Standing in the pulpit before a large congregation, who have their sacred books open on their laps, is a handsome dreadlocked minister. The congregation is very devout, sophisticated, and accomplished spiritual practitioners. Woven gold baskets filled with prayer cloths, mala beads, crosses, stars, Shiva lingam, crystals, sage, and incense are being passed through the pews, and each person carefully chooses a powerful sacred object from the elaborate baskets.
The minister, annoyed by their dependence on symbols over substance, walks out of the church, and gets on a bicycle that is leaning against the wall. As he rides away he shouts over his shoulder, “Brothers and sisters, are you sure you want to be whole? There is no talisman in the basket, you are the living talisman.”
Now, off in the distance and peddling away on his bike, I can hear him joyously singing Rare Earth’s, “I just want to celebrate another day of livin’. I just want to celebrate another day of life. I put my faith in the people, but the people let me down. So I turned the other way and I carry on, anyhow.”