New Day Herald

Traveler John Morton giving at talk to the participants at the Church of the Multiplication on the PTS Tour to the Holy Land 2023

Day 9 PTS Tour of Israel

Generally speaking, a photograph of a person is an image of a corpse. A body is an object, a “thing” that becomes human because it’s enlivened by the Spirit. (Or, to use another metaphor, you could say that a body is a sponge that absorbs Spirit like water—and a human body is a particularly absorbent sponge.) Because there’s no Spirit in a photograph (or, for you nitpickers, there’s minimal Spirit), some sense of that Spirit has to be infused by the photographer.

That’s why people can learn to become better photographers. They go through their own process of learning how to bring more Spirit into their photos, and each person’s learning process is unique because each person’s karma, or point of origin on the circumference of the circle, is different on their journey towards the center.

We’re engaged in a similar process on this trip, bringing more Spirit into the body. And we’re also engaged in learning how to leave the body and go into pure Spirit. But are the two processes really separable? Is it even possible to bring more Spirit into the body without first leaving the body in order to contact Spirit? Is it possible to soak a sponge in water without first lifting it up and putting it under a faucet?

To me, that’s the action of the PAT process. Maybe you can see some of its effects in the faces in today’s photos.

On the first day of PAT processes I walked around trying to take photos but stopped, mentioning to Leigh that people “weren’t cooked yet.” Today is day 5, or 6, or 7 or something. (I know it’s day 9 of the whole trip because I make a photo folder each day and the numbers can’t be the same, but at this point I’m not even sure what day of the week it is. At a certain point the sponge gets waterlogged and can’t absorb any more. People become, in essence, a big bucket of water that has a sponge floating around in it. They often call this “feeling spacey”, and there’s a lot of that going around.)

After the PAT we visit the Church of the Multiplication where the loaves and fishes thing supposedly happened. Sweet energy and beautiful location on a hillside overlooking the Sea of Galilee. Gorgeous architecture and gardens that harmonize well with the surroundings—a good setting for a representation of Jesus’ demonstration of abundance. John gives a short talk, about God. (Sorry, I can’t remember the words. My mind generally shuts off when he talks—a true sign of a Traveler. On the first day he talked I made a mental note of a couple of things he said so I could write about it, but the brain is too waterlogged now.)

John gives another talk in a small outdoor amphitheater under trees at the Primacy of St. Peter. I didn’t know that Peter had some sort of primacy. Is that like a prime number? The number 1 is enough for me. The place has too much churchianity suffused in it for me to really enjoy it, but we’re here to give as well as receive. John reads Jesus stories from that primitive form of the internet that we call the Bible, and our translator gets all choked up. If there’s one thing about our crew, it’s that they have a deep love of Jesus.

People get a chance to wade in the waters of the Galilee. I just now realize that my ankles are a bit swollen, I think as a reaction to the plane flight and the heat, and I’ve heard that other people on the trip are experiencing this. The ankles seem so far away that I hadn’t even noticed. If I keep going in this direction, and at this pace, will my death be just a painless forgetting about my body?

Then it’s back on the bus for dinner and John sharing. We’re also watching segments of “The Chosen”, a TV dramatization of the Jesus story, after dinner each day. There’s a devotional quality to this PAT that’s different from the ones in other parts of the world. It focuses the attention and intention, and softens the sponge.

View the Photos from PTS Israel Tour Day 9

3 thoughts on “Day 9 PTS Tour of Israel”

  1. David, what a blessing for those of us who are not physically present on this trip. I eagerly open the link each day to read what you have written before jumping in to the pictures. I find that your words are enlightening and give me a sense of entering in to the nuances of this trip. There are also a lot of tips for those of us who have not been on one of these trips and may consider going “next time”. Your descriptive language and your humor give me a sense of being there. Having read your article for today, I find myself looking at the pictures differently….bringing forward the spirit in a picture….an interesting and powerful concept. Thank you for helping me (all of us) to understand the ‘work’ that goes on behind the scenes. Over many years, I have recognize the power of your pictures without quite understanding why yours are ‘different.’ Now, I am able to understand a little better a deeper scope of this whole process. Thank you and all of you who set up this gift that we all share. A deepening of the concept of “One Accord.” Blessings to All….

  2. Jennifer Vickery

    How beautiful, I am so grateful to be able to be with you on this tour.Thank you for the amazing spirit filled photos David and all the work you and others have put in to make this so special.

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