Immortal Book 1, Foreword

This entry is part 1 of 22 in the series Free Book



“Peter seeing him (John) saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?

“Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.

“Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, if I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?” John 21:21-23

John, the Beloved, the Revelator, an Apostle of Jesus, perhaps the most mysterious man in history, comes alive in this book. Legend has it that John never died and still roams the earth as a teacher.

The contents of this first book and the additional series of books about The Immortal may or may not be true. It is up to the reader to decide. But whatever the opinion rendered, the story and teachings herein are worthy of serious consideration.


When I finished writing Book I, we wanted to test reader response so we made it available free for a period of time on the Internet. We had our doubts about the number of people who would read it without having a physical copy of the book because the reader would either have to read it on the screen or print it out on his printer and read it from loose sheets of paper.

We were pleasantly surprised at the results.  From about 1000 people who downloaded the text about 300 wrote us wildly praising the book (This was around 1998). Because it is destined to be controversial we were surprised to receive only one negative letter.  Even those who disagreed with the philosophy enjoyed the story.

Here are several responses we received:

Your book was the first one in memory that I could not stop reading until it was done. I just sat in front of the computer & read the whole thing. AD

Every chapter in your book spoke to me of the lessons I have learned over 30+ years of practicing medicine & developing a Complementary Medical approach to healing. W.S., MD

I received the e-mail book and downloaded it ok. As soon as I started to read it I felt a touch of the Spirit of God that dwells within me and knew what you had written was the truth. MM

I just finished reading your book but now I have a hard time believing that all of it was fiction. When is the next book coming out? EF

I’ve recently finished reading The Immortal – Thank You! I’ve already told dozens and dozens of people, “If you read only one book this year, consider having it be The Immortal.”  And everyone that I’ve spoken with has had as enthusiastic response as I have and eagerly await both the newsletter and next book. Diane

I stared at my computer screen scrolling and reading before I realized I was already on page 60! VFN

These were comments from readers of Book I, but now there are three additional books available which we feel will be even more stimulating and provocative. So pick a time when you can have several hours free to read undisturbed, because you will not want to put this one down.

Go to Chapter One Now!

Chapter One

This entry is part 2 of 22 in the series Free Book



J. J. Dewey


I have always wanted to be a writer, but never seemed to find the time to carry out my dream. Ironically, this time in my life is the most difficult of all to begin such a project as this, but it is something I must do. I have a story to tell that is difficult to believe, so I am writing it as fiction. It is too unbelievable to present as a true story. Nevertheless, I do maintain that the principles taught herein are true and that many readers will have this verified by their hearts and souls.

I’d like to start with John, but that probably wouldn’t work. I must tell you about Elizabeth and something about myself before you can begin to understand.

There’s not a lot to tell about me. I am average or below average in a number of ways. If there is anything out of the ordinary about me, it’s probably the fact that I am quite curious in nature. I have thought quite a bit about why things are the way they are. I’ve always asked myself a lot of unanswerable questions, like: Who or what is God? Is there life after death? What will it be like? What is the purpose of life? Questions —  that seem to have no answers.

I met Elizabeth about ten years ago. I was 43 years old, and Elizabeth was several years younger. I was just getting my feet wet in real estate after failing in several business ventures. Both Elizabeth and I had been previously married. But since we got along great together after experiencing difficult relationships with others, we both felt like we had finally mastered the art of marriage to the extent we half-heartedly considered giving seminars on the subject.

Leaving my children with my previous wife was one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but the situation was not one of those win-win possibilities. It was lose-lose. The fact that I lost so much in my relationship with my children and they lost in their relationship with me made it all the more important to me that my relationship with Elizabeth would somehow be worth the great sacrifice.

Let’s move on, here. I know a lot of you have gone through difficult marriages and wish you could have your life with your children to live over again. But there is something else I also know. I know that all of you have the desire within your hearts to meet the love of your life and to fall in love and stay in love. I know that few of you have found the quality of love you are looking for.

Well, this is one area where my life was not exactly average. I found the love of my life. I found even more than I was looking for. I found Elizabeth.

After my divorce I starting teaching several classes in the local community adult education programs. It had long been a hobby of mine to study graphology, or how character is revealed through handwriting. After years of dabbling, I became pretty good at it, so I volunteered my services.

I thank God every day that I studied handwriting analysis because without it I may not have recognized Elizabeth.

At the end of my first class, I asked everyone in the class to hand in samples of his or her handwriting. Then I proceeded to demonstrate that I was truly accurate by analyzing each of them. Now, this has nothing to do with psychic powers. Instead, it is an analytical way of discerning character.

There were about twenty in the class, and I thought that I had analyzed everyone when Elizabeth stood up.

“You haven’t analyzed me yet,” she said.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Did you hand in a sample?”

“Yes, I did.”

I picked up the pile of samples and handed them to her and said: “See if yours is one of these.”

She looked through them. “Here it is,” she said, handing it to me. “It seemed to have been stuck to another sample.”

I looked at the handwriting. I did a double take. Through the years I had not only formulated an image of what I was looking for in the ideal mate, but I had also formulated what my ideal mate’s handwriting would look like. After many years and thousands of handwriting samples I finally found one that looked like the image I had conjectured.

I probably embarrassed Elizabeth when I blurted out her qualities. Her handwriting showed that she was very intelligent and passionate’ objective, yet caring; focused, yet curious; loving, yet with good common sense.

After telling her about a dozen positive characteristics I put the sample down and took a good look at her. The first thing I noticed was her very attractive, almost sparkling face, with darting intelligent eyes that seemed to focus with great attention from time to time. There was an honesty in her eyes that revealed her mood at the moment. I have since come to call them smiling eyes because when she is happy the sparkle in her eyes makes her feelings so obvious.

Physically, she was about 5’3″, with light brown hair, a great figure and looks enough to generate an attractive pull in any male.

I somehow felt deep within myself that I would marry her. I tried to momentarily dismiss the feeling, but it stayed with me throughout the week. Then, after the next class, I accosted her and asked her to join me for coffee and the rest is history.

I could easily write a book about our relationship and how it developed, but that is not the grand purpose of this book, as you will soon see. What you need to understand at this time is that we fell as much in love as is possible for us mortals to do. Think of your favorite love story, and multiply the emotions times ten and that was us. I felt fulfilled and secure for the first time in my life. It seemed that nothing could go wrong.

Until that fateful day…

I remember the day very clearly. I was in the family room reading a book and Elizabeth was fixing us an evening cup of coffee. The moment came as she was walking down the stairs, bringing my cup to me just as she did each evening.

But this time she fell down the stairs, knocking herself into a semiconscious state.

I ran to her, holding her as she revived and lifted her up.

“I can’t stand up,” she said.

“Sure you can, sweetheart. You just had a bad fall. Just rest a minute.”

She rested a while, but still could not stand.

I rushed her to the emergency room. The doctor told me that they needed to run some tests.

Finally, after three weeks of testing, we discovered the problem. She had multiple sclerosis. My heart sunk as I asked the doctor how serious it was and how long she had to live.

“It varies with each person,” he said. “Some go quickly, other hang on for years. I must warn you, however, that it appears the disease is progressing quickly with your wife. I would guess that she has somewhere around a year or two to live. You never know, though. She could linger on for ten years or more, but you must prepare yourself for the worst.

“Right now, she can’t even walk. She may get some of her strength back, but then will probably lose it again. It’s like moving one step forward and two steps back. Sooner or later, the disease gets you.

“The problem now is with her legs, but later it will be other parts of her body. Near the end, she’ll probably lose her sight, and even her ability to speak and feed herself. I hope you love her a lot, because she’s going to be very dependent on you.”

“I’ll be there for her,” I said with tears in my eyes. “We’ll do whatever it takes. Somehow we’ll beat it.”

“Just be prepared to deal with it. Don’t get your hopes too high. It can be frustrating for both of you. Just be thankful that you have a year or two of sharing left. Many people I deal with have their loved ones taken suddenly and wish they could just have five minutes with them to say good-bye. You have time for a long, loving good-bye. I would advise you to make the most of it.”

“I appreciate the advice, doctor, but don’t take our hope away. There has to be a way to beat this.”

“I understand your feelings,” he said patiently. “But my experience tells me that I must do what I can to prepare you for the real world.”

“I see your point,” I said, “but I refuse to give up hope no matter what the odds are. I’ve always believed that all things are possible.”

“I’m here to help however I can,” the doctor said quietly.

The next year was rather discouraging. The doctor was proven to be entirely correct. Elizabeth got one step better and two steps worse. She got some strength back in her legs, but later lost all strength in her legs plus some of her vision. During that year we tried every medicine, every health food, every herb that had any chance of working, but her health seemed unrelated to anything that we tried. She finally reached a point where she was confined to a wheelchair and was barely able to feed herself because of her shaking limbs. Fortunately, she still had her mental capacities, but the doctor warned me that even those could go next. At this point, he told me that she seemed to be deteriorating and could go fairly quickly. She could go in six months or possibly linger on for years.

One night, as we lay in bed together and I held her in my arms, I thought of the years we spent together. In my mind’s eye I visualized her being vibrant as she was when we first met and then visualized her as she was now. I felt very sad. Why did this have to happen to the most wonderful woman I have ever met?

As I contemplated the situation, I said a prayer from deep within my heart.

“Why, God, does something like this happen to such a wonderful person as my wife? You would think you’d have to be a serial killer to deserve such punishment, but Elizabeth has never hurt anyone. Maybe some very minor things, but nothing to deserve such pain. If this is a punishment, it seems unjust and out-of-proportion.

“Even ministers these days are saying that life is unfair. If You are truly God, then one of Your main attributes should be fairness and justice. Where is fairness and justice in this situation? I ask not for myself, but for the woman I love. Surely there is an answer, somewhere, somehow, someplace …”

This was a sort of basic prayer I thought within my heart several times daily ever since Elizabeth became ill. But on this particular night I said it with great emotion and cried myself to sleep with my thoughts.

That night I fell into a very sound, profound yet peaceful sleep. Then in the morning something quite unusual happened. I was at that point where you are between being asleep and awake. I know there have been several times when I have been at this stage that I was not sure if I was dreaming or not. This was one of those times.

This was the first time I heard the bells: gentle, penetrating, familiar, soft, yet very real bells.

At the time I heard them I was sure I was hearing real bells, perhaps ringing somewhere outside my bedroom window, but then I roused myself and rose up in my bed and the sound disappeared. I was not sure if I really heard them or if I was dreaming. Then I settled back into sleep and I heard the bells again. I roused myself and the sound again went silent. Then this process was repeated for a third time.

One experience like this I could have shrugged off, but a three-time repetition got me thinking that there was some significance here.

Then the next morning I heard the bells again.

And again the next morning.

Finally, I felt I had to mention it to Elizabeth. I told her the story and she said: “The only thing I can suggest is that it must be some type of message or sign intended just for you. I was sleeping next to you each of these past three mornings and I heard no bells.”

“But if it is some type of message intended just for me, what good is it? I’ve thought and thought about it and I can’t see any hidden meaning in bells ringing.”

“Have you heard bells in real life that sound anything like these?” she asked.

“Well, they sound something like Christmas bells and they seem very familiar. Christmas is just a few weeks away. Could it have something to do with that?”

“Who knows?” she shrugged. “Maybe you’re just thinking too much about Christmas. How about taking your mind off the bells by doing some grocery shopping for me? Get a pen and I’ll give you the list.”

Copyright 1997 by J J Dewey

Chapter Two

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Chapter Two

This entry is part 3 of 22 in the series Free Book

The Mystery of the Bells

Since Elizabeth became ill I had done most of our shopping and must admit I got pretty good at it. I clipped coupons, checked for sales, compared store brands with national brands and much more. I got to the point where I somewhat enjoyed shopping and would probably still do most of it even if Elizabeth was healed.

As I drove up to Albertsons supermarket at 16th and State Street in our fair city of Boise, Idaho, I noticed for the first time that Christmas decorations were up and Christmas trees were for sale. I wasn’t sure if decorations had just been put up or if this was just the first time I had noticed. It seemed like Thanksgiving had just ended, and it was too early to even think about Christmas. I felt a little like Scrooge as I got out of my car thinking about all the presents I had to buy compared to how few I would receive. I remember thinking as I entered the building how it would be a lot better if Christmas came once every five years.

Then, as I opened the door, all thoughts left me … I heard the bells! They were the same bells I heard in my quasi-sleep, but this time I was sure that I was awake and the bells were real. I retreated back out the door and turned around. To my surprise I saw a bell ringer for the Salvation Army!

I was amazed that I had not connected the bells I heard in my sleep with those of the bell ringers. Somehow I did not remember them sounding like the bells I heard in front of me. The sound of these bells seemed to be so pure, sweet and almost holy. Perhaps I had just never listened to them before.

The bell ringer was a good-looking older man around sixty years of age, clean shaven with dark hair and simply dressed. Some bell ringers look like they could have been taken from a homeless shelter, but this one did not give that impression. He was a far cry from looking like an executive, but he also gave the impression that he would never be down and out. If I were to guess his vocation by his looks I would guess that he was a high school teacher or maybe even a real estate salesman like myself.

After I had looked his direction for about thirty seconds, he caught my eye and said: “Merry Christmas.”

“Merry Christmas,” I said as I retreated back into the store in a state of bewilderment.

As I went through my wife’s shopping list I tried to find meaning in it all.

I heard bells on my awakening three days in a row and now I heard the same bells here at the grocery store by a Salvation Army bell ringer. At the time I heard the bells I was thinking like Scrooge about Christmas. Maybe I was being taught some supernatural lesson like in the movie. Perhaps I was being told that I should donate to the poor.

Financially, I was feeling like one of the poor myself, for I had gone heavily into debt and had no extra money because of Elizabeth’s illness. Nevertheless, perhaps I was supposed to take my mind off my own concerns and think of others who have problems.

By the time I finished shopping, I decided to give the bell ringer a donation on the way out. It wasn’t much, but maybe it was what I was supposed to do.

As I passed by the pot, I dropped in a five dollar bill. The bell ringer looked me in the eye and said: “Thanks. Have a Merry Christmas.”

There was something about the look in his eyes that disturbed me. He seemed to have large eyes with large pupils and the look about him reinforced the idea of a teacher in my mind. There was something about his look that made me feel that he knew things that I did not. I had never felt that way about a stranger before, but that is how I felt about this man.

I got in the car and started driving home and passed another store that appeared to have a bell ringer. I parked again and walked toward the bells and stopped in front of the man. I was stunned. These bells sounded similar, but not exactly like the first bell ringer or those heard in my dream state.

This piqued my curiosity, so for the next couple of hours I drove all over town and visited every bell ringer I could find. Each one of them sounded similar to the second bell ringer. Only the first bell ringer created a sound like the bells that I remember hearing in my sleep. Then I began to wonder if my mind was playing tricks on me. Maybe I just thought those first bells were like those in my dream state.

Elizabeth was upset that I was gone so long shopping; she had worried about me. She quickly calmed down as I explained to her what happened. I ended with, “Maybe it was just my imagination that the first bell ringer sounded like the ones that I heard on waking.”

“And maybe it wasn’t,” she said. “Maybe it is a sign of some kind. Perhaps you were just supposed to remember the spirit of Christmas and give what you can afford and that’s all there is to it.”

“Maybe,” I said, not convinced she was right.

I felt unsettled about any explanation we could arrive at about the bells. The next morning, as I lay between wakefulness and sleep, I became even more unsettled as I heard the bells again. This time I heard them resonate for a few seconds after I was fully awake. I knew now that the bells were not from my imagination. I also knew that the message of the bells was not resolved.

After I shared this with Elizabeth she said: “Your guess that you are supposed to have a more giving spirit may be correct. The last time you gave five dollars. That’s probably about all we have given to the poor all year. Think about it. That’s not much of a donation. I know we don’t have much money, but we can do better than that.”

“You’re right,” I said. “This time I will give fifty dollars. That’s about all we can afford, but we can give that much.”

I took off again to Albertsons at 16th Street and approached the bell ringer again. Again I heard the beautiful sound. They were definitely the same sound that I heard on waking. As I started to appreciate their beauty, I felt my whole body and soul resonate to the vibration of the bells. Somehow they made me feel whole, peaceful, strong, connected.
It’s difficult to give you the picture, but the effect was definite and strong. I put two twenties and a ten in the pot, looked at the bell ringer and said, “Merry Christmas.”

“Your gift is greatly appreciated,” said the bell ringer.

I started walking backward, catching the eye of the bell ringer for a few seconds before we disconnected. Again, I felt unsettled as I drove home.

After I got home, I told Elizabeth: “Giving the fifty dollars was a good thing to do, but I don’t think it was the answer. Suppose that the answer has nothing to do with the bells, Christmas, the spirit of giving, but something else?”

“What else could it be?” she asked.

“Maybe it’s got something to do with the man — the bell ringer.”

“You said you felt he was different?”

“Yes. He was different. Maybe he knows something.”

“If you hear the bells again then maybe you should check him out,” she said.

Copyright 1997 by J J Dewey

Chapter Three

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Chapter Three

This entry is part 4 of 22 in the series Free Book

The Bell Ringer

The next morning I heard the bells again. They continued to ring for several minutes after I was fully awake. This time I decided that I must talk to the bell ringer himself. I felt there was a possibility that he might somehow hold the keys to this mystery.

I drove over to Albertsons again, and there he was, faithfully ringing his bell. I felt nervous about approaching him but forced myself onward.

I put a couple dollars in the pot and managed to say, “How’s it going today?”

“Fine,” he replied.

“Has anyone commented that the sound of your bells seems to be different than the other bell ringers in town?”

“Several have commented,” he smiled, with noticeable pleasure in his eyes. “The reason my bell rings differently is that I have my own bell.”

“I didn’t know any bell ringers had their own bell.”

“I’ve used this bell for a very long time. Here. Take a look at it.” He put it in my hand.

It felt warm, almost tingly to my touch. I peered at it and said, “It looks like there are some ancient hand-carved hieroglyphics on the surface.” I looked closer. “This one here is interesting. It looks like a crop circle I remember seeing recently. Do you know what they mean?”

“The meanings are layered and are interpreted in levels. I understand several of the levels,” he said.

After he said this, I seemed to sense that my suspicion was correct, that there was something hidden about this man. I rang the bell gently against my ear. “It has the most beautiful sound I have ever heard,” I said.

“Yes,” said the man, smiling. “It really helps with the donations. Just because of that beautiful sound this location receives over three times the donations of any other in town.”

“Interesting,” I said. “Has anyone told you they heard your bells in their sleep?”

The man looked visibly shaken. “Not for a long time,” he said. “Why do you ask that?”

I told him my experience with the bells.

He smiled and said, “Then you are the one I have been waiting for.”

I stared at him wide-eyed. “You’ve been waiting for me? Why? This is too weird to be true.”

“If you think this is strange now, just wait a while. What is your name, my old friend?”

“What do you mean by old friend?”

“I’ll explain later when you are ready. Now tell me your name.”

I figured there could be no harm in telling him. “My name is J. J. Dewey. My friends call me Joe.”

“So the first J stands for Joe, or is it Joseph?”

“On my birth certificate it is Joseph, but as you know almost all Josephs call themselves Joe. Joseph seems a little pious. About the only person who ever calls me that is my wife.”

“It is good that you are not pious. Nevertheless, Joseph is a beautiful and ancient name. Do you know what it means?”

“I think I read somewhere that it means added or added upon.”

“Whoever came up with that did not really understand the Hebrew. In ancient days, when a father named his son Joseph, he did so with the understanding that his son would have great increase — that whatever good was in him would be amplified and eventually bring forth an abundance of all the earth has to offer. Joseph of the Bible, who was sold into Egypt, was the perfect example of this. He increased in knowledge, virtue and eventually became the richest man on the earth.”

“Sounds like a good destiny,” I said. This man was unusually knowledgeable for a bell ringer.

“Your second initial is J. What does that stand for?”

“John,” I said.

“How appropriate! That is also my name. Do you know what this name means?”

“I don’t think so.”

“This name comes from the Hebrew Yowchanan. Any dictionaries that define the word miss the full meaning. Basically, it implies that a man with this name will attract the attention of God to the extent that God will befriend him as an equal. Some say it means favored of God, but the meaning is more like friend of God.”
“So would you say that the apostle John is the great example of this, since he was called the beloved of Jesus, or perhaps His best friend?” I asked.

John’s eyes widened in surprise and he smiled. “He was an example, perhaps. I don’t know if I would call him a great one.”

I pondered what he said. The comment seemed rather strange to me. Of course John the Beloved was a great example, I thought.

He shifted my attention again toward his bell. “See this symbol here?” he asked, holding up the bell.

I looked and answered, “You mean the two intertwined circles?”


“One has a dot in the middle,” I remarked.

“That is my name,” said John.

“So this symbol means John?”

“Yes and no,” he said. “It identifies me, and I am John, but it doesn’t necessarily mean John.”

“You seem to speak in riddles,” I said.

“All teachers do at times,” he said, smiling. “Did I hear right that your last name is Dewey?”


“Do you know what that means?”

“I’m not sure.”

“The medieval Welsh altered the name of David, or the Greek Dabeed, to something like Dawee and finally to Dewey. Do you know the meaning of David, my old friend?”

I wondered again why he kept calling me old friend, but I was too interested in the names to backtrack. “It seems like I remember learning back in Sunday School that it means beloved.”

“The standard meaning is close here. It means beloved as in the sense of a family member or close friend. King David of the Bible was called a man after God’s own heart, and God had compassion toward David in his weaknesses just as a Father would toward his own son.”

“How do you know all of this? You almost sound like you know this from personal experience.” This man was really arousing my curiosity.

“That doesn’t matter right now,” he replied. “The point is that you are blessed with three meaningful ancient names which will help you accomplish your mission.”

“Mission?” I asked, startled. I would have walked away at that point if the man had not been so captivating.

“Your full name is strong with meaning. Put together, it goes something like this: The desires of your heart will be amplified and fulfilled by attracting the attention of God or his servants. If you use your power of increase for good, you will enter into the Kingdom of God and become part of the family of God.”

“It’s a good thing I didn’t know the meaning of my name earlier.  I might have gotten a big head,” I laughed.

“You are far from being alone in having a beautiful meaning behind your name. Almost all names have a lot of beauty and meaning in them. It is sad that the ancient science of names and the power of their meaning has been lost to the world. But this loss is temporary. Mankind will soon learn the power of names again.”

I studied this wise man closer. “You aren’t just a bell ringer, are you? Who are you really?”

John sighed, looked heavenward for a moment and then looked at me. “I guess it’s time to tell someone, but I can only tell you if you heard the bells as you were waking from sleep. You did hear them, didn’t you?”

“Yes, I heard them loud and clear.”

John shut his eyes for a few seconds as if he was reading a page from a book within his head. He opened them and said: “Yes. You did really hear them. I do not doubt you. This is a great day. Would you like to get a cup of coffee at Denny’s when I finish my shift? It’s only a few minutes away.”

I didn’t know if this guy was for real or not — probably not, I thought — but, like I said, I’m a very curious person. I replied, “I don’t know why I find your words so fascinating. Yes, I would really like to talk more…”

Copyright 1997 by J J Dewey

Chapter Four

Chapter Four

This entry is part 5 of 22 in the series Free Book

The First Communion

Drinking coffee at Denny’s seemed to be a strange situation to have the greatest spiritual experience of my life, but that was where it happened.

After we received our coffee and exchanged several pleasantries about the Christmas season, I had to show my curiosity. “I’m full of questions. I want to know the meaning of the bells, who you are and what you mean by mission.”

“One at a time,” he smiled. “What do you want to know first?”

“Do you know why I heard the bells?”

“The bells were tuned to your vibration and I was calling for you. The spiritual law is that I could not come to you, but you had to respond and come to me. You heard the bells and came to me as I anticipated. That is all I will tell you right now.”

“Well, I’ll take any morsel I can get right now. Can you tell me who you are? Obviously, you’re more than a bell ringer and I think more than any ordinary man…”

“If I just tell you outright you will not believe me,” he said. “Hold your right hand up and let your fingertips touch mine.”

I felt kind of weird doing this. I looked around and saw we were fairly secluded in a corner so I thought what the heck and put my fingertips next to his.

“Now look at me steady in the eyes,” he said.

It seemed a strange thing to do, but everything about this man and events leading up to our encounter seemed strange, so I thought I had nothing to lose and looked him in the eyes as we touched fingertips. At first nothing seemed to happen.

“Keep looking,” he said, “and free your mind from all thoughts.”

As I cooperated with him, I felt my mind begin to drift. I thought we were having a Vulcan mind melding, for I sensed a merging of our two souls in a way difficult to explain.

He pulled away his fingers and asked: “Now you tell me… Who am I?”

I drew back in a start and exclaimed: “I know who you are. You’re John!”

He smiled and said, “You’ve known all along my name is John.”

“But you’re not just any John. You are the John!”

“And which John is that?”

“You are John, the fisherman, the son of Zebedee, the apostle… the Beloved… How do I know this?”

“I transferred some of my memories to you. Do you believe them?”

“You’re right. If you told me outright I might have thought you were a crackpot, but seeing your memories makes it hard to deny. A part of me believes what I received, but another part says this is impossible. My mind has to make sense of all this. I have to ask a couple of more questions.”

“Ask away.”

“Two thousand years have passed since the days of the apostles. This means that either you are now an angel sent back to the earth or are a resurrected being… Or perhaps I am just dreaming all this.”

“It is none of those things,” he said.

“But what else could it be?” I asked.

“There is one more possibility that you missed. A hint is given in the Bible.” He then reached into a bag he carried with him and pulled out a very old-looking Bible. He found a passage, pointed to it and said: “Here. Read this…Verses 22 and 23 in the twenty-first chapter of John.”

I picked up his Bible and looked at it. The print was very old. It seemed to be a King James translation, but the type was an old Roman style. “I suppose this is the very first King James Bible published,” I said half joking.

He glanced back somewhat serious and said, “Not quite. The first edition was bulky and not practical to carry around. This is a later but still very old edition.”

“Of course,” I said, humoring myself. “Now which verses was it you wanted me to read?”

“Twenty-two and twenty three. Keep in mind Jesus and Peter were talking about the apostle John, whom you now remember to be me.”

I paused and read the verses: Peter seeing him (John) saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.

Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, if I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?

“I remember this scripture,” I said. “It is very mysterious. It seems to leave it up in the air as to whether John will die or not. I remember reading several legends that he was boiled in oil and still survived.”

“That’s not a legend. I was boiled in oil. In addition to that I have been crucified, tortured, stabbed, hung and shot several times.”

“So, you went through all that and you never died?” I asked, amazed.

“Notice the careful wording of the scripture. It indicates that the will of Jesus is that I tarry until he comes again, yet he did not say that I shall not die. I have died several times, but was revived again and healed by God… something like the experience of Lazarus except when I was revived I was able to choose the age I was to be. I usually pick the early twenties.”

“But now you look like you’re around sixty. Is that the age you picked this time?”

“No, my friend. The last time I died I was revived looking to be at about the age of twenty-one. That was back in 1944. Since that time I have been aging normally. My body presently has an age of about 71 years of age.”

“You look good for seventy-one,” I remarked with a smile.

“I’ve learned to take reasonable care of my body and have learned to overcome sickness. I have not been ill for about 1500 years, and even then I was careless and poisoned by an enemy, so I was not ill for normal reasons.”

“So, how did you die in 1944?”

“I was hung with piano wire by a wayward brother.”

“He must have been wayward all right. Who was this person?”

“Adolph Hitler.”

“Hitler!” I exclaimed. After a moment of absorbing the moment, I asked, “So were you in a concentration camp or something?”

“No.” He paused a moment and continued, “I lived among the Germans and assisted in an attempt to overthrow the Nazis from within.”

My eyes widened. “I remember reading about a rebellion against Hitler lead by a one-eyed, three-fingered man.”

“That man was Claus Schenk Von Staufenberg who made a very brave effort to remove Hitler from power. I was there working with and encouraging the little band of conspirators, but not everything a disciple does succeeds. After Staufenberg failed in his attempt to kill Hitler, everyone who even smelled like they didn’t like Hitler was killed. I was unable to escape and was one of those rounded up and hung with piano wire because they couldn’t find any regular rope.”

“So, do you experience pain when you are killed?”

“When I am injured I feel what anyone else would feel, but have learned to neutralize discomfort by detaching myself from it.”

“So when you die, and are revived, do you have the full memory of your past?”

“When I am revived, I lose a lot of my memories, but then, through contemplation, I have learned to retrieve the important ones. That is an advantage I have over others, if you want to call it that. I have a memory that goes back 2000 years. If I were to write the story of my full life it would take many volumes.”

“So, what have you been doing the past 50 years?”

“It’s a long story, but I will give you a skeleton outline. After I was revived I saw that the next major threat was the Soviet Union, and I have spent most of my time there. I am not allowed to be a major player, however. My mission is to work with, inspire and teach people who can change the world in a positive direction. Therefore, in Russia I worked with those who sought freedom and democracy and encouraged them to forge ahead. The Christ told me that my work helped to prepare for the falling of communism and the Berlin Wall.

“I also traveled to China and worked with the Christ to inspire the students at Tiananmen Square, but, as I told you, not everything I do succeeds immediately. Even though the attempt at democracy in China failed, we planted seeds that will materialize in the next attempt.

“We now are living in a time of great opportunity. The authority and tyranny that ruled Communism in the Soviet Union have basically come to an end. We still have China and Third World nations who will have nuclear weapons to worry about, but I saw a window of opportunity where I could take some time off and offer some pure spiritual teachings to the world. I have been looking forward to this for lifetimes. I just hope you are ready for what I have to give you, my friend.”

“I’ve always been interested in philosophy,” I said, “and the spiritual side of life. If you want to teach me, I’m a sponge waiting to be filled. I’m curious about one thing though. Why did you pick me?”

“Christ selected you. He tuned my bells to your vibration and sent me to Boise to send you the call.”

“The call?”

“Yes. Before any great work is accomplished, there must first be a free-will response to a spiritual call of some kind. You had to make a free-will response to the bells you heard and seek me out as I sought you out. The disciple must meet the Teacher halfway.”

“So, this mission you have for me… Is that also based on my free will?”

“Of course. You can accept or reject it. Few disciples, however, reject a teaching mission. Instead, the problem is that most of them wind up messing it up by seeking glory for themselves instead of passing it along the chain that links us to the One God.”

“And what is this chain?”

“Whenever true knowledge comes to the earth it comes through a chain of souls who are linked to the One Great Life. If you accept your mission, you are linked to me, I am linked to Christ, and Christ is linked to the entity he called Father in the New Testament. The Father is linked to God with such oneness that He is one with God and is God in every way that the average man can conceive. Any links higher than the Eternal Father are so far beyond us that it is futile for the average person to think about them.”

“You mean there are lives higher than Jesus or the Father of Jesus?”

“It does not do a lot of good going into detail about this now, for it will offend some people as truth always does. I have been killed a number of times just because I was seen as a heretic.”

John continued: “I will say this one thing. Imagine the consciousness of just one cell in your body. Next, imagine the consciousness of all your cells put together, which consciousness is your own. The gap in consciousness between you and a cell is so great that communication on an individual basis is not practical. Yet, if you have a problem with your foot, which is composed of billions of cells, you will pay attention to healing it and in the process benefit not only the foot as a whole, but also the billions of individual cells within it.

“The One God governs over a large universe, and right now this sector is a sore foot. You and I are cells that are working in conjunction with many other cells to heal the foot. That is all I will tell you about this at present. We must press on to your mission for I’m not sure how long I have with you.”

“Why aren’t you sure?”

“If a world crisis surfaces, I may be called away from you.”

“OK. I’ll try to not distract you.” I said. I was amazed at myself for being so believing, for I am usually fairly skeptical of outlandish or unusual claims. But the reason I could not seem to question the validity of this man was that he seemed so familiar, like an old friend, and I could not deny the memories he planted in my mind. I had to ask, “What is my mission?”

“The first part of your mission is to teach the Keys.”

“What are the Keys?”

“There are Twelve Keys of Knowledge, Twelve Keys of Understanding and Twelve Keys of Eternal Life. I am to teach them to you, and you will teach them to others.”

“Are you sure you’ve got the right guy?” I asked. “I’ve done a little teaching, but I’m no Moses.”

“Moses didn’t think he was a great teacher either, but he did OK.”

“Well, I would refuse to teach anything that doesn’t make sense to me,” I said.

“That is exactly the quality we are looking for in a student,” he said.

“I’ll tell you what,” I said. “Give me some of your teachings, I’ll think them over and we’ll go from there.”

“At least you are willing to start the process,” said John, “but I can only give you the keys one at a time.”

“Well, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to learn a couple of them and then if they make sense I could continue.”

“A logical conclusion,” stated John.

“So, when do we start?” I asked.

“How about now?” said John.

“Right now? I’m afraid I’m not prepared. I don’t even have anything with me to write on.”

“This is not your standard method of teaching,” he said. “You do not need any paper.”

“What do I need then?”

“You need to use your understanding as you never have before…”

I was silent for a long 15 seconds in anticipation.
Copyright 1997 by J J Dewey

Chapter Five

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Chapter Five

This entry is part 6 of 22 in the series Free Book

Hints and the First Key

I gathered my forces and inquired, “So, how do we go about doing this?”

“If I were to just tell you the keys, your understanding of them would be quite limited and you would not appreciate the depth of knowledge that lies behind them. Instead, we will use what is called the Intuitive Principle. I will give you pieces of information, or hints, and you contemplate where they are leading you and give me your intuitive feedback. Then I give you more hints until you come to an understanding of the principle. Sometimes that understanding comes gradually and other times it comes instantly in a flash of light.”

“So, are you going to give me a hint now?”

“Yes. Your first hint is the question: WHO OR WHAT ARE YOU? Or if you put it in the first person you ask WHO OR WHAT AM I? Each time you are given a hint you are allowed to ask enough questions to get the direction of the hint settled in your mind so your intuition can foment. Do you have anything you want to ask?”

“I might as well take a stab at the answer. It seems easy enough. I am a human being.”

“That is the definition of your physical presence, but the term human being is just a vibrating term that tells you nothing of what you are. Think again. WHO OR WHAT ARE YOU?”

Obviously, John was not going to let me off easy here so I reflected for a moment and replied: “If I recall correctly the scriptures tell us that we are supposed to be sons of God. Is that what we are?”

“It is true that you are a human being. You are also a son of God as the scriptures teach. But just saying you are human or a son of God, Godlike or angelic means little. It is just an expression of words with little meaning to most. Let me ask you again… WHO OR WHAT ARE YOU, really?”

This sounded easy at first, but I was beginning to get the idea that it might be harder than I thought. I thought a moment of every teaching I could think of about who I was and then responded. “Some say I am Spirit or Soul. Is that who I am?”

“And what is Spirit or Soul?” said John.

“Well, I guess it is me without my body. Perhaps that which continues after death.”

“If I were to tell you that you are Spirit, does that tell you anything about who or what you are?”

“Well, yes. I guess so.”

“What does it tell you?”

“It tells me that I… that I’m…. that I’m, well, some type of spirit essence.”

“Didn’t you learn in Basic English that you are not supposed to define a word with the word you are defining? You do not define red by saying it is red. You do not define spirit by saying it is spirit. Now let me repeat. If I say you are Spirit, what does it tell you?”

I was about to define Spirit by using the word Spirit again, but caught myself and thought a moment. “I guess if I am Spirit then I am not physical.”

John then reached toward me and grabbed my wrist. “But I can feel your physical self. So are you really Spirit?”

“Well, I guess am a physical being with a spirit.”

“Let me explain something that you must remember throughout this course. I will always speak to you precisely. I did not say that you have a spirit, but I asked you what it would mean if you were Spirit?”

“I guess it would mean that I am not physical.”

“Progress at last!” said John. “But if you are not physical, then what is left?”

I thought a moment. “Spirit, I suppose.”

John sighed. “Again I ask, what is Spirit?”

“I’m not exactly sure… Perhaps life, essence, vibration. It is what we are when we are not physical.”

“But if you are Spirit it is also what you are when you are physical. If you are Spirit then you are always Spirit. Do you think you alter between being Spirit and not being Spirit?”

“I guess not.”

“You now have food for thought. Think about this question for the next week. We will then meet in seven days and review your thoughts and give you more direction. Please repeat the question for me again.”

“What is Spirit?”

“No, my friend. That followed the question. If you are to get the correct answer, you must contemplate the correct question. What is the question?”

“Who am I?”

“Not quite. Think again. What is the question? Remember what I said about exact wording.”

“Was it What am I?”

“Think again.”

I thought back to the beginning. “Was it WHO OR WHAT AM I?”

“That is correct, my friend. Now, contemplate that exact wording and the direction of our conversation during this next week. Make notes of what comes to your mind no matter how out- of-place or ridiculous the thoughts may seem. Also, keep this thought in mind as we progress. Sometimes the hints will help you discover the direction you are not supposed to go, or wrong answers, so eventually only the way of truth is left.”

“Interesting,” I nodded in appreciation.

“Now let me ask again. If I were to tell you that you are Spirit, does that tell you anything about who or what you are?”

“I guess in reality it doesn’t tell me a whole lot.”

“You are correct. Even if the statement is true, it means very little to you or anyone else in your present state of understanding. When and if you get the first principle, you will at least have some understanding along with it.”

“Fascinating.” I felt like Spock on Star Trek observing an advanced alien race.

“Time is about up. I should be on my way.”

“John. I have one more question.”


“Can I share what I have learned with my wife?”

“If you are successful you will share your knowledge with the world. Because the destiny of male and female is to become one, you should share all things with your trusted wife. But do not tell anyone else of your experience until the time is right or you will be cut off from further teachings. Here, let me get the tab.”

“It seems strange to have John the Apostle buy me coffee. I would have thought someone of your status would just materialize what you need.”

“How little do you realize the correct use of power, my friend. When in the world of man interacting with man, I must be as a man just as you are. You will learn more about power later.” He shook my hand. “Good-bye for now.”

“Where and when will I see you again?”

“I am working as a bell ringer seven days a week at Albertson’s supermarket. I am easy to find. Come back in seven days, next Thursday, and we will continue class.”

“OK. Sure,” I said, as I watched him pay for coffee and walk out the door. I half expected to blink my eyes and watch him disappear as he walked down the sidewalk, but he did not. He just looked like a normal older person strolling down the walk until he was out of sight.

Copyright 1997 by J J Dewey

Chapter Six

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Chapter Six

This entry is part 7 of 22 in the series Free Book

The Beginning of Knowledge

After taking a few minutes to explain why I was late getting home, I told Elizabeth the details of my conversations with John.

“I don’t know,” she said. “It sounds pretty hard to believe. I think sometimes you are a little too eager to believe some of the weird stuff you get into. I mean, look at it from my point of view. One moment this man is just a bell ringer for the Salvation Army and the next minute he has you believing he’s the Apostle John from the time of Christ. You told me not to tell anyone about this. You don’t have to worry about that. I’m afraid if I did that they would put you away. Then I’d have nobody to take care of me during my last few months on this earth.”

“I know it sounds crazy,” I said, shaking my head, “and there is no way he could have convinced me in so short of time, but when he put his hand next to mine and looked at me, it was like he and I were one person. For an instant, I saw his thoughts, his purity and his memories from the days of Jesus. There was something so real about it that it is impossible to describe. After the thought transfer, I am more positive that he is the Apostle John than I am sure of being here in this house at this moment. It sounds crazy, but you’ve got to trust me on this.”

“I trust you more than anyone I know, but you sometimes make mistakes, and your judgment is not always perfect. I trust your sincerity one hundred per cent, but you are not infallible.”

“But you know I’ve never lied to you. I’m telling you John put his thoughts and some of his memories in my mind as clear as day.”

“But I wasn’t there. Maybe he’s some master hypnotist of some kind, with perhaps an evil design.”

“I can’t blame you for doubting. I probably would, too, if you came home telling me a story like this.”

“I’m not saying that your story about John is not true. I’m just not convinced. I’ll tell you what would convince me, though.”

“What’s that?”

“Do you remember reading in the New Testament that Jesus gave his disciples the same power to do miracles that he did? If I remember right, they did some of the same amazing healings that Jesus did.”

“You’re right. I even have some of John’s memories planted in me of some great miracles not even in the Bible. I have the recollection of John walking on water, and another time of his putting out a great fire by his word and saving many lives… Then, again, he brought back a friend from the dead even as Jesus did with Lazarus.”

Elizabeth’s eyes brightened. “So, he should have no problem healing me, then, should he?”

“I know he could. He spoke about the correct use of power, though, as if I did not understand it. Maybe healing you is something he is not allowed to do for some reason. During World War II, he was strung up with piano wire and unable to save himself.”

“But on other occasions he was able to use the power of God to help.”

“Yes. That’s true. I just don’t want to get our hopes up here, but you’re right. We may just have the greatest miracle man walking the earth right here in our midst. He may not only hold the keys of knowledge, but he may hold the keys to you being whole again.”

“There’s only one way to find out. You’ve got to ask him. If he heals me, then I’ll know for sure that he is the apostle.”

“Well, I don’t think I’d be struck down for asking. It’s worth a try, but he told me to come back in a week to continue the lesson.”

“Did he tell you that you couldn’t talk to him for a week?”


“Since the man drank coffee at Denny’s, he probably also eats. Why don’t you go see him tomorrow and invite him over for dinner? We could ask him then.”

“It’s worth a try,” I said.

That night I was lucky if I got two hours sleep. I had never felt such restless anticipation.

The next morning I took a little shopping trip. Sure enough, there he was, ringing his bell near the entrance of Albertsons. As I approached our eyes met. He smiled a brief, fatherly smile at me.

“I had to come to the store to get a couple of things,” I said. It wasn’t really a lie. There were a couple of things I needed.

John’s countenance became more serious. “I suppose you have to do all the shopping since your wife is unable to.”

“How did you know about my wife?”

“Not only did I give you some of my memories, but I caught a glimpse of some of yours. You love your wife very much, don’t you?”

“Yes. Very much.”

“I was in your situation almost two thousand years ago. My wife became deathly ill and I had to watch her waste away. There was nothing I could do. It still bothers me, even after all this time.”

“You mean you performed all those miracles and you couldn’t heal your own wife?” I felt a sinking feeling that he may not be able to help Elizabeth.

“Yes. Through me, God healed hundreds of people I didn’t even know, but the woman I loved was beyond my power.”

“It almost sounds like God is cruel,” I said bitterly.

“Not really,” John said with understanding and empathy. “There is always love if we see the big picture. All pain and all illness exists to either guide or teach us. If we do not learn the lesson from the disease, then the disease will either continue or change form until we die. Even though my wife was a great lady, she was also stubborn. She was unable to accept the change necessary to be healed. In some ways, I think I suffered more than she did.”

“I know the feeling,” I said softly.

“Many of the people that Jesus and the disciples healed got their illnesses back because they did not make the necessary corrections in their lives. Some of these people turned into our enemies and sought our lives. Others were permanently healed and were faithful to the end.”

John paused and looked at me with great earnestness: “You’ve come to ask me to heal your wife, haven’t you?”

I was amazed by his perception, but then replied, “Yes. Is it possible? She is supposed to be incurable.”

“Remember what the Master said. All things are possible.”

“Will you do it then?”

“I will let you know what I can do after I meet her. I sense she wants to meet me, to know if I am for real.”

“She asked me to invite you over for dinner. How about tonight?”

“Can you pick me up here about six?”

“I’ll be here.”

John was waiting for me at six. After getting in the car, I said, “You know I have a million questions for you.”

“That is a good sign,” he said. “The asking of questions is the beginning of knowledge. You’d be surprised how many people would have no questions even if God himself were to appear before them.”

“You’re kidding! If a source of knowledge like you is available, then you would think the average guy would be spilling over, asking all kinds of things.”

“Many people are afraid of the truth, even among those who claim to be seekers and teachers. When you come face-to-face with undeniable truth, you must either conform to it or live your life as a hypocrite. Because people resist change they resist truth. That is why few people have more than two or three questions they would ask, even if they knew for sure they could get correct answers.”

“I must not be average. I must have hundreds of questions!”

“That’s the way it is. You are either afraid of truth and do not want to know more than your comfort zone will allow, or you are open to truth and change and your range of inquiry is infinite.”

“Since it is good that I have questions, will you answer them?”

“You can ask anything you want. I will either answer your questions or I will not. It is that simple. Some things you are meant to discover on your own. Others are hidden from you for a purpose. Certain other mysteries you are meant to discover at a certain time and in a certain place.”

“Let’s start with this. You do eat, don’t you, since you’re coming to dinner?”

“Yes,” John laughed. “I live each rejuvenated life as an ordinary mortal. I am as dependent on food as you are.”

“Are you a vegetarian or do you live on a special diet?”

“In ideal circumstances I would be a vegetarian, but right now I try to eat a common sense diet. I do what is necessary to keep my vehicle strong and vital.”

“Your vehicle?”

“Yes. I was referring to my body.”

“Ahhh.  Well, since the Bible says you were a fisherman, I thought we would serve you salmon. Does that sound OK?”

“Salmon is good,” he smiled.

As we walked in the house Elizabeth was waiting in her wheelchair in the dining room. “So this must be the mystery man.” She had a friendly, yet skeptical look in her eye.

John met her hand with a shake and said: “And you are Elizabeth — a woman of grace, strength and beauty. Do I look familiar to you?”

Elizabeth looked puzzled: “I’m not sure. Why?”

“As we talk, it will seem to you that you know me.” He looked toward the kitchen. “Is there anything I can do to help with the meal?”

“Can you make a salad?” I asked.

“My specialty,” he said proudly.

“Good. I’ll put you to work while I sizzle the salmon steaks.”

Copyright 1997 by J J Dewey

Chapter Seven

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Chapter Seven

This entry is part 8 of 22 in the series Free Book


As John and I were preparing dinner, Elizabeth was sitting in her wheelchair at the dining room table. I sensed that she was uncomfortable with the idea that we were having company and that she was unable to do anything to help. She was getting to the point that if she got any worse she would have to have someone stay with her all the time. She was still insisting that I go out and work my normal schedule and that she could take care of herself, but I was beginning to feel uneasy about her.

I looked her direction. “Sweetie… Do you have any questions you want to ask John?”

“You guys go ahead and finish putting the meal on, and I’ll let John have it then.”

I looked at John. “Do you drink wine?”

“A little now and then.”

“How about some Gewurztraminer? It’s our favorite for special occasions.”

“You have good taste.”

“I was a little nervous in offering it to you. After all, your contemporary, John the Baptist, was supposed to eat nothing but locusts and honey.”

“But when he was in prison, he ate whatever they gave him. Every food, every element in the universe, is good and beneficial if taken in the right portions, in the right combinations, and bad when the limit is crossed. Quinine is a good example. It has been added in minute amounts to drinks for many years, but is deadly if any substantial amount is taken.

“Research now shows that moderate amounts of alcohol have a beneficial effect on the heart. Even cigarettes, if taken in small doses, like just two or three a week, could have a beneficial stimulation to the system for some. The trouble with them is that very few people have the self-control to limit their intake on these and other habit-forming substances.”

“How about pot? How is that beneficial?”

“Pot, as you call it, is a medicine and should be administered by a knowledgeable healer. It should not be used on a regular basis without the advice of a physician or spiritual teacher. Overuse can have the negative effect of weakening the power of the will and delaying the correct use of the energy centers in the head. Extreme overuse can cause physical and other problems.”

“Interesting,” I said. John and I took the food to the table. “Looks like we are about ready to dine. Elizabeth tells me that I make the best salmon steaks there are.”

“Looks as good as anything the French can dream up,” John said. “And salmon is very good for Elizabeth’s diet.”

“Let me propose a toast,” I said, as I raised my glass. “May the truth always prevail.”

“A great toast,” John replied, smiling. “That is not the first time I have heard you propose it, nor will it be the last.” He saw a question mark in my eyes. “Don’t ask me to explain that remark yet… May the truth always prevail,” he said.

John and I drank deeply. I always filled Elizabeth’s wineglass about half-full so she could drink with her shaking hands. Still, she spilled a couple of drops. “Excuse me,” she said, wiping herself with a napkin.

“No problem,” said John. “Didn’t you promise to interrogate me?”

“Yes, I do have some questions.”

“This may be somewhat of a special occasion.” John interrupted. “This is the first time I have opened myself up to questions with knowledge of my identity on the table for several hundred years.”

Elizabeth set her fork down and wiped her mouth. “So, you really think you are John the Beloved? Tell me in your own words who you are. This is such a fantastic claim I want to hear it from your own mouth.”

John leaned forward and looked at Elizabeth thoughtfully. “The Beloved was a term originated by one of my students, and for some reason it stuck and I was called the disciple that Jesus loved in the final edition of the Gospel of John. I did not feel at the time that I deserved any such title. In many ways, back then I was somewhat immature and fell short as a disciple of the Master. All of us betrayed Him in some degree. Someday, I will tell you why Jesus chose me to wander the earth until He comes again. In a way, it has been a great honor, and has had many rewards, yet in another way it has been very difficult.”

“What do you mean you all betrayed Him in some degree?” asked Elizabeth. “I thought you were all holy men.”

“Jesus was the only holy man among us, and even that was not obvious until one looked below the surface. The disciples were much more ordinary than any of the churches would ever want you to believe. The twelve apostles were not much more out of the ordinary than a group of salesmen at a convention. The only thing we had in common was a desire to learn the deeper mysteries. We were also attracted to the power Jesus had and wanted Him to share it with us, but our motives were not entirely pure.

“At one point we let jealousy overcome us and accused Jesus of being a glory seeker. We told him that He needed to let us do and take credit for some of the miracles, so He would be forced to stay humble. Now I see, on reflection, that it was we who needed to be humbled. He was just doing the job He came to do, and it attracted attention. At the time we felt like we deserved attention just as much as Jesus did, and we wanted our share.”

“Well, if you are the Apostle and this is true, why are you telling us? I would think you would want to keep anything negative about your history under your hat,” Elizabeth said matter-of-factly.

“That was our basic attitude when we related the story of the Gospel to students that was finally written down in permanent form. We were somewhat defensive when the story of how we deserted Jesus on the night of his arrest kept surfacing. None of the eleven remaining apostles wanted that to go in a permanent record, but the truth was out about it shortly after the resurrection and there was no suppressing it. Peter suffered the most, however, because Jesus actually predicted he would deny him three times before the cock would crow. Many ignorant people thought he did not deserve to be a leader because of this act, and some who were jealous of his position even crowed like a rooster when he walked by so as to remind him of his mistake. Peter suffered great pain because of his error, yet he also performed the greatest of miracles among us.

John continued: “To answer your question why do I reveal my past weakness? For two reasons. Joseph will write about our conversations, and in this round I must reveal the truth about the humanity of the little group who followed the Master. In the past, we tried to portray ourselves as greater than we were. Second, I want you to realize that I am just a human being like yourselves. I have many answers, but not all the answers. I have some power available, but not all power. I would rather give you more than you expect, rather than less.”

I asked John if he wanted more salmon, and he happily accepted. My interest in John increased by the minute.

“So, how would you rate yourself now?” Elizabeth asked. “Have you made some progress?”

“I appreciate that question. Yes, I have made a lot of progress. Back in those days, I was like a kid in a candy store. Now, I’m more like the father who had too much candy as a kid deciding how much candy his own child should have. My perspective and judgment is much improved. Even so, I cannot just blurt out the few mysteries of the universe that I know. Higher knowledge cannot just be poured into you like placing data into a computer. To be fully understood, it must be verified through a person’s own soul.

“And what is the difference between lower and higher knowledge?” Elizabeth asked.

“Lower knowledge deals with facts and can be used as soon as it is memorized — like how to spell certain words or the multiplication tables. Seven times seven is forty-nine. As soon as anyone memorizes this, he can use it in the practical world.

“Higher knowledge deals with principles and requires a certain attuning with the spiritual self to be able to apply it. For instance, anyone can learn how to write down musical notes, but to compose a beautiful and original melody requires an attuning with music itself. Anyone can memorize a scale of notes, but only the person who is in tune with music can come close to understanding the principle behind music and write original scores.

“So the first key, which is WHO OR WHAT AM I? cannot just be told to us,” Elizabeth concluded.

“That is correct. You must tune into it to understand the meaning. My job is to merely guide you in the right direction. I am like the person coaching the songwriter. I could say to such a person: ‘That doesn’t even sound like music. Try again,’ or, ‘That sounds beautiful and stirs my soul. Keep on writing.’ I will know within myself when you have reached the required level of understanding.”

“Interesting,” said Elizabeth. (I was just sitting back, relaxing and enjoying watching Elizabeth give John an interrogation.) “Now I have some real questions for you,” she mused.

“Ask on,” John replied, obviously pleased with Elizabeth’s curiosity.

Elizabeth reached into the pocket of her skirt and pulled out a list. “Here they are:

“One: What is the meaning of life? Two: Where did we come from? Why are we here and where are we going? Three: How much of the Bible is really true? Four: Is there a true church? And if there is, which one is it? Five: Is there reincarnation? Six: Is Christ really coming again? If so, when? Seven: When did the universe begin, and when will it end? Eight: Who or what is God, and why is He not doing something constructive on the earth today? It looks to me like He doesn’t care much about starving children, for instance. Nine: Does this earth have any future awaiting it, or is there going to be some dark apocalypse where life as we know it will cease to exist? Ten: Why does God allow suffering, disease and untimely death? What father would let his children suffer as some of us have to? If God is really a loving God, it just doesn’t make sense. Take me, for instance. I know I’m not perfect, but there are a lot of rapists and murderers out there who are in much better physical shape than I am. Why am I punished and not them?”

John smiled. “That’s an impressive list of questions. Did you think them up yourself?” he asked.

“My husband and I thought them up last night when we sort of brainstormed.”

“For several reasons I will only give you so much at a time. I will take one question from you tonight. Pick the one that means the most to you.”

“I think you know which one that is,” Elizabeth said evenly.

“That could be.” John said. “Nevertheless, you must clearly state your question.”

“Why is that?” she protested.

“There is a principle governing the transmission of higher principles. Have you heard the statement by Jesus in the Bible where he says: Ask and you shall receive?”

“I believe so.”

“If you want to know any mystery, you must ask and know what you are asking. The one being asked must know what is being asked, and the one who is asking must be willing to receive if the answer is given.”

“And if I reject the answer?”

“Then it will be as if the question was never asked,” John replied.

“I’m not sure if you are really John the Beloved, but at least you are unusual… How do I know if I am ready for the answer?”

“When you are ready to consider anything, no matter how crazy it sounds,” said John.

“So the answer to number ten could be that God is really a spoiled cosmic brat who is torturing us like a kid who sticks pins in bees and pulls wings off flies?”

“You never know,” John said wryly.

“OK. I will not guarantee I am ready, but here’s the question. It’s number ten.”

“Articulate the question,” said John.

“OK. I’ll repeat it.” Elizabeth shifted in her wheelchair. “Why does God allow suffering, disease and untimely death? Why do some innocent children die? Why do some of us suffer with painful disease, and others who deserve to suffer seem to be vibrant and healthy?”

“I’ll answer at least part of your question,” said John. “In particular, you want to know why you suffer with such a dread disease when you have been basically a good person and do not deserve such pain. You wonder why your life will seemingly be cut short while other people can gracefully grow old with their partners. Is that what you want to know?”

“Basically, yes.”

“I will give you a partial answer now and more later when you have additional pieces to the puzzle. Can you accept this?”

“I suppose so. Go ahead. Show me what you’ve got.”

I smiled at Elizabeth’s spunkiness and looked at John with great anticipation for the answer.

Copyright 1997 by J J Dewey

Chapter Eight

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Chapter Eight

This entry is part 9 of 22 in the series Free Book

The Answer

John took a breath, leaned back in his chair, and said: “By the way, that’s about the best salmon I’ve had in a thousand years. Good wine, too. Reminds me of some good German ones back in the 30’s. I appreciate your hospitality.”

“Thanks. That means a lot coming from you,” I beamed.

“Now on to the question,” said John. “The question Elizabeth asked is not usually of great concern for a person who is healthy, active and gliding along in life. But sooner or later every soul in his or her progress reaches some type of life crisis or problem and looks to the skies at some invisible being and demands: ‘Why me, God?’ Or it may be, ‘Why my wife?’ or ‘Why my child?’ or ‘Why my parents?’ He wants to know why this suffering seems to single him out and not others who seem to richly deserve it. He hears that God is love, but if He is loving, then why would He allow this?”

John paused a moment then continued: “If and when you finish the 36 principles, the answer to this will be fairly clear in your mind. For instance, when you understand who and what God is, it will be a great help. But for now we will stick to the basics.”

“There are great truths hidden in some of the maxims of this world. For instance, you have heard the phrase ‘no pain, no gain?’”

We both nodded.

“This statement is as good as scripture. Do you think there has ever been an Olympic champion who got where he was without a great deal of pain? How about a successful businessperson, an inventor, a great actor? They have all had to go through painful experiences or make painful sacrifices. But in the end, the pain produced gain.

“Now an interesting point here is that these successful individuals volunteered for the pain because they had faith the pain would produce gain. The runner painfully pushes his body because he believes it will result in a stronger body and eventually the joy of accomplishment and victory.

“Let us imagine that various parts of your body have their own life and consciousness. See your lungs as one entity, your heart as another, your muscles as still another and your brain as a fourth entity. You are the whole person and are in charge of the general decision-making as to what is good for the whole. Let us say that the brain wants to read a book, the muscles want to sleep because they are tired, the lungs want some fresh air and the heart wants some romance. The problem is they cannot do all of these things — they can only do one of them. Who gets to decide? If the brain decides all the time, the whole body will spend all of its time reading and will never get fresh air for the lungs. If the heart forces the body to spend all free time in romance, then the brain will be bored to death. It is fortunate that decision-making is turned over to you — the whole person running the body. You make decisions for the body by taking the whole into consideration. Your decisions may not be perfect, but they are much better for the whole than if power were turned over to a part.”

“So are you saying that I am a part of a greater whole and that this greater whole is making me suffer for some greater benefit of something greater than myself?” Elizabeth asked.

“That is part of the answer,” John nodded. “Now to visualize more clearly, let us suppose that you decide that you are going to be a champion long-distance runner. When you start your training, no one of these four lives I mentioned will be happy. During running practice, the brain will have too much blood rushing through it to even be able to think. The lungs will feel like they are on fire and ready to explode. The muscles will ache and feel as if they cannot go on, and the heart will pump like crazy, thinking it is being tortured. All these little lives are shouting out the question: Why is this happening to us? What is the purpose of it all?

“Then comes the time, months later, that the body is in perfect tune and ready for the competition. What do these little lives feel about being pushed, now? The brain notices that it gets more oxygen and thinks and functions much better. The lungs are happy they have to breathe about half as frequently as they used to and that breathing is much easier. The muscles are aware that the weight of the body seems much lighter, and they no longer need so much rest. Finally, the heart, like the lungs, seems to be able to rest more and does not have to beat as often or with as much effort as it used to. In the end they all think the same thought: We’ve been through a lot of pain, and we didn’t like it at the time, but now life seems easier, fuller and more rewarding.

“Now,” said John, moving his chair closer to the table, “we’ll move this analogy closer to home. It may seem to us that we are the highest lives in the universe and that what we do only affects ourselves. But it does not. Each of us has invisible links to family, friends, city, state and every other life on this planet and even the universe. These are all various higher bodies in which we interact and produce effect. We are linked to these other lives through the Holy Spirit, who is the final judge as to circumstances that will be brought into play to benefit the whole.”

Elizabeth wheeled back from the table. “So, you are telling me that the Spirit of God decided to make me ill to benefit the whole in some way?” she asked angrily. “Well, I don’t think my illness is benefiting anyone or anything. In fact, it is keeping me from doing many good things I have always wanted to do.” She looked ready to leave the room.

“It may seem that way,” John replied softly and patiently. “But for greater understanding, you must realize that there are two of you who are undergoing a painful experience here. In some ways, your husband suffers more pain than you do. When a loved one is suffering through what appears to be no fault of his own and can do nothing about it, that helplessness is very painful. Believe me, I know. I was in Joseph’s situation long ago.”

After a long pause Elizabeth sighed, her eyes slightly tearful. “You’re probably right. He also has to work much harder than he used to, in order to take care of everything. Now I even have him doing housework. Believe me, that is proof he loves me. Then I probably bring him additional pain by complaining too much…”

“You don’t complain as much when you are ill as others do when they are well,” I assured her.

“Actually,” said John, “the analogy so far applies more to Joseph than it does to you. Like the story of the four little lives, Joseph, through no fault of his own, found himself married to a person with an incurable disease. He is like all of us to some degree or another. We find ourselves in situations that we had seemingly little, if any, power in creating, and once we are there, we just have to deal with it the best we can. Like the brain, he had to forego pleasant studies. Like the lungs, he had to work harder to supply oxygen or money to keep everything running smooth. Like the muscles, he had to be more active and take on a larger load. Like the heart, he had to put romance on the back burner and concentrate on just keeping your relationship alive by pumping harder to keep life-giving energy circulating between the both of you. Later, just like the four little lives, Joseph will find that he has more freedom, power and strength than he ever had before.”

“That’s all very interesting,” said Elizabeth, shaking her head, “but I’m still in the dark as to why I have to suffer this disease. Don’t tell me that it is just so my husband can have a growing experience.”

“Not at all,” John replied. “However, that may be part of the reason the Spirit sent a charge of energy that caused Joseph to fall in love with you and marry you. But the benefits of your disease for Joseph are merely side benefits that we all pick up on the road of life if we handle our situations correctly as they come up.”

“You’ve gone all around my question but haven’t answered me yet. Why don’t you just blurt it out and tell me?” Elizabeth pleaded, her voice shaking.

John looked into Elizabeth’s eyes and replied softly and slowly: “Whenever you meet a true spiritual teacher worth his salt, he will rarely answer you outright. Instead, he circles around the core thought so when the answer is finally manifested it will be understood. Now that is what I am about to do. Why do bad things, such as your illness, happen to good people?

“As I said before, you are a part of a greater whole that is joined together by the Holy Spirit. Each person in an individual life has one major lesson he is supposed to learn, one ability or talent he is to develop and one quality he is supposed to enhance. This triangle of learning is never easy and is always a struggle. For instance, if a certain person was born with the natural ability to play the piano, the lesson would generally not be directly connected with it because internally this is something that is already mastered. Instead, the piano may be a distraction to tempt him away from his real lesson, which may be in an opposite direction such as heavy construction. If he is driven by his soul to become a famous musician, the lesson could be connected with the fame and not the talent itself.”

Elizabeth interrupted: “From the time I was young I had a gift for drawing. I never took any classes, but I could draw most anything in moments, and it would look great. Just as I was thinking of developing this talent more fully, I got this disease. Now my hands shake too much to be able to draw.”

“This ability that you naturally had was your temptress to lead you astray from your true calling to improve yourself and to be more useful to the whole, thus becoming a whole-ly (holy) person.”

“So what am I supposed to learn?” Elizabeth asked.

“As I said, the thing you are supposed to learn is something you are usually not very talented in and that you naturally resist, to some degree. When the degree of resistance becomes too great, and you are not hearing or seeing the messages that the Spirit is sending you, then the message must be sent more strongly. If it is resisted again, you may be sent a life-threatening illness such as yours which forces you to look upward and shout out, ‘Why me God?'”

“I’ve done that before,” said Elizabeth. “So what am I resisting?”

“Think,” John suggested. “Think of situations you may not like that seem to keep repeating themselves, forcing you to do or work at something you don’t particularly want to do.”

“I know what mine is,” I spoke up. “I’ve always enjoyed doing creative things, especially writing of all types, and I’ve always been forced into situations where I have no time for creative endeavors and always wind up doing something in sales or business to make the money I need. I used to hate sales and business, but now I’m becoming good at it. Now, I appreciate business and sales talent as much or more than I do the talent of an artist.”

“And that is why you are healthy,” said John. “You eventually gave in to the forces pushing you toward your lesson and are making progress. As long as you are making progress in your lesson, your soul does not have to send you great pain to move you ahead.”

“So what is Elizabeth resisting?” I asked again.

“She must examine the experiences of her life, look within, touch bases with the still, small voice, find out what she has avoided doing, and do it.”

“How will I know when I have found it?”

“It will feel very right and good when you finally yield to it,” said John.

“So what is the lesson of her disease?” I asked.

“Every disease is a teacher,” said John. “You must look at the disease, see where it is located and the effect it is having in order to discern its lesson. For instance, heart disease must be trying to teach us something connected with the heart. The heart is the seat of spiritual love. If it is time for you to learn the value and expression of love — which is an octave higher than passionate love or possessive love — and you resist, then the heart becomes weak as a message to you that your expression of love is weaker than it should be.”

“But I’ve had some friends with heart problems, and they seemed like pretty nice people,” Elizabeth exclaimed. “On the other hand, I’ve known some cruel people who seem to not know what love is at all, yet have healthy hearts. How do you explain that?”

“The cruel people you mention are not yet ready to learn about spiritual love, so their souls do not even attempt to teach them by bringing them pain in that direction. Maybe the cruel person needs to start with a simpler lesson. Perhaps he is just supposed to learn the value of giving and receiving affection. Maybe he is suffering through tremendous pain and rejection because he is not getting any affection from anyone. Maybe this rejection just about drives him crazy until finally he yields and gives in to it. For him that is a big step, but for us we wonder why anyone would have a problem with it.”

“So what’s the lesson of cancer?” I asked, becoming even more interested.

“Ah, cancer,” said John. “Many great souls have died of this, one of the most painful of all teachers.

“All disease falls into two categories. First is congestion. This is caused by holding in too much, such as in suppression or denial. The second is inflammation. This is caused by not holding in enough and releasing more energy than you take in. Cancer is caused by congestion. The person holds in or suppresses energy or feelings that need to be released, and this holding in produces a growth which is symbolic of the unreleased desire or feeling.

“Let us suppose that you see yourself as a nice person and find yourself in contact with a rough individual who hurts your feelings. You have three choices. First, you can hurt his feelings right back; second, you can release your hurt by telling that person how he made you feel; or third, you can be a nice person and avoid conflict by pretending that everything is OK.

“This third alternative, that many take, is by far the worst choice. First, it encourages the rude person to continue in his behavior, and second, it is a deception that the Spirit of Truth will not allow to forever remain in an evolving soul. People think the most frequent lie is, ‘The check is in the mail.’ But in reality it is the communication which says, ‘I’m fine. You did not hurt me,’ that is the biggest lie.

“Lesser souls are allowed to lie and get away with it. Like children they get away with certain things because of their lack of understanding. But when a person reaches a certain stage of progression, this greatest lie is no longer tolerated and the lesson must be learned.

“Cancer is caused by many types of suppression. Hurt feelings, as I said, is a big one, denial of feeling is another, and lack of sexual fulfillment due to lack of communication, miscommunication or guilt is another. All involve deception of some type.”

“You’re circling around the answer again,” said Elizabeth. “I can see that this method of teaching does have the effect of stimulating interest. Now I’m more curious than ever about what you will say about my illness.”

“That is as it should be,” John smiled. “Every disease has both physical and spiritual ingredients affecting the problem. For instance, people think that contact with germs produce certain illnesses, yet two people can inhale the same germs and one can get sick and the other one not be affected. Perhaps the one who did not become ill was in better physical shape, but more often than not he was in more harmony with his soul in that area where the disease has a lesson to teach.

“Multiple Sclerosis was very rare before a hundred years ago, and even today rarely occurs in the less civilized societies. Part of the reason for this is our overprocessed and depleted foods. Another is the chemicals and poisons to which modern civilization is currently exposed. You have heard the theory that mercury fillings can bring on MS, and there is a grain of truth to this, but Joseph has more mercury in his mouth than you have, yet is unaffected. The difference lies in the spiritual reason.

“The seat of the problem lies in the brain and the nervous system. In MS there is a loss of a fatty protective layer between the brain and the nerves, causing a malfunction or loss of communication between the brain and the all-important nervous system.

“Spiritually, our nervous system needs a certain amount of protection from our thoughts, brain activity and our fears, which our brains and feelings tend to amplify.”

“MS is basically caused by failure to correctly direct thoughts and fears into their right place. The patient must realize that unchecked fears and thoughts can run rampant and destroy the protective layer over the nerves. When unchecked, thoughts and fears interact directly on the nervous system. A physical correspondence can take place, and the person can become ill.”

“So I did not get MS because I somehow do not let my thoughts and fears affect my nervous system?” I asked.

“You create the protection you need by shifting your attention from destructive thoughts and fears. This shifting of attention gives your nervous system its needed rest. On the other hand, Elizabeth suppresses unwanted thoughts and fears. This gives her the appearance of resting the nerves, but its effect is opposite. Instead, she has another deception producing a destructive effect. By deceiving herself and pretending certain thoughts and fears do not exist, a dangerous situation is created and we have another disease of congestion as a result.”

“So what thoughts and fears do I pretend do not exist?” asked Elizabeth, leaning forward.

“Unfortunately, it would not be right for me to fully explain that to you at this time. I can teach you around a principle, but you must do a certain amount of soul searching yourself, or you will be denied a great growing experience.” He paused a moment and said: “Here, let me touch your forehead.”

John reached across the table and touched her forehead with the fingertips of his right hand. “Let the energy flow for a moment,” he said, closing his eyes. He took a long, slow breath, and exhaled softly and evenly.

We were all silent for a short time.

“There,” said John. “You will feel stronger for a few days. I do this for you to give you faith that you can be healed.”

“I do feel stronger!” Elizabeth said, obviously surprised. She looked at John with great emotion in her eyes. “If you are really John the Beloved, can you just heal me like people were healed by Jesus?”

John paused, in thought of his past. “Many healings were permitted at that time because it was extremely important as a witness to the Son of God. The good that resulted outweighed the bad, but there were some problems for those who were healed, but who were not ready. It is also very important that you be healed so you can help Joseph with the work he has to do, but the problem is that you will need the benefits of the knowledge and ability gained from the healing to fulfill your own mission correctly.”

“Does this mean I can be healed?” she asked eagerly.

“Definitely, but both you and your husband must do your part. You are in a race against time. You must achieve healing while your brain-body interactions are still intact, or it could be too late. If you and Joseph can solve the first three keys of knowledge before this happens, you will be healed. On the other hand, you may be healed early if you apply yourself through correct action, thought and faith.”

“Doesn’t telling her something like that increase fears and unwanted thoughts?” I asked. “Won’t such stress make things worse?”

“If handled correctly, it will force her to deal with her thoughts and fears, so she will learn to put them in their right place,” John answered, standing up to leave. “This is as far as we can go now. It has been a pleasure.”

As I was opening the door for John to leave I asked, “How did you know I have more mercury fillings than Elizabeth?”

“You will find out at the right time,” he smiled.

“Let me drive you home,” I offered.

“That’s all right. It’s a nice night for a walk.”

“But it must be five miles to wherever you live.”

“It doesn’t matter. Walking and arranging your thoughts is a very healthy thing.” As he walked into the night he reminded me of Kane in the Kung Fu series. This time, I thought he did disappear in the distance, but I wasn’t sure. After all it was fairly dark.

Copyright 1997 by J J Dewey

Chapter Nine

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Chapter Nine

This entry is part 10 of 22 in the series Free Book

Who Are We, Really?

I shut the door behind me and walked over to Elizabeth. “What do you think?” I asked.

“He’s interesting,” she said. I could see from the light in her eyes — something I haven’t seen in a long while — that hope had returned.

“Do you think he’s for real?” I asked carefully.

“I don’t know for sure. Something about him is very convincing.”

“A scripture about Jesus comes to my mind,” I said, clearing off the table. “It says, He taught as one having authority, not one of the scribes. John seems to teach with an authority or knowledge behind what he says that is unlike any teacher I have ever heard.”

“It goes beyond that,” added Elizabeth. “I definitely felt something when he touched me. I swear I think I can stand up.” She nudged forward in her chair. “Take my hand,” she commanded.

“You aren’t going to try to get up are you?” I said walking toward her.

“I feel like I can stand. Pull me up,” she insisted.

“I don’t know,” I said giving her a fairly limp hand.

She grabbed and pulled. Her pull made me pull back until she was standing upright.

“I don’t believe it!” I exclaimed. “You haven’t stood in months.”

“I think I can walk!’ she exclaimed, as she took a step. Then she took another, letting go of my hand. Next she walked slowly across the room and rested against the wall. She radiated like an Olympic winner at the finish line.

“It’s a miracle,” I shouted.

“John said I would have increased strength for a couple days,” Elizabeth cautioned, walking back and forth slowly across the room. “Since this is temporary, I think we should go for a walk while I have the strength.”

“Do you think you can?”

“There’s one way to find out,” she said. “Get our coats, and let’s breathe some fresh air.”

Sometimes, there was no way of saying no to Elizabeth. I had to at least humor her. I got the coats. “Why are you so determined to take a walk?” I asked.

“There was something in John’s voice as he was leaving. Remember what he said — something like walking helps you to arrange your thoughts. He said something about putting my thoughts and fears in their right place so they would no longer be destructive.”

Then Elizabeth took my arm and walked out the door and down the steps with a strength and determination that amazed me. Soon, we were walking down the street at a brisker pace than I had thought possible. “Let’s head toward the foothills where we used to go,” she suggested in a childlike voice.

I couldn’t discourage her at this point. We lived only a few blocks from some beautiful foothills that we haven’t been able to explore since the illness. We headed toward them and to my pleasant surprise Elizabeth seemed to have the strength to continue.

“It’s so good to be able to walk again,” she breathed in, deeply. “I have never felt so good in my life. Even the air feels like it is charged with life.”

“Just think of all the walks we could have taken together but didn’t,” I said. “You know I’ve never thought of it before, but I can see how walks can take your mind off your troubles. Just look at the beauty of this place! How can a person be fearful or worrisome while walking through it?”

“I think I can see how John was right,” said Elizabeth. “For several years before my illness, and perhaps even more so after my illness, I have had my attention on my problems and my fears. Even when I seemed to be taking it easy my concerns were still there gnawing at me. If my brain has needed a rest I can see how it didn’t get it. On the other hand, it seems as if your brain doesn’t get any rest either.”

“You can’t always tell what is going on inside by looking or even living with someone,” I replied. “I think I am successful at keeping unwanted fears and thoughts from affecting me continuously. Even when I have little time or am under a lot of pressure, I set aside periods of time where my undesirable thoughts and fears are diverted. They are not suppressed, but sort of like in hibernation.” Then it was like a light was turned on in my head. “Perhaps it would be more accurate to say it’s like I have created a place for them and have put them there. That’s kind of the way John put it, isn’t it?”

“Yes,” she nodded. “He said something about sending our thoughts and fears to their right place. That’s a little the way I feel now, like my unwanted thoughts and fears are in storage behind some locked doors somewhere. Right now, while we are walking through these beautiful hills they have no power over me. This is the first time since my illness I can remember feeling this way.”

“Maybe this means that you are healed,” I said hopefully. It was too good to be true, I thought, but miracles do happen.

“I don’t know. John said I would have added strength for a few days. It’s like some other will besides my own is keeping those symbolic doors locked and making me safe for a period of time. He said I could be healed if we solved the first three keys. Maybe we should take this quiz program of his seriously. You said something about the importance of getting the question right. Tell me the exact wording again.” We sat down on some rocks to rest.

“It was not just ‘WHO AM I?’ but ‘WHO OR WHAT AM I?'”

“And what answers did you give him that he said were not correct?”

“He didn’t quite say they were not correct but implied that my answers didn’t mean anything. Apparently there’s some core answer I’m supposed to come up with.”

“Tell me the answers you gave him that were not it.”

“First I said I was a human being.”

“Well, when I look at your office I sometimes wonder about that,” she smiled.

“You are feeling better, aren’t you?” I quipped

“What else did you say?”

“I said a spirit, a soul, a son of God. None of these were it.”

“Well, you would think our essence would be some type of spirit or spiritual. Why did he say this was not it?”

“He said that saying I am spirit does not mean anything. He asked me to define spirit and I couldn’t say anything intelligent.”

“So he wants you to say something definite about who you are, and if you do not know what spirit is, it means nothing to say you are spirit?”

“I think it’s something like that,” I answered.

“Have you done any more thinking about who or what you are?”


“What have you come up with?”

“Not much. How about you? Can you come up with anything?”

“Well. I always find it’s good to just rattle off whatever comes to mind, make a list and see if anything makes any sense.”

“I’ve pretty much rattled off my list,” I said. “Let’s go through your list, perhaps from a woman’s perspective.”

“Smart man. Turn it over to a woman when you reach an impasse.”

“OK. Let’s see what you’ve got.”

“WHO or WHAT AM I? Let’s see.” Elizabeth stood up and we started walking again. “In addition to what you’ve said I could add that I am my thoughts, my feelings, my personality… I am what I look like. I am female. Did you know that many women define who they are by their home? That the home is an extension of themselves?”

“I think you mentioned it to me. Your list sounds as good as mine. Somehow I don’t think we have the answer though. Let’s write our thoughts down when we get home and I’ll present them to John in our next session.”

“I guess that’s about all we can do.”

“There’s one more thing I think I will do.”

“What’s that?” she asked.

“I’m going to have breakfast with Wayne tomorrow. He’s been a good friend for years and an amateur philosopher. I think I will ask him the question.”

Elizabeth glanced at me anxiously. “Didn’t you say John told you not to tell anyone about this yet?”

“He told me not to tell anyone about him. He didn’t put any restrictions on how I can come up with the answers.”

“Well, don’t do anything to screw this up,” she said, squeezing my arm. “He said if we master the first three principles I will be healed.”

“John said to listen to his exact words and his exact words did not forbid me from tossing this by Wayne.”

“We haven’t done that great so far. Maybe Wayne will give us an idea or two.”

The next morning I met Wayne at our favorite cafe. Wayne was an old friend about my age who had his own business. He ran a yard care business and did a little of everything for his customers – pruning, mowing, pest control and so on. He looked like a regular homespun guy and usually wore a cowboy hat. You would never think by looking at him that he spent any time thinking about the meaning of life. But he loved to get together with me for breakfast at least once a week and just talk about philosophy, religion, the new age, politics, meaning of life or whatever. We both had respect for each other as two thinkers who looked a little deeper into the meaning of things than the average person. This morning I was hoping he would be at his philosophical best.

“How’s your week been?” I asked him as the waitress seated us.

“You don’t want to know,” he said with a painful expression on his face.

Even though Wayne was a great philosopher he had not quite perfected the art of distilling his intelligence to the point of running his business smoothly. It seemed like every time we got together he had a horror story of some costly action one of his employees took. Several months ago one ran off with about $10,000 worth of tools just a couple days after Wayne bailed him out of jail. Just last week one of them showed up on his doorstep with his wife and kids because they were evicted. The reason? He spent his rent money on drugs. Wayne was beside himself on that one.

Even though I felt bad that my good friend had so many business problems I was always curious about what happened this time. I could never just let it slide. “OK Wayne. Tell me the story.”

“I drew Skip a diagram – a map of the yard so there would be no mistake. Last time he told me that I wasn’t clear enough, so this time I drew him a damn map!” Wayne almost spitted out.

“Wasn’t Skip the one who pruned the wrong tree of some fussy customer?” I asked.

“Yep. He promised it wouldn’t happen again as long as I was clear with him so I drew him a diagram of the yard with an X marking the spot where the birch tree was located. The instructions were simple. Take out the birch tree where X marks the spot.”

“And he took out the tree from somewhere else?” I guessed.

Wayne shook his head and gritted his teeth. “The stupid son of a bitch took out a birch tree from the east side of the lawn, not the west side where I had the X.”

“So there were birch trees on both sides of the lawn?”

“Yes, but I had the X marked on the West side.”

“If your diagram was not clearly marked maybe he looked at it upside down and thought east was west.” Good old Wayne doesn’t get mad when I analyze his problems like Elizabeth does sometimes.

“That’s what he claims, but only an idiot would have read the map that way. I had the roses marked on the West side by the correct birch. That was just one of the ways he should have chosen the right tree.”

I thought to myself that I might have turned the map upside down had I been an employee, but my friend was aggravated enough without me adding fuel to the fire. “So what’s the owner going to do?” I asked.

“We had to go back and take out the right tree for free and plant him three new trees and he still isn’t happy. He’s talking about taking us to court, but I think he just wants to blackmail us for all he can get. The last time I talked to him he said that if we mowed his lawn for free for all of next year he may not take legal action. I felt like telling him to take a hike, but I suppose we’ll wind up mowing his lawn. That damn Skip! You’d think a guy could read a diagram.”

“Maybe next time you ought to actually show him the right tree in person,” I offered gingerly.

“I don’t have time to hold everyone’s hand,” Wayne said, shaking his head.

Then at least you’d better mark East, West, North and South on your diagrams.”

“Hell, that wouldn’t do any good. Some of these guys don’t know which way is up, let alone where West is.” Wayne took a big gulp of water.

This conversation seemed to end where it does each week. Wayne had a major problem with one of his guys and there was no way to prevent it and there is no way to prevent it from reoccurring. I was glad I was not asking him for business advice. Philosophy yes, Wayne was as good as anyone I knew, but business did not seem to be his talent. Nevertheless, I did admire him for keeping at it despite all the setbacks. He did seem to be getting a little more savvy in the real world.

“I have a philosophical question for you,” I said, changing the subject.

“Anything to get my mind off my guys,” he said. “I told you I didn’t want to talk about my problems.”

“OK. Here’s the situation.” I bent forward and asked in softer tones so as not to be overheard. “Let’s say that you have a vision and God appears to you.”

“What does he or she look like?” Wayne asked with a smirk.

“It doesn’t matter. Just suppose God appears to you and offers you a deal.”

“What kind of deal?” Wayne seemed to be shifting his attention from his problems to his philosophical mode.

I thought carefully. I couldn’t tell him about John. “Let’s say that God tells you that if you can answer one simple question He will give you three wishes.”

“I could use three wishes. I would take a stab at it. Why not? What’s the question?”

“Here’s the question: ‘WHO OR WHAT ARE YOU?’ Now here is what the answer is not. It is not a human being, a son of God, a spirit or soul. So if God says that none of these common answers are correct, what could it be?”

“This is an odd line of questioning for you,” Wayne said, looking at me suspiciously. “Are you sure you didn’t get hit on the head and see the Big Guy?”

“No. Nothing like that.” I tried to sound nonchalant, but I didn’t know whether or not Wayne guessed something was up. “Just been doing some thinking. I want your serious answer here. How would you answer the question?”

“OK. I’ll play along. Not son of God, not human, not spirit, not soul. Well, Jesus said something interesting about who we are that is in none of those categories.”

“That might be helpful. What did he say?”

“He said we are gods.”

“That sounds like Mormon teachings.” I’ve studied quite a bit about different religious teachings and so has Wayne.

“Yes, the Mormons have a slant in that direction, but in addition to them there are billions of people on earth with some type of belief that man is a god of some sort. Most of the Christians believe this doctrine is heresy however.”

“But you are telling me that Jesus actually said it in the Bible? How does the actual wording go?”

Wayne took a sip of coffee and leaned forward. “I remember clearly three words he said. It was Ye are gods.”

“Jesus called us Gods?” I asked in hushed tones. I remember the Bible calling us Sons of God, but Gods? Do you remember where that scripture is?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s in the gospel of John.”

“John?” I sputtered, spilling several drops of coffee on my lap.

“Careful there,” Wayne grinned. “Are you sure you didn’t have some vision or something? You look pale.” He looked carefully at my face.

“Here lately I’m not sure of anything,” I said lamely “You really think Jesus said that in the book of John?”

“Like I said, I’m pretty sure. John the Beloved himself recorded that. He was definitely the best New Testament author. Keep in mind though that most Christians don’t think he was seriously telling us we are gods.”

“So, what do you think? Do you think we’re gods?”

“Look at it this way,” said Wayne. “God is supposed to be everywhere, right?”

“That’s what they say.”

“You occupy some of that space they call everywhere, don’t you?”


“So, is God in the space you occupy?”

“If He is everywhere, then the answer is yes.”

“That means that God is in you.”

“Yes again.”

“So would God be in your heart, brain, liver and even your cells?”

“Well, they are all part of everywhere. If God is omnipresent then I guess He would be in every atom of my body.” I was catching on to Wayne’s reasoning.

“So if God is in every atom of your body you are made of God. It follows then that you are God. If it’s in you through and through, then it’s you.”

“So, do you think that is true? Do you really think we are Gods?”

“Hell, I don’t know,” Wayne said, leaning back in his seat. “I’m not even one hundred percent sure that there is a God. Sometimes I’m not even sure I am here on earth. Maybe everything is just a great dream and when we wake up there’s nothing there. Or maybe when we wake up we are in some place that makes sense. Better yet, maybe we’ll wake up on a south sea island full of beautiful girls to take care of our every need.” Wayne grinned at this thought. Poor guy hadn’t had a girlfriend in a long time.

“Very interesting thinking, but that scripture you mentioned interests me the most. I’m going to look it up when I get home,” I said excitedly. “I faintly remember reading it, but never thought of it in the context that we could actually be gods.” I couldn’t wait to get home!

“Don’t take it too seriously and expect me to worship you,” Wayne smiled.

I cut our conversation short and sped home and started researching the book of John. Finally I found the scripture in chapter ten:

John 10:34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?
John 10:35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;
John 10:36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

After a little research I realized that the “law” that Jesus mentioned was the book of Psalms. Jesus seemed to be saying that those who received the law of God or scriptures were called gods. Just maybe…maybe that was the answer. We are more than human. We are gods. I will admit however, it seemed odd to think of myself as a god, but apparently the answer that John wanted was not just your standard Sunday school formula.

I took the Bible in my hand and found Elizabeth in the family room, “Sweetie. I think I may have the answer.”

She looked up. “Don’t tell me Wayne came up with something for you?”

“Actually, he did. It’s a bit off the wall, but it just may be what we’re looking for.”

“OK. Let me have it.”

“We are gods!” I exclaimed. I could hardly contain my excitement.

She didn’t look impressed. “Wayne would come up with something like that,” she said, looking back down at the book in her lap.

“Wayne didn’t really think of it. Look here in the Bible.” I moved toward her. “Jesus said it. If Jesus said it then that’s got to be who we are.”

“Let me read it for myself,” Elizabeth said, taking the Bible out of my hands. She read the whole chapter.

“I remember this scripture” she said after a while. “I was having an argument with a Mormon once and he quoted this and told me that our destiny was to be gods. I was a little rattled and called the Bible Answer Man on a radio station.”

“What did he say?” I asked curiously. I didn’t know she called radio stations about philosophical questions.

“He said we misread the scripture, that the original Psalm was making fun of man because of his frailties. It is a little bit like one person putting down another by saying, You think you’re hot stuff don’t you? The one guy doesn’t really think the other is hot stuff. He’s just making fun.”

“So, this scripture is explained away with the idea that God is making fun of us?”

“That’s basically what most people I have talked to seem to think.”

“Let me have that Bible again,” I said. I carefully read over Psalms eighty-two and John chapter ten. “I don’t know. I’ve read it over carefully and I think Jesus was really saying that we are gods. “Look”, I said, kneeling beside her. “He used the statement as a defense for saying He was the Son of God. In other words, If those who received the law are gods, then why make a big deal out of a statement from Jesus that He is the Son of God?”

Elizabeth looked up at me and smiled. “You realize, don’t you, that there is one way to find out.

It dawned on me. “Yes. Yes,” I said, “we can ask a man who knew Jesus personally. In fact, he’s the man who wrote the scripture!” I laughed. This was unreal!

“He should be working at his bell ringing job right now,” said Elizabeth. “Why don’t you go ask him?”

Copyright 1997 by J J Dewey

Chapter Ten

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