The Magic Lamp
Once upon a time there was a fair maiden named Genevieve. We have seen her before in previous stories and now she returns to us in this new tale. Genie is an eternal Soul who reappears periodically to advise us on circumstances that affect our lives. By providing guidance she helps us deal with situations that may lead us away from ourselves, and back again, as we unravel yet another personal mystery.
On this particular day Genie was walking about her garden and came upon a lamp. She picked up the lamp to examine it more closely and was moved to express:
“Oh, how beautiful, and what magic do you hold for me, dear lamp? For now that I have you in my possession you must respond to my wishes. And I wish to be taken out of myself and be transported to another realm where I can learn to appreciate my life more fully.”
The lamp acknowledged her request by twinkling brightly and, within moments, Genie was swept away from her garden and taken to a land of strange and beautiful sights. As requested she had been removed to a place that was both alien and unfamiliar to her usual context of experience.
When Genie first arrived in this strange new place, she met up with a contingent of ghoulish creatures who greeted her with a flurry of questions.
“Who are you?” they asked. “What do you want? Why are you here?” they kept on, pressing her for answers.
“Well you see,” Genie began, “I was walking in my garden when I came upon this lamp.” She then held it up for all to see. “I asked the lamp to take me out of my usual circumstances so I could gain another perspective on my life. And that is how I arrived here.”
“I see,” a spokesman answered. “Well then, welcome to our land. Can we assist you in any way?”
“Why yes,” Genie replied enthusiastically. “I do need help to find my way about this land. I expect that I have lessons to learn and much to appreciate before I am returned to my regular life.”
The spokesman for the ghouls stepped forward, took Genie by the hand and led her away. The whole contingent of ghouls then followed and off they went into this mysterious yet beautiful place.
They followed a path that took them deep into the woods. Along the way strange things began to happen. Flowers would lean in and stare at her and then turn away in apparent shyness. Trees bowed to have a closer look as she walked past. Streams grew quieter, the wind softened and animals scurrying about stopped to take a close look. Yes, everything about this forest seemed to react to Genie’s presence. Wherever she passed she was met with curiosity and surprise, yet no creature spoke to her or approached.
Genie became uncomfortable with these reactions from the creatures and the forest vegetation. She asked the head ghoul why this was happening. Why were the animals and plants behaving so strangely in her presence?
“Well,” he began, “whenever visitors come to our land we escort them through this area to see how they will react to our environment. We also wish to see how the inhabitants here will react to them. In typical fashion we saw the locals here react with curiosity as you approached and then retreat as you came closer. But do not be fooled. This does not mean that you are unwelcome. It simply means that, to us, you are strange and unfamiliar.”
Genie was puzzled by this explanation. In her homeland she was used to being greeted with some enthusiasm and warmth wherever she went. Never did she experience this type of shyness or retreat as she approached her fellow citizens. This was a totally new experience for her and she did not know how to respond. As the procession continued, she noticed more strange things happening. Creatures, large and small, began to follow her and the ghouls. She had not noticed this earlier but now she could plainly see that a large crowd had formed behind them.
Genie’s discomfort continued to grow. Finally, in anger, she turned to face this growing multitude.
“Why are you all following me? She shouted. “I have come here to learn more about myself and my life and all of you are staring at me as if I am some kind of oddity. Why do you do this?”
The group of creatures stopped and looked around at each other displaying confusion of their own.
“Why is this woman yelling at us?” someone asked. “We are not harming her or threatening her in any way. We just wish to see her and have the opportunity to learn more about who she is.”
The head ghoul stopped the procession to address the matter.
“My dear madam,” he began, “you are a guest here among us. As such it is not appropriate that you question our behavior. Rather, it is we who are permitted to question you. As you are in our company, and traveling across our land, the residents here are understandably curious as to who you are and what your purpose is here. Please note, that no one is threatening you or impeding your progress. They are simply observing you.”
“But I find this so distressing,” Genie replied, “to have all of these creatures following me and staring at me. I am not used to any of this and in particular, being watched so closely.”
“But madam,” the head ghoul continued, “did you not ask to be taken outside of yourself? Did you not ask to learn more about your life from a totally different perspective?”
“Why yes I did,” Genie conceded. “Is that what is happening here? Am I being examined by you and this large group of creatures so that I can learn more about myself?”
“Well yes, in a way, that is true,” was the reply. “All these eyes are trained upon you while you slow down to meet the pace in our domain. This allows more of us to look at you and later report our observations. You see, these eyes are really an extension of your imagination and we are simply different parts of you looking at your life. We are the externalization of your wish to examine yourself, and that you find most uncomfortable, don’t you?”
“Why yes,” Genie replied. “I do. So these creatures that I see here are not really staring at me. It is I, you say, who is looking at my life from a different point of view?”
“That is correct,” the head ghoul answered.
“But then, sir ghoul, are you not also part of this process? Are you not just another extension of my own imagination?”
“Yes of course,” the ghoul replied. “I am that part of you that commands this process and helps you to achieve your goals. You come to me when you want to do important work on yourself. And I, in turn, appear to you in a guise most suitable to your request.”
“So where am I really?” Genie then asked.
“You are within yourself,” was the reply.
And then all about her disappeared in an instant. Genie was once again standing in her garden looking around for the lamp she had discovered earlier. There it was, lying at her feet, still twinkling in the sunlight, still inviting her to pick it up and take another journey.
“You are a very clever lamp,” she thought out loud. “I wonder if you are also a part of me. Did I dream you into existence or are you really there at my feet, beckoning me to you?”
With that said Genie started walking through the garden toward her castle home. Along the way she noticed that the plants and creatures she came upon appeared similar somehow to the ones in the dream. However, these creatures and plants went about their business as usual, not at all concerned about her presence among them. They seemed to know that she was no threat to them and they were none to her.
“How sweet,” she thought. “This is how I am used to my life, but now it seems more special. I must have learned something on that dream journey because I don’t believe I was aware of how beautiful this all is, how very still and precious. I must journey more often,” she continued, “for a venture away from myself brings me back more alert and more aware than when I set out. Now I can see things I didn’t notice previously. And I do not in the least feel self-conscious about it. This life is simply amazing.”
And with that final thought in her heart Genie went merrily on her way, enjoying yet another beautiful day, and wondering what might come along next.