These are random thoughts from my recent trip to Wyoming. I’ve spent this week at the Spence Trial College teaching trial lawyers. But, the truth is, they teach me far more then I teach them. On the plane I was reading an interview of an actor who spoke of his recovery from drinking, but the comments really struck a chord with me regarding our fears and demons. He said:
"My recovery was a slow process, rather like my decline. Recovery is sort of decline in reverse. You kow I hate the way showbiz people go around saying how they’ve beaten this demon and conquered that one, because I never really think that one can conquer your demons. They’re simply playing cards quitetly, waiting for you to beckon them again. They don’t go away. They’re always there. You just to decide that life is better lived without their assistance or interference."
In reflecting on the subject of spiritual beliefs, I thought of the poem Abou Ben Adhem by James Leigh Hunt, which I think applies to so many good people who think they are not "religious."
Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold;
Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
“What writest thou?” The vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered, “The names of those who love the Lord.”
“And is mine one?” said Abou. “Nay, not so,”
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerly still; and said, “I pray thee, then,
Write me as one that loves his fellow-men.”
The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhem’s name led all the rest!