Review: The Coming of the Long Awaited Global Messenger” by Timothy Hume-Behrendt
October 11th 2012 · 0 Comments
Spiritual messages come to us mundane human beings in various forms, but sometimes the visions need to be communicated to a larger audience. I have been attuned personally to these messages for a time now. In my own experience, I’ve become aware of my own energetics as a tuning fork for the seasons, and my awareness of the awesome connections we all have to nature and cosmic energies brings me to my knees in what the Hawaiian kahunas call “Makahu” experiences.
On the international stage, individuals such as Kalki, Andrew Harvey, Caroline Myss, Carolyn Baker, and Wendell Berry have been beating the drums for individuals to wake up and begin a process of transformation. These messages are not limited to the nationally known, however, for in Central New York, we have Timothy Hume Behrendt, whose book, “The Coming of the Long Awaited Global Messenger” (Forest Press, 2012). The Utica Phoenix has been publishing monthly, chapter-by-chapter.
Behrendt and his wife Peggy Spencer Behrendt have been profiled in the local press before, as they practice ahimsa, the Jainist notion of having as little destructive impact on the surroundings as possible. At the Shawangunk Nature Preserve where they live in a cottage they built back in the 1970s for $450, they work with the trees and the flora and fauna to steward the lands and the waters there. “Messenger” comes as the talk of their walk.
To read Behrendt’s “emergent evolutionary philosophy” in this semi-fictional/semi-autobiographical format offers vision grand possibilities. The hybrid fiction/non-fiction genre in which “Messenger” works harkens to “The Celestine Prophecy” and “Ishmael,” which utilize a “story” to educate the reader about a new viewpoint. There are many who like this approach, and I do not include myself among them. This reviewer won’t speak much to the format, but one highlight of “Messenger” is that the book can be read by opening it up to any chapter and reading what is found there. For all those who are aware of their own sacred authority, each chapter can resonate deeply.
Opening it up at random, a reader can find a story for children about the animals of the forest seeking to determine the strongest animal in the forest (Chapter 12: “The Children’s Hour”), or a letter to the editor on the subject of our culture being long-overdue for a resurrection of the body (Chapter 14: “The Resurrection”), an antiwar poem (Chapter 7: “The Vision in Poetry”), or in, Chapter 20, “A Winter Solstice Tale,” a fairy tale about a dastardly-hard entry into the frosty season, and my personal favorite chapter. To read Chapter 17, entitled “Love’s Beatitudes,” is one of those texts that can be a good barometer of one’s own spiritual fitness; in one perusal, a reader might wish to throw the book against a door, and in another more reasonable place take in the meaning with moderate consideration. Further, the book can also be read at all levels of education. Select chapters would make for some lively additions to reader’s theater.
It is in Chapter 8: “The Interview,” where Behrendt spells out his basic philosophy in 13 words. In the revised edition, it reads “Be Careful, Have Fun. Live Resiliently with Kindness, Fairness and Truthfulness Toward Everything.” These are a baker’s dozen of words to resonate beyond the confines of a book.
This text is not without flaws. The Global Messenger discusses new uses for the moribund United Nations, arousing feelings of wistful nostalgia for when the global nation-state structure actually held more power against corporate malefactors et al., than its current teaspoon against a flood. (Perhaps another chapter could be added that would be devoted to the elimination of laws that make corporations “Persons?”)
Still, this booklet can begin useful discussions with people who might be on the fence or just now noticing that there are things to be done, and that perhaps, just maybe that the ones who notice are the ones called to the Work at hand.