I met a prophet once when travelling around Asia. He said he was anyway and he was an interesting personality. The experience I had with him was interesting too.
In a fairly anonymous city my wife and I were passing through once we saw a congregation meeting on their day of worship and we decided to drop in to check it out. We were warmly welcomed and took our places in seats near the back as we didn’t really know anyone there.
As it turned out, that day there was a guest from overseas present and he was soon out front telling us a little about himself. He told us that he was a follower of multiple faiths which some people he had met on his global travels didn’t appreciate – you know, it was the… “you’re either one of us or you are not” type of attitude.
He gave an interesting talk about historical and religious issues. He told us that he considered himself a prophet and that he spent his life travelling the world seeking knowledge, wisdom and understanding and sharing those same things when he could.
That part was all fine and fairly normal.
Near the end of his talk, he invited up people to the front of the room to receive his blessing. The organizer of the meeting went first. The organizer stood in front of the prophet and closed his eyes. The prophet placed his hand on the head of the organizer and said a few words. At the same time, two “helpers” stood directly behind the organizer. I soon saw why they were there.
After his blessing, the prophet took his hand off of the head of the organizer and gave his forehead a soft tap. As soon as the organizer was tapped on his forehead, he instantly fell unconscious and slightly backwards where he was caught by the two helpers who gently lay him on the floor. The organizer was still unconscious and remained so for several minutes, appearing to be asleep on the floor.
By this time, another person was being blessed by the prophet and the helpers had positioned themselves behind them. Sure enough, after a soft forehead tap the second person fell backwards and unconscious and was helped to lie down on the floor beside the organizer. Then came a third person and a fourth and so on.
By about the time of the fifth or sixth person gently falling to the floor from their forehead tap, the organizer was slowly waking up. This process continued as everyone in the room made their way to the front to receive the blessing of the prophet. As each new person was being blessed, the previously blessed people were slowly waking up on the floor.
Always curious, once most of the room had been blessed, my wife and I made our way to the front of the room for our turn. Soon I saw my wife being lowered to the floor in a state of sleep and I found myself face to face with the prophet.
He said a few words and then came the forehead tap.
Nothing happened. I felt completely normal and wide awake.
He tapped my forehead a second time with the same result. Nothing.
I don’t think either of us really knew what to do for a second, so I just lay down – unassisted – myself on the floor beside my unconscious wife and waited for her to awaken which occured a few minutes later.
Once everyone had been blessed the gathering wound up and we were soon on our way.
But that experience has always remained in my mind and I have thought about it many times, and as usual, I had many questions.
How did the prophet get so many people to become unconscious with just a soft forehead tap? Was he a prophet and how is that term defined anyway? Why didn’t I ask him more questions?
Most importantly to me was the obvious question as to why I didn’t become unconscious like everyone else?
DId it have anything to do with faith? Was mine either of an entirely different nature to the others or is it lacking completely? Was my mind too closed off to be affected? Or was it actually too open to be affected? Was it an intellectual thing? Logic? Or some internal resistance to inwardly directed exterior forces? Skepticism?
I haven’t really come to any answer or conclusions other than the notion that this experience confirms to me that my mind does seem to operate differently to most other people’s – something which I had long suspected anyway.
My meeting with a “Prophet” was an interesting experience. I don’t think it enlightened or changed me in any way. In my more cynical moods, I take the experience as symbolic confirmation that most people are very easily led, to the extent of being rendered intellectually unconscious by a mere tap on the forehead by someone with slightly intruiging abilities.
In life, I believe most people are led around and influenced by authority figures of many different kinds. Bosses, mainstream media, government and political leaders, teachers, prophets.
Of course, no one is going to admit to this mainly because, in their mind, it is always the other person who is being mislead or misinformed. Besides, there are always plenty of people with similar views to join who will agree with you :o)
We should never take our own opinions too seriously.
As famous British philospher Bertrand Russell once remarked,
“I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.”Bertrand Russell
I don’t think Bertrand Russell will ever be taught in schools. He should be though.