“do you understand why I came to you?”

   Then this one with human appearance touched me again and strengthened me. He said, “O man of high esteem, do not be afraid. Peace be with you; take courage and be courageous!” Now as soon as he spoke to me, I received strength and said, “May my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.” Then he said, “Do you understand why I came to you?”  (Daniel 10: 18-20)

 

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The Book of Daniel is one of the more fascinating books in the Bible. The first part of the book contains the stories that those of us who were raised in certain churches know by heart; Daniel the Babylonian captive, cast into the lions’ den, and being protected by God. His companions Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego cast into the fiery furnace for refusing to worship Nebuchadnezzar’s golden idol and being protected by the angel. Daniel calling the king down by interpreting the burning words, “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” – “You have been weighed in the balance and found wanting” – and that very night, the king dying by the sword of an enemy. Anyone who has gone to Sunday School knows these.

The second half of the book, however, is all prophecy, apocalyptic writings. Biblical scholars say most of these were written during the Exile, after the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed. Like all apocalyptic writings, they are meant to encourage the fallen and reassure them that their redemption is coming, and that those who oppose them will fail. But in many cases, the apocalyptic writings also have meanings, encoded words or phrases, that can only be understood “by the Elect,” as the Bible would say. Or as we say, initiates.

Sometimes that coding is not numerical or alphabetic, not Gematria or Kaballah, but written in the interior dialogues of the heart and the spirit, the mute and voluptuous communication that some people call “knowledge and conversation of the Holy Guardian Angel,” and some people call “contacting the Godself.” There are many, many names for this experience, and it can be triggered by many things, not just prophecies and words, but events that happen. Great triumphs or great tragedies, or simply witnessing the sun rise and breathing. At those moments the “angel” appears to us and we are dazzled by that Presence, and we are in that Presence, and we become that Presence. Like Daniel we fall down on our faces in a trance. We become so consumed that there is no self left, only Self.

It is at that point that Daniel’s angel tells him to rise up. The angel gives him strength and courage, and tells him to take courage and receive strength. By doing this, however, the oneness between Daniel and his angel is altered; they are again two separate beings, in a way, even though they have been made one. Then it is that Daniel’s angel asks the question: “Do you understand why I came to you?”

That is the key question when we encounter our Angel, or our Godself, or however we put it. Do you understand why your Angel came to you? Why this moment has happened that sets you out from the unconscious and sleeping? Do you know why you are in the Presence?

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