From Chapter Three of the DIRECT PATH By Andrew Harvey

     One of the greatest and most reassuring mystical experiences of my recent life was seeing my cat Purrball blazing softly in divine light at the top of the stairs, licking her paws. From the moment I first saw this beautiful tabby sitting resignedly at the back of a cage in the pound, my heart contracted in love for her. That love grew and grew in the weeks and months that followed; I never knew that I could feel so unconditional a tenderness for any creature. I experienced each moment with her as a direct, almost deranging blessing that I began to know was taking me deeper and deeper into the scared heart of the Father-Mother. It was as if she were the "worm" on the hook of divine love and that divine love, using her as bait, was drawing me into an ever deeper realization of the holiness of all things. Because I loved my cat so much so suddenly, every animal I saw in the street or on television, even animals that I had before disliked or been afraid of, such as cockroaches, boa constrictors, and alligators, all became not only startlingly beautiful but also profoundly touching. I had known for years about the horrible ways in which we treat animals in slaughterhouses, cosmetic factories, vivisection institutes; I had also known many f the facts about the extermination of animal species that our environmental holocaust is causing. Loving my cat more and more made all these forms of knowledge suddenly inescapably real. Every time I saw the face of an abused animal, I saw the face of my cat in pain; every time I read of the disappearance of a species of fish or insect or bird I saw her face being wiped out by darkness. I realized that the Divine had given me my cat to open my heart finally to the living horror of what we are doing to animals and the natural world.

     At first the immediacy of such naked knowledge scared me. I believed that a great deal of mystical experience had already opened my heart; I was not prepared for this rending of another veil by love. But as I surrendered more and more not only to loving Purrball but to loving all animals and things in nature in her and through her, I found that I grew in heartbroken love for all things and beings menaced now by the environmental catastrophe human greed and blindness are engendering, and hat from that heartbroken love came a more and more passionate desire to do everything in my power to help others awaken to what I was being shown. I remembered what an old Indian chief had told me years before at a conference in New York: "When you allow yourself really to fall in love with the world, your whole being becomes full of a mothers passion to protect her children, and a fathers hunger to see them safe and strong."

     And then the moment came, when on evening, after I had been down to the fridge to drink some milk, I came back up the stairs to our bedroom and saw my cat at the top of the stairs surrounded by a nimbus of dazzling sweet diamond light. Every aspect of her seemed supernaturally precise in that dazzling light; each whisker, the white under her chin, the shining of her eyes, the "M" mark on her forehead, all were utterly clear; It was if I had never seen them before, never loved or adored or revered them enough. I realized that if I completely married my body, heart, soul, and mind together, I would see all things with this sacramental passion, burning with the glory of God.

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