Wednesday, April 1, 2009

seeing beyond illusion

The Baal Shem tells of a king who was a master at creating illusions. "The Glory of God is to conceal a thing (Proverbs 25:2). And while he wanted very much to be close to his people, he wanted even more for his people to want to be close to him. So he devised a plan. He built around himself a great castle-illusion. There were illusory walls and doorways and towers. There were chambers and courtyards and passageways. And in front of each one the king placed illusory treasures of every kind. Bags of money, trips to Florida, and having a beautiful body. Then he proclaimed throughout the land that he wished to be found. And all the people came to the illusory castle, but one by one they gave up searching for the king and settled instead for some illusory treasure. Until, at last, the king's son came. He saw that it was all an illusion and that his father was there in plain view, sitting on a folding chair in the middle of a great, open field.
Lawrence Kushner, Source: Honey From the Rock (taken from inward/outward)
image from here

1 comment:

Brad said...

Roberta, this is interesting. Which Baal Shem? The first one? Kinda mixed up allegory, from my idiosyncratic viewpoint. This story makes the king sound like the Wizard of Oz; he was more misguided than his people, because he misunderstood how to motivate them to be close to him. Instead they took illusory trips to Florida (I hope not during hurricane season).