« Vous travaillez avec la méthode de l’hypnose ? », m’a demandé l’homme. « Alors vous pourriez tout simplement enlever-hypnotiser mon problème ». Il rigolait. Sa femme l’avait amené, il n’avait pas une grande envie de faire une thérapie. Je lui ai demandé « Quelle est votre problème ? ». « Il m’a frappé » a répondu la femme qui était assise à côté de lui. « En plus à ce moment-là j’avais notre fils sur les bras. » « C’était comme si quelqu’un avait appuyé sur l’interrupteur d’arrêt d’urgence » a-t-il dit. « Ca a été une réaction automatique. Cela n’aurait jamais dû arriver ». « Vous n’avez pas besoin d’être hypnotisé » ai-je répondu. « Vous pouvez faire ça vous-même. Est-ce que vous connaissez ces boîtes en verre rouges qui pendent dans les hôpitaux et les édifices publics avec un interrupteur qui déclenche une alerte incendie ? » « Bien sûr » a dit l’homme. « « Pourquoi y-a-t-il un verre devant ? « « Pour qu’on ne la déclenche pas par erreur ». « Et si on prenait une vitre très fine comme une lame porte-objet pour un microscope ? » « Elle casse quand on se cale contre ». « Qu’en est-il du verre blindé ? » « C’est trop épais. » « Réfléchissez à l’épaisseur pour que votre femme ne puisse pas la défoncer. Regardez cette vitre et mettez-la en place. »
This is a story by my colleague and friend Katharina Lamprecht from Bruchköbel near Frankfurt, Germany…
One day an old Sufi master came through a little village, where just previously a big blast had occurred. In the middle of the village square was a huge hole in the ground and stones and lumps of mud and earth scattered everywhere. „Master“, the people cried, “look at the disaster that happened to us. The center of our village, our village´s pride and joy, is destroyed. What shall we do? Please, advise us.” „Dig“, the old man answered. „Dig? But there is already such a big hole. Wouldn´t it be better to fill it up“?
“If you have to overcome an obstacle, there are different ways to do so. You can either ignore it, remove it or use it. You never know if there is a treasure hidden”. Pondering these words, the people began to dig slowly, deeper and deeper until they hit upon a natural spring of pure sweet, delicious water which in time brought trees and flowers to their village square.
Pour cette histoire (l’une d’avant-hier) j’ai aussi la traduction Française…
La tempête a fait son œuvre. Dans la forêt il y a des arbres dans tous les sens. Ses troncs encombrent les chemins et les routes. Aucun voyageur ne peut y avancer. Mais une fois que la tempête est passée, le temps pour les ouvriers forestiers est arrivé. Ils dégagent les chemins avec leurs scies, enlèvent les barrières et libèrent toutes les routes, du bord extrême de la forêt jusqu’à son intime intérieur.
He looked at the white ceiling. He had been lying here for weeks. He didn’t know for how long. His breathing was laboured. At first this rattling sound had irritated him every time he breathed out. Now he hardly noticed it. Sometimes he tried to cough, but his strength failed him. He tried to lift his arms. He could hardly manage. Everything was tired and limp. Only his stomach cramped, endlessly. This pain made him miserable.
The remedy which he was given helped a little, but not enough. Part of the torture remained. A much too large part. He wished to be finally free. Above all from the pain. He looked up at the white ceiling. How long would he still lie here? He imagined how this ceiling opened and the ceiling above that, and the one above that again. He looked into the blue sky. He saw the clouds floating. He imagined how it would be to fly up there and observe the whole world from above. To see his own life from above. He imagined himself flying through space.
At some point he saw a large, open hand. Something lay in the hand. He went closer to the hand in order to see more closely. In the hand lay a man; in the hand lay he himself. He saw himself, how he was lying there, so protected and quiet. He was amazed. He looked around him. There he saw another hand. Like the first, it was open, and its inside formed a gentle hollow.
He saw how the first hand with the man, who was him, moved closer to the other. And he knew it was all right. Now the two hands lay next to each other. Gently and carefully the first hand tilted and let him slide into the other. Then he woke up. He looked around him and saw, that the white ceiling was no longer above him.
“That’s that”, said my neighbour when I visited him on his birthday. “Next year we won’t see each other any more”. I was shocked. I didn’t know how to answer. “Don’t worry”, his wife explained to me. “He says that every year. For twenty years now he has been saying to me again and again: “Today is my last day.”
The goal of each life is – in some sense – death. When one among us reaches this point, the others often say he has lost his life. When a person died among the first Christians, they used to say: He has won his life! He has succeeded! And they wove this man a victory wreath so as to celebrate with him! A victory wreath, just as the ones the victors from tournaments had received in those days! The custom of sending a man to his grave with a wreath has remained. The message of this wreath is forgotten. It goes thus: You are a winner!
In a land in our time there lived a man, who read a book and found lots of wonderful stories therein. There were true and invented stories, experienced and pensive, enjoyable and painful stories. There were stories which contained stories, and such which were actually not stories. For every story he read, there occurred to him nearly five which he had either experienced or thought up himself. So the thought came to him, that a lot in the world was a story which could be healing for himself and others; he only needed to absorb the healing stories well and to forget the terrible ones immediately. Then he would learn which story he had used when and for what. So he organised his own stories which he knew, and which had become a help to himself and others, or could become so. Sometimes he noted it down when a new story came to his ears and sometimes when a helpful story occurred to him, he memorised it.
Then he saw before him in a picture the storystories of this life arranged in long shelves, as in a large pharmacy. And behind the counter there sat a man who had learnt to listen to himself and others. He was a master of his subjectspecialty. His talent was that he understood how to tell the right thing at the right time to himself and to those who visited him.
This is now many years ago. My grandmother told me the following story. And this story had come about when she herself was young and still lived with her parents. A woman often came to her mother – my great grandmother – and poured her heart out. A neighbour who had many woes. My great grandmother was always there for others. She was a good listener, and she had a deep Christian faith. She often advised others and helped where she could.
This neighbour told her about her marriage. It must have been a terrible marriage. Her husband was often drunk. He hit her, he abused her. The woman was desperate. It occurred to her to get a divorce. A brave decision for a lonely woman in a village in Bavaria about eighty years ago. She shared her thoughts with my great grandmother. The latter advised her against it. “What God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. So hath our Lord spoken.” She should try somehow to make it work with her husband. And so it continued for a while, again and again. Then one day it was said that the woman from the neighbourhood was no longer alive. She had hanged herself.
On a small island in the middle of the wide ocean grew a wonderful golden yellow flower. No- one knew how it got there, because there were no other flowers of this kind on the island. The seagulls came flying in to look in wonder at this miracle. “It is as beautiful as the sun”, they said. The fish came swimming in. They looked out of the water in order to admire it. “It is as beautiful as a piece of coral”, they said. A crab came onto the land in order to observe it. “She is as beautiful as a pearl on the sea bed”, he said. And they came almost every day to admire this flower.
One day, when they came again to look at the flower, they found the golden petals brown and dried-out. “Oh dear”, said the doves, the fish and the crabs. “The sun has destroyed our flower. How can we refresh our hearts now?” And they were all sad. Yet a few days later, in place of the flower, stood a wonderful, delicate white ball. “What is that?”, asked the animals. “It is as soft as a cloud”, said the doves. “It is as light as sea spray”, said the fish. “It is as fine as the shimmer of the sun in the sand”, said the crab. And all the animals rejoiced. A puff of wind blew over the island and carried this white wonder away across the island in thousands of tiny flakes. “Oh dear”, sighed the doves, the fish and the crabs. “The wind has blown our ball away. What can cheer our souls now?” And they were all sad. One morning, as the sun rose above the sea, hundreds and even more hundreds of wonderful golden yellow flowers shone in the golden morning light. The doves danced in the sky and the fish in the water, and the crabs danced a jig with their friends, and everyone was happy.
A fifty-five year old man glanced out of the window and saw his neighbour, who was the same age as him, going for a walk. “He has it goodis lucky”, he sighed. “He can enjoy his retirement already, and I still have to work.” “Don’t you know that he’s nearly blind?” I informed him. “That’s why he is no longer worksworking.” “I didn’t know that”, said the former, and pondered.
“This reminds me of what my nephew told me. He said: “When’When I park in front of the school with my big car, then many of his fellow pupils say: ‘You have it goodare lucky – with those fancy wheels.’ Sometimes I would like to answer one of them: ‘At least you still have a father.’ But mostly I keep quiet.”.’”
“That reminds me of an old friend”, I replied. “I phoned him recently. ’I’ll be in your area tomorrow. Could we perhaps meet up again?’ We agreed on a time. I looked forward to seeing him again. ’Is your girlfriend coming, too?’ I asked. She is a delightful young woman. The two of them are a wonderful couple altogether. My partnerships were never as balanced and harmonious. To be honest: It hurt me a little to thinkcompare my own situation with theirs; I live alone. ’I’ll ask her if she’ll come along‘, said the friend. – ’This is a singles’ meeting‘, were his first words when we saw each other again. ’My girlfriend and I split up earlier today.’”