During the 1990s, I was a regular visitor to the meetings of the Gosford chapter of the Theosophical Society, as well as to their between-times discussion-groups in people’s private homes and an occasional presenter at a couple of seminars.
At the regular meetings, they always had a moment after the meeting opened, when the threw the floor open to anyone who might have had a spiritual experience they wished to discuss since the last meeting. Mostly people shifted uncomfortably and remained silent but occasionally someone spoke. Once I told this story:-
A week or two ago, I boiled some brown rice for over half an hour and steamed some vegetables. I ate, then put the leftovers in the fridge. They stayed there for a couple of days. Then I pulled the leftovers out, added some stuff to make a sauce, and cooked them all over again for some time. There were still leftovers, so again I put them in an opaque plastic container and stuck them in the back of the fridge. Because I couldn’t see into the container, I forgot about them for quite some time. Eventually I pulled them out and gingerly opened the container, expecting to find decaying matter and maybe mould growing in it. Instead, what I found was a fairytale garden: every single grain of rice had sprouted and grown green, healthy, grassy leaves! It had been boiled long enough to kill anything else, and it wasn’t even bio-dynamic rice, but el-cheapo supermarket brown rice, the cheapest brand I could fine. Every single grain had sprouted, and had a long leaf and healthy roots. As I looked at them, it occurred to me that I was looking at the Triumph of the Life-Force Over Death.
I sat down again, glowing. There was a ripple through my audience: some people were embarrassed, others were disgusted. At teabreak later, I overheard people talking about how disgusting my habits must be. Only the late, beloved Gladney Oakley looked at me with his keen eyes, a small smile of total approval separating his moustache and his amazing beard.
I was amazed at how many of them didn’t get it. They thought it was about my disgusting kitchen-habits. I thought it was about how life, or life-force, or Spirit, or the essence of all living things which is divinity, conquered all.
I was probably the youngest by twenty years of everyone there that evening, but sadly, I felt like a parent of clueless children, looking at them and hoping they’d catch on generally. I’ve always been a hopeful person by nature.