By Cathy Eck
Several years ago, I was deep into researching the roots of all religion. I had my nose in books most of the time, I’d gathered lots of knowledge and unveiled much wisdom on a range of topics. I wanted to travel to places that I had studied but was low on funds. I got the idea that perhaps I could speak on cruise ships after hearing a cruise ship speaker talking about the Mayan calendar; he recited the facts well but didn’t understand the calendar. So I worked out a way to spend three months a year at sea speaking on cruise ships. (FYI: I will help anyone get free, but I don’t help people get jobs on cruise ships.)
I loved being at sea and visiting places I’d studied. My talks covered mythology, ancient cultures and religions, ancient sacred places. Sometimes I told interesting backstories about famous people like Columbus or Michelangelo. I talked about the Knights Templar, native traditions, and even Atlantis. I didn’t hold back on the wisdom. If it was right for the talk, I said it. People of all religions seemed to enjoy and accept what I said, which surprised me. I started to understand how the truth on any subject does cut through the bullshit like a knife. It unites us. It seemed as if people forgot their beliefs for the hour that we hung out together each day.
I stayed around after my talks for private conversations or questions; people usually lined up to talk to me. Lots of them wanted to recruit me into their religion. They would wine and dine me, give me a great sales pitch about how their path was “The One,” then they’d confess that they loved their religion, but it could use a little tweaking. If I would come on board perhaps I could help them make it right. I realized that people often believe that they can’t leave their religion, but they aren’t blind to its flaws. They deeply want to improve it. Of course, as a reader of this blog, you know that you can’t fix anything in the illusion. The True Self lives outside the illusion. To get to the truth, we must let go of the false, including false religion. While I did say “No” to those offers, I learned a lot about religions.
While on a repositioning cruise from Barcelona to Dubai, I gave nine talks, about Greece, Egypt, and Dubai, which were very popular. The talks were early in the morning, but they were well attended; no one fell asleep. I had an audience that speakers dream about.
One elderly woman came in early every day. She always sat in the back. The last day, she introduced herself to me. She told me that she was 92 years old. She snuck out of her room each morning while her husband was still asleep to attend my talks. She attended every one. She smiled at me, took my hand, and said, “All my life people told me that I was stupid. I believed them. But you talked about some very complex topics, and I followed every minute of them. I’ve never been so happy. I think about these presentations all day long. Today while listening, I realized that I’m not stupid.” We hugged and cried. I explained to her that by some miracle, she had retained access to her truth even when no one else saw it. What she couldn’t learn was knowledge, which was worthless anyway. She told me that if she died tomorrow, she’d die knowing she was a wise woman. She inspired me and still does. When I feel that I just can’t do this work anymore, I think of her.
One day, I was explaining the astrological symbolism behind the Sun God. The sun was the metaphor for God because it was perceived as eternal, gave light and warmth, and was unconditional in its giving. It didn’t care what race, culture, or tribe you were from. It didn’t judge you as good or evil. Everyone received it’s gifts. It’s an amazing metaphor, and shows that the ancient people were wise. They simply weren’t civilized or learned. But wisdom trumps knowledge every time.
Civilization replaced the Garden of Eden, created a new God with laws, and made earlier people into barbarians. The illusion was born.
In my talk, I explained how meaningful the Sun metaphor is today. It’s a reminder of the power of unconditional love. After the talk, a woman came up to me. She said, “Could you please explain to me what unconditional love feels like? I don’t think I’ve ever felt it.” I tried different metaphors that often work — children, pets — she got that right away. But then she looked down, paused, and qualified her statement. In a soft voice, she said, “I mean what does it feel like when you receive it from another?” I had to confess, I too didn’t really know. I’d never felt it from another either. But I’d felt it inside myself. She brought up a sad reality. Most of us haven’t received unconditional love. Society has replaced it with romance, care taking, and lust. In fact, to most people unconditional love feels bad because it threatens that which is false inside of them. Unconditional love dissolves that which isn’t true. And for those who want to hold on to their beliefs, it’s the enemy.
These wonderful people planted seeds in my mind giving birth to many of the techniques I offer today. Everything I write about and share is designed to get us back to our True Self — the place of unconditional love, wisdom, and unity. Regardless of our religion or culture, if we’re honest, we all seek the True Self. We think we lost it; we’re told we left it in Eden. That’s a lie. Our True Self still shines just like the sun; it’s immortal, universal, light, warm, and completely unconditional.