My name is Gaff. I spend days and many nights fishing on the beach in Kure Beach, North Carolina. It’s funny– odd funny– that no matter what time of day I get to the beach my spot is empty and ready for me to set up my stuff. It’s as though it was surrounded by a fence with a “Reserved” sign. Besides the rods and chair and cooler, I have a huge pirate flag to put beside my spot.
All up and down the beaches of Pleasure Island I’m known by that flag. It’s my symbol and attracts a lot of people to ask about it. Some I tell about the pirates that roamed this area way back when. With some, I discuss the Knights Templar, the militant monks pledged to “protect” pilgrims to the Holy Land during the time of the Crusades. What I say depends upon what the person can hear and to some extent determines what we talk about next.
The talking is the important thing. Without leaving this small piece of real estate near Mother Water, I have talked to people from all over this country and from other countries, too. We have good conversations, and interesting.
One of the most interesting I had was with a writer who spent a bit of time at the beach to finish a project. She walked a couple of times a day and sometimes stopped to visit with me. She was interesting, well-read and a thinker, and that makes for great discussions. Yep, that was Priscilla. She was articulate and had some strong beliefs about the way life should be lived. Still, she was open to other viewpoints and experiences that would enable her to grow. In fact, she was what I would call a Seeker of Truth.
She would sit on my cooler to rest after her walk. One day, without mentioning its title, she started talking about a book written by some psychologists in New York City. I guess she didn’t think I’d listen if she told me the name of the book. She underestimated me on that, but so be it. I know some people condemn books and practices without even taking the time and effort to find out what they’re all about. That’s not me. I may just be a fisherman on the beach, but I have and do read a lot. In fact, I had a different sort of life before I got to the beach, but you’ll find out about that in the book about me! Gaff—Wisdom from the Sea.
Here, I want to set Priscilla and everyone else straight about what I think about this book she was reading. Everything I do is based on the Way of Love. That’s what I’ve heard Jesus’ teaching called. What I take from this is that we are to come out of love in all situations. He says to love God first of all, but then He talks about how we should love ourselves and everyone around us. Only when we master the act of truly loving unconditionally can we help to heal the planet and the planet really needs healing right now. That’s what A Course in Miracles is all about.
I looked it up after Priscilla brought it into that conversation on the beach. It’s a powerful expression of the Way of Love. I wish she hadn’t made me work so hard to find it, but I guess she was afraid I’d attack it—and her. But then maybe that’s the way it has to be with some folks. They have to work hard to find what is there for them right out in the open: hidden in plain sight.
Since I started studying the Course, I’ve also read some attacks on the book. I could tell immediately that the writer had not read the first word of it—didn’t understand it at all. Like Priscilla, when I talk with people on the beach, I don’t feel called to mention the name. It’s enough that everything I do is based on what’s in that book. I don’t think Jesus or those psychologists would be angry that I don’t call it by title or give them a verbal footnote.
The important thing is to get more people onto the path of the Way of Love. Now, I do tell some people about it and suggest they read it, but a lot of times I just use what I know from my study. Those who have ears to hear, let them hear.
Come visit me on the beach for a chat— and to live the Course.
*Lorena Peter, Ph.D., writes entertaining mysteries, romances and wisdom books. All have strong spiritual underpinnings and paranormal elements. She blends a medical intuition and healing practice (and travel) with her writing. For more information go to WWW.LORENAPETER.COM. There you will see photographs of locations discussed in Gaff as well as a chapter for your perusal. You may contact her on Facebook. For her understanding of the Course, she thanks Carmen Cameron and the class in Louisville, KY.