Letters from Antioch Lamps and Wicker baskets


we strolled through Incline Village and sauntered through its quaint streets.

Hugh Christos volunteered, “We have money to purchase something at the local diner.”

Salvador agreed to the plan. After eating at the local diner, we all meandered through a local shop selling knick-knacks, along with odds and ends. The maple door groaned as we pushed it inward. We stepped inside. Oak boards on the floors creaked as we wondered through the shop. Dim fluorescent lights pointed the way through the aisles. Salvador looked at a hurricane lamp, picked it up, and carried it to some, on sale, wicker baskets.

Put this under a grass basket and see what happens.

He put a small basket on a hurricane lamp and asked, “Do you put a hurricane lamp under a wicker basket? I think not. If the lamp does not catch the basket on fire first, the basket will snuff out the light of the lamp.”

Salvador put the lamp on the basket, “See, much better. Put a hurricane lamp on a lamp stand where it is safe from being spilled and broken and where its light brings light to the whole room.”

Salvador added, “In our language, the word for a man and the word for fire is the same. Don’t hide your light, your passion for what is right under the basket of proper etiquette. Show your zeal for God and neighbor so that all may see. Hide your light and either your passion will turn to rage and burn you, or your passion will burn out.”

Salvador also had some sage advice, “Don’t say, or do anything that you do not want public. It will eventually be public; It will be public long before you want it to be public or know that it is public.”

Salvador made a strong point with a mixed metaphor, “See what you hear. What you see and what you hear are what your mind uses to build its view of the world. See in song, with pitch, timber and tempo, harmony, melody, and rhythm. Hear in color, the reds, the greens, and the blues. Smell the sweetness of this cosmos. This will keep you joyful in a very sorrowful and rotting world.”

Salvador also commented, “If you want to know what others think of you, ask what you think of them. The two are related. You will become what you see, what you hear, and what your thoughts about the world say, what your private logic tells you.”

Put a fire under this and see what happens.

Salvador told us how wheat grows, “Do not worry about grades in your study, both of the world and of the Good Book. The growth is like a farmer who scattered seed on the ground and went back to the farmhouse.”

Salvador told us about the knowledge of the farmer, “The farmer knows nothing of microbiology, and frankly, it would not help him in his farming skills. Instead, he rises early in the morning, lays his fertilizer, waters the recommended amounts, and guards his ground throughout the day, dreaming of a great harvest at night.”

Salvador told us how the land brings forth crops, “The land automatically becomes fruitful. The seed brakes open; the blade breaks the ground like grass, and becomes a stalk. The stalk gives birth to new leaves, and a husk, with sturdy wheat. Follow the example! If you watch what you see and what you hear, meditate on it night and day.”

Salvador related all of this to us, “Before your rescue, you were like the chick inside the egg. Now, Pop rescued you. You grew as a religious community and as individuals. Take time to remember your own rescue from the ways of the market god. Take time to read about your salvation as a member of the larger community. Take time to read our history as related in the Good Book.”

Diamonds, how to tell the real from the fake?

A rich lady meandered through the group as Salvador compared Torah, Prophets, Writings, and Gospel with her diamonds, “The Good book is like a diamond, having many facets. No matter how well trained you think you are, and no matter how many books you have read, or how many biblical languages you have learned, you are restricted in the number of facets you have found. Go meet with other people and you will be introduced to other facets of the most incredible diamond.”

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