Once upon a time there lived a young man named Larry. He was like most people who wished that human beings would treat each other better in the world. But he was also different from most people in that he began to notice negative and ignoble inclinations within his own life.
This observation was both painful and perplexing. Larry had a hard time grasping why he was so vulnerable to bouts of bad behavior, especially when he knew better. He read about science, philosophy and even religion, but somehow his intelligence failed him. How could this be?
Larry became so concerned about this strange predicament that it finally made him sick. He could not endure one more failed relationship with friends, office workers or those he dated. So he stayed in bed all day, immobilized and feeling hopeless that his life would ever change. He even closed the curtains in his room. He could no longer handle any kind of influence coming from the outside world and wanted to shut it all out.
While lying motionless in bed, he became aware that his room was suddenly flooded by light—a light that also brought comforting and loving warmth with it. He lifted his head from the pillow and was amazed to see a beautiful angel in his room. The angel was the source of this light and warmth.
“Why are you here?” asked Larry in astonishment.
“The Lord God has sent me to show you why your education can’t help you with the things that really matter in life,” answered the caring and loving angel.
“I must be going loony,” said Larry reacting to the seeing and hearing of this illusionary creature—an obvious outcome of his tortured mind.
“Yes,” said the angel. “You are a lunatic but not because you see me or hear me. You are a lunatic because of the pathological way you treat valuable knowledge and information.”
“I have tried to use knowledge to better my life”’ said Larry.
“The purpose of knowledge and study is to find truth. The purpose of truth is to find love and goodness,” said the angel. “If your knowledge does not lead you to love and sincere helpfulness, then your knowledge is simply hovering around outside of you.”
“What do you mean? If knowledge is in my head then it must be inside me,” came Larry’s defense.
“Not so! Do you know where the term lunatic came from?” asked the creature sent from heaven.
“I suspect that it has its origins from the fact that people act weird during times of the full moon,” said Larry.
“The answer goes much deeper than that,” came the angel. “It involves some symbolism.”
“What kind of symbolism?’
“Pretend that the planet earth represents your individual life. The moon would then represent your cognitive memory,” explained the angel. “One’s memory is a mere satellite encircling one’s true being. In the same way that the moon reflects the sun’s light, a person’s memory lets us reflect on various ideas. But these ideas, no matter how profound, remain outside of our true inner being if they do not affect our hearts. A lunatic is one who listens to sermons, reads about God’s commandments or the Golden rule but keeps these ideas at a distance so that he or she does not have to face their own inner contradictions”
“Why do we humans do such things?” asked Larry.
“Because truth can be painful,” returned the beautiful angel. “Humans go to great lengths in order to nullify this pain, like using alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, money, power, celebrity and constantly fanaticizing about their own imagined self-importance. All such people have a basic knowledge and understand what it is to be good. But they keep this knowledge at a safe distance where it can be merely reflected upon and used for the purposes of deceit, cunning or self-gain rather than for personal transformation. Now you know why the world seems to be going crazy. It is full of lunatics—who see themselves as ordinary people.”
Larry was shocked to hear this but could resonate with the angel’s strong words. From that point on Larry made an oath to “clean house.” He was no longer fearful of finding what he kept hidden in the dark corners of his life.