Under a spreading chestnut-tree the village smithy stands.
The smith, a mighty man is he, with large and sinewy hands,
And the muscles of his brawny arms are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp, and black, and long; his face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat, he earns whate’er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face, for he owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till night, you can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge, with measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell when the evening sun is low.
And children coming home from school look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge, and hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly like chaff from a threshing-floor.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), from “The Village Blacksmith” (1840)
So now we are left with a withering Christianity, failing worldwide at a rapid pace. I fought the decline of my beloved religion until the very recent moment when I realize that this entire process might well have been by divine design. Please follow this along with me!
It is an historical fact that the Christianity we practice now is not the Christianity that Jesus taught. This Christianity was created by the Romans some three hundred years after the death of Jesus, and it was originally codified by the First Council of Nicaea in the year 325 A.D. Six more Roman councils are recognized to have followed First Nicaea, and all seven church councils self-importantly declared themselves to have been “inspired by God.” Together they built a fear-based religion around four dogmas that gave Roman Christianity a way to tightly control its world. None of those dogmas is any part of what Jesus actually taught. And yet all of them are central to the Christian religious message, even today. Briefly, they are:
None of these dogmas came from Jesus. All four of them are dead-end ideas based in fear and not in love, but they served manifold essential purposes. For the Romans, and for all Christian tyrants and kings for the past two thousand years, they have created an efficient means for controlling the masses. And for the Godhead, they have preserved almost entirely unmolested the name and the teachings of Jesus inside their protective Christian shell. For a long time, I considered the Romans to have been the great usurpers of Christianity. But my dear Thomas has helped me to see that the Christianity of the Romans has been a wrapping which has protected the pure teachings of Jesus from forces which could otherwise have corrupted and destroyed them.
Until now. It is only now, in the age of the worldwide internet, that it is safe for the protective wrapping of the Roman Christian religion to gradually shred and fall away, and for the true Way that Jesus came to teach to begin to spread as it always has been intended to spread, peacefully and from heart to heart. It is only now that it will be impossible for any force, however powerful it might be, to kill those precious teachings. The wings on which they will fly will be the same ones that Jesus spread for His disciples on that first Easter morning. They will fill all hearts with the triumphant certainty that, after all, there is no death. And once the world hears from its best-known personage the eternal truth that there is no death, it is going to be open to hearing Him as He shares His spiritual teachings with the world!
The first vision of my life was a happy lark that happen in August of 2011. I had spent a year making appearances to promote The Fun of Dying, and by then I was tired of it. Enough! So one morning, just as I was waking up, I saw a glow of light. In it was what I have thought of forever after as the four dancing clergymen.
When I was writing The Fun of Dying in the summer of 2009, a friend with mediumistic gifts called and told me she had been prompted by her guide to let me know that there were five dead clergymen helping me to write that book. She is a sweet and saintly person, and we both were astounded by what she had to tell me. She said that one clergyman was a very advanced being who had been so long away from the earth that “I’m surprised he’s still in contact with it.” Three were good men of God, very recently dead. And one, she was astonished to say, was one of my ultimate personal heroes. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I gasped at the name and asked her why the saintly Dr. King would bother to be helping me! She said, “He wants to set the record straight. They all do.”
So then, on that August morning in 2011 I woke up to a vision of a colorful astral garden in which four beautiful young men in astral robes were singing and dancing in unison. And laughing. The very advanced clergyman was above such foolishness, but apparently Dr. King was not. And he wanted to show me his participation, so the young man on the left was very slightly more beige. What they were singing was this:
“You’ve got a wonderful story to tell!
Life goes on forever. And there is no hell!
So go out there and share that beautiful sto-ree!
I have never seen my Thomas so upset as he has been this week. To see someone falsely claim to be Jesus returned, and claim not to have risen from the dead at all? (see last week’s comments) Instead, this imposter claims to have lied to, cynically tricked, and betrayed his own followers? Thomas is a being of such integrity that he has been unable to process that level of deceit. And then, for the imposter to have ascribed such deceit even to the Lord Jesus Himself, who is an aspect of the genuine Godhead? And this, after Jesus had planned and in fact had delivered His actual death and successful resurrection with much added trouble to Himself, in an effort to convince His followers that we all do indeed live eternal lives? I ached for my precious friend, but you can’t physically hug with your spirit guide so all I could do was just to let him be. I told him on Monday that we needed a frame, and I suggested maybe a Longfellow poem, and what about “A Psalm of Life”? He insisted instead on “The Village Blacksmith.” And it had to be the whole poem! Then on Friday, I thought of telling you about my happy vision of the four dancing clergymen. He thought that was okay. But there had to be more of a point to this post. When I said that, he gave me the two words that became its title.
“But, what does that mean?” I asked the question respectfully. He said, “Take things always by their smooth handle.” That’s a quote from Thomas Jefferson. I could tell he meant it as a joke. Which told me he must be feeling better. Then he added a bolus of thought.
“The blacksmith is your template for living on earth. Whether you are high or low here, you are all of one status where I am now. You must neither attack nor attempt to protect Christianity as it dies, for just as it was the Godhead’s strategy to allow Roman Christianity to form as a protective wrapping for the Lord’s Way, so now you must accept the Godhead’s strategy to allow Christianity to dissolve as The Way of Jesus emerges. And now that the name of Jesus has become the best-known in the world, you have only to do your part as it is given to you to share with the world the teachings of Jesus, and the kingdom of God will overspread the world in the Lord’s own time and in the Lord’s Way. From your perspective, this is all happenstance. But the Godhead thinks in millennia of time, and from the Godhead’s perspective all of this is happening in the perfect Now.”
I said, “I’ve learned in this lifetime that if there’s any fear in something, then Jesus didn’t teach it. That’s how you can tell what He said.” That’s when I learned that spirit guides can hug with us in our hearts, after all.
He goes on Sunday to the church, and sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach, he hears his daughter’s voice
Singing in the village choir, and it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother’s voice singing in Paradise!
He needs must think of her once more, how in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes a tear out of his eyes.
Toiling,—rejoicing,—sorrowing, onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin, each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done, has earned a night’s repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend, for the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped each burning deed and thought.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), from “The Village Blacksmith” (1840)