suddenly he remembered the promises that he made and the sadness and loneliness and pain in the eyes of the wife that he had left behind. As his eyes gazed out at the black and lonely sky, he knew he needed to heal—somewhere inside himself he remembered his promises, and that he had made a promise to be an instrument to heal the hearts of others.
So this brave started with the creatures around, the dogs, the cats, horses and the cows that were so familiar and safe. Then he started branching out to touch his own people, caressing them tenderly, without his full power, because he had remembered his promise. He challenged himself severely. He remained devoted. Then one day, after years of training he felt he was ready. He had learned humility, so he quarried the Great Spirit whether he was ready for his next test and a time for forgiveness. He wondered if it was time to heal the wounds and allow his true power to flow.
To do this, he had to release his illusions and face the nameless one inside himself. He had to face the Great Spirit. This worried him, because a part of him remembered the tyrant within him who wanted to defile everything, and a part remembered his promise to never hurt anyone with his power. That part didn’t trust that it was truly time to forgive and awaken and let go. He needed a dream, a signal. He needed a signal from the Great Spirit. He needed the Great Spirit to come to him in his dreams and signal him that it was time.
I don’t know if he ever received a dream that he knew to be from the Great Spirit, since really I do not know the rest of this story. It would be interesting to see, once he receives the signal, how much more fairly and genuinely he starts to be with himself. How much more devotedly he treats himself and others, and how this fairness and genuineness reaches out to his entire world in so many ways that will surprise me and please him.
I’m wondering what the rest of this story is. Perhaps, you in your bed can dream it and tell me. One thing is certain which will be good for you to know, when your head touches your pillow tonight, and that is that the harmonies of this story will move in all directions and throughout time.