On my bus, I met a retired friend, who lives in the neighbourhood. He's a lot of fun to chat to. He told me he was on his way to Camden Town that is famous for its market. He said he likes to go early so he can avoid the crowd. He said he often wonders how all these shops can be open on a Sunday. Don't people go to church?
"What about you, don't you go to church?" I said.
"I'm a man of mystery," he said.
"What do you mean?"
"I believe in God but I don't need to follow a religion. That's the mystery."
"I feel the same way," I said. "I don't need a middle-man, nor do I need a religion. I'm perfectly happy in my personal approach to God."
He asked me where I was going. Although I hadn't quite made up my mind, I said I was off to Richmond Park to take a long walk. To get to Richmond by bus takes about three hours. I figured I would arrive around 1 pm and walk for two hours. After saying goodbye to my friend, I got off to catch another bus. At the bus stop I said hello to a man I've never met before. He asked me where I was going and I said Richmond. Hmmm. I guess I'm going to spend the afternoon at Richmond.
When I arrived at Richmond town centre, instead of waiting for a bus to take me to the park, I decided to walk the 15 minute or so journey to the gates. On the way I noticed a hotel called "Richmond Hill Hotel" and I heard people singing inside. I wondered what was going on.
It was a sunny day, hot enough for me to take my jacket off. One thing I like about walking is it gives me the opportunity to download information from the Cosmic database, meaning I receive ideas about whatever I'm preoccupied with at the time. I even have Q&A sessions on my walk, which is a lot of fun. The topic of the day was about how the whole universe is dreaming dreams. See Universal Dreamers.
As I've explored inside the park, I decided to walk round it for a change, at least as far as I felt like walking. At each gate I had to decide whether I wanted to exit or continue walking. I was having way too much fun to stop. After a while I decided to sit for a moment and enjoy the view. I noticed a woman and a man taking a dog for a walk. The dog stopped and looked as if he was having a pee but it turned out he was doing a number two (poo). The funny thing was the poo was stuck and it wouldn't come out. I heard the woman muttering something to the dog. She put on a plastic glove, pulled the poo out of the dog, and put it in a bag. As she walked past me, I asked her what was wrong with the dog. She said the dog eats plastic gloves. Now it made sense! The dog had been trying to pass out the glove, but part of it had been stuck up the dog's bottom, which the woman had to remove. No wonder she looked pissed off. As I was chuckling to myself the dog barked at me. It was as if he was saying "I don't know what you find so funny. You eat tissue paper, don't you?" I guess the dog is a kindred spirit! Priceless!
I resumed my walk. I had been walking for so long there wasn't much point retracing my steps. Why not walk full circle? When I finally arrived at the point where I had started I asked a woman what the time was. She said it was 4.30 pm. I had been walking non-stop for three and a half hours. I wondered how many miles I had walked. At the gates I noticed a man looking at the map of the park. He was showing his wife/partner what sections of the park they'd walked and working out how many miles they'd walked. I told them I had walked round the entire park.
"You must have been thinking 'What a couple of idiots! There he is going on about that tiny area when I've walked round the entire park.'" he said. "We only walked round a small area and I'm knackered."
"I wasn't really thinking that," I chuckled, "I was just curious to know how many miles I'd walked."
"You must have done over 10 miles."
"Well done, anyway to both of you!" I said.
"Well done for walking round the entire park!"
(According to the Richmond Park website, the park is 2500 acres which is 3.91 square miles).
If I was really going to show off I would have told my friends that I have had no food or drink during my walk and I feel as fresh as when I started. If the truth be told, the reason why I wasn't tired was because I cheated. Yes, I do cheat. The way I cheat is instead of walking as the limited human self that gets tired over a few miles, I walk as the Infinite Self that is Energy. It's impossible to feel depleted when you are limitless Energy.
As I was walking back to Richmond town centre to catch my bus, two women and a man approached me. They asked me if I was a Christian. I said I believed in God but I didn't follow any religion. One woman gave me a flyer. They wanted to invite me to a church service in the local area. One woman asked me if I'd received the Holy Spirit. She said Jesus was coming again soon. If I wasn't born-again I would be left behind. The only way to have salvation is through Jesus Christ. They insisted I needed to receive the Holy Spirit to enable me to speak in tongues. They said the Holy Spirit would also teach me. I told them I had already experienced the Holy Spirit and I live out my beliefs. They recommended that I read their website. I thanked them for their information and wished them well.
On my way home on the bus I thought about my encounter with my Christian friends. I made three discoveries. First, I noticed from the flyer that their meetings were held at the "Richmond Hill Hotel." It was the same hotel I'd wondered about earlier. My question had been answered. Second, the flyer read: "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Experience." I wrote an article recently called: The Ordinary is Extraordinary. Finally, our conversation was a mirror image of the one I had earlier with my friend on the bus, when I said I didn't need to follow a religion to practise what I believe in. If my Christian friends hadn't been so hell-bent on trying to convert me to their way, I would have shared how they had been part of my dreams. Maybe it's just as well; for all I know they could have interpreted my dreams as a sign that I'm meant to be a born-again Christian. I am having way too much fun being who I am being. If that means missing out on the Second Coming of Christ, then so be it.
So my dream day had come full circle. I started my walk at Richmond Gate and ended at Richmond Gate. I started off discussing my belief in God and ended up discussing my belief in God. I guess that must make me a rounded individual. :-)
Related articles: The Ordinary is Extraordinary; Making Everything Up; The Weaker, the Stronger; The Personal versus the Universal Approach; Infinite Self; You Cheat!