Here in Aberdeen I work in childcare. When it’s bedtime, I tell the children stories about Narnia. Sometimes I also tell stories that I have made up, and we come up with new ideas together. This always involves a large amount of magic and fantasy. Stories about strange creatures and mysterious powers are not only fascinating for children. They touch something within us that is real. A memory, maybe. This week I listened to a talk by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, a Sufi teacher. He put it like this:
And if we can give a space to God, to love, to passion, to magic, to this other, then I think we can remember what it really means to be a human being – which our culture is trying to erase from our memory.
I have become more and more aware of how our present civilisation has censured dimensions of human consciousness from our awareness. The libraries got burned. The thought police moved in. And rather than beings of radiance and light, we have become consumers. And that’s what our life is about.
And if we can just, both individually and as a community, give a space to the radiance of the other, to the beauty of the other, to the mystery of the other, to the real secret of what it means to be a human being, to be made in the image of God — it is so beautiful.
- The Golden Sufi Centre — audio archives
- The First Step, talk held by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee in London, 2016.