New Day Herald

On the Sea of Galilee on Day 7 Travelers Tour of the Holy Land

Day 7 PTS Tour of Israel

Just before we left for Israel a friend wrote to me about how depressed he was because he couldn’t come on the Israel trip. I know the feeling. I have a vivid memory of 1988 when everyone was leaving on PAT IV (the trip and PAT training in Egypt and Israel) and I couldn’t go because I didn’t have the money. I hated that feeling of restriction so much that, to everyone’s surprise, I actually started working.

J-R had a brilliant way of pushing us hippies and ascetics and bums into full participation in the world. Back in the 1980s I had a dream with him where I said, “Sometimes I feel guilty, like I could be doing more.” He said “Doing more? You don’t do ANYTHING.” We both laughed and I agreed. Then he said, “It could be fun for you to do more.” Typical J-R: Uncap the judgment, let it go, create a free state so a free choice can be made, and then tee up the choice. Only choice—no force.

Today is the day for the boat trip on the Sea of Galilee. We take the short walk from the kibbutz to the edge of the Sea (actually a freshwater lake) and board two boats that are modeled after the wooden vessels that fishermen used at the time of Jesus.

It seems like each time I come on these trips to Israel there is some deeper connection with Jesus that sneaks in. There is a point on the lake where an intense peace enters—so intense that I drop into a meditative state and just want to lie down and close my eyes. But I have to do photos, so I tune into that state while I’m walking around. Not quite as pleasurable, but since J-R pushed me out of the womb I’ve learned that I can be in two places at once, in the world but not of it.

It occurs to me that we must be getting close to the place where Jesus walked on the water. I look over at Michael Hayes and he’s zonked out in some kind of rapture. So are some of the other people on the boat. I take it as a confirmation. I ask Michael later on what he was experiencing and he won’t comment—another confirmation.

I have no proof of course, but the extent to which the experience affects my physical body and all corners of my consciousness is entirely different from the way a figment of my imagination affects me. It’s a force far greater than my imagination, and it has a loving sweetness to it, a power without force, whereas my imagination extends to a hierarchy starting with sensual beauty (whose components are cute women, nature and art, in that order), then desire and, last on the list, ambition.

People often think of peace as some sort of do-nothing relief from effort (like me in my younger womb-hugging days). It’s actually more like an explosion or a vortex of energy. J-R has talked about this often—peace as an active rather than a passive state.

I could call the feeling a “peace explosion”. All around me is nothing but a calm lake that people would normally call “peaceful” but it’s as though there is a remnant of an explosion, like the place where an asteroid or nuclear bomb had once hit. When you think about it, the force that would enable a human to defy gravity would have to be very dynamic, and it might leave a trace like radiation; or, since everything that’s ever happened is still happening when you subtract the dimension of time, the vortex would have an ongoing permanence. And each time I tune into it, next time’s recognition is easier.

We normally associate power with explosion, force, pushing-out. But this form of power is a pulling-in. So not only does it differ from my imagination, but it differs from the way I experience power in the world. Like my dream with J-R where I could move to my next step only by accepting what had gone before, this power is held suspended an elastic, invisible force-field of loving acceptance and free choice. It can only be described in paradoxes—an inward-moving explosion? A love-bomb? A marshmallow asteroid? A bazooka made of kittens that shoots ice cream? A nuclear reactor made out of cheesecake? A beautiful woman who’s also quiet and calm? Spirit inhabiting flesh?

We’re on two boats which come close together for John’s talk about something-or-other. Whenever somebody asks me what he talked about, I tell them it was about God. The words are just a placeholder, and I’m in another place thanks to John’s ability to hold. After the boats we’re on to Capernaum and the remnants of a synagogue where Jesus is said to have taught, and where Peter allegedly lived. To me, it’s vibrating with an otherworldly peaceful harmonic, and putting my hand on the white pillars and walls feels like touching a superhuman presence that is outside of the karma of planet earth.

Then it’s on to Magdala, alleged home of Mary Magdalene. I don’t feel much of anything there, and the fans that squirt cool mist by the gift shop are a bigger draw for me (and some others) than the sun-baked archaeological site. As we leave, Leigh points out a distant mountain with caves where Jesus is said to have given the inner, esoteric teachings to a smaller group of disciples (see the last photo).

Afternoon is PAT processes where we learn how to plug into the cheesecake nuclear reactor on our own, unbound by buses and boats, so that we don’t have to traipse around the world feeling up rocks.

But maybe next time I’ll come back and go to those caves…as J-R often said, “the eyes are always hungry”.

View the Photos from PTS Israel Tour Day 7

4 thoughts on “Day 7 PTS Tour of Israel”

  1. Thank you for the photos and your essays David ! You bring the Spirit of this journey to each of us, and I am loving being with you all in Spirit…. Thank you J-R, Johnny, LTY, David, and all on the 2023 Israel Tour…. loving and light, grace blessings to you all. Thank you Lord!

  2. Awesome, David. Love your writing! Thank you for making this experience available to those of us who are not physically present with all of you on the trip. It’s really a great blessing.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *