The Gifted One: The Journey Begins does not pretend to have all the answers for living a happy, productive and successful life; however, from the time you begin your journey, you will never see your life the same as you do today. You will see more clearly and deeply into the life's mysteries with its joys, sorrows and challenges.
Once you have been introduced to this new knowledge, you will never be able to go back to being the person you are today. You will be the new and improved version mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
For those of you who are willing to risk change and accept the challenge of working toward the fulfillment of your dreams, as well as improving the quality of life on Mother Earth, fasten your seatbelt for the ride of your life.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)|
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The Gifted One: The Journey Begins
By Andrew Aloysius McCabe
BALBOA PRESSCopyright © 2011 Andrew Aloysius McCabe
All right reserved.
Chapter OneMy name is Theophane. I am a gift bearer.
The doors of the PATH train banged open at Thirty-third Street, and the momentum of the crowd moved me toward the stairs that led to the street above. I remember thinking that New York in February could depress the Good Humor man, when I felt the tug at my sleeve.
I'm always paranoid in Manhattan, so my alarm bells went off when I felt the touch. I turned and looked directly into the bottom of his chest. Like a child looking up at a tall building, I tilted my head back. My first thoughts were: So tall! So thin! A giant scarecrow with a man's face!
Then the odor invited itself in; he smelled like the New Jersey Turnpike near the Linden Oil refinery, like rotten eggs. It made me gag.
I was ready to pull my sleeve from his skeleton grasp when I looked into his eyes. They startled me. There were no pupils; each held a sparkling green iris. They looked more like emeralds than eyes. Overpowering. I couldn't look away or think, but then, regaining my composure, I thought—is this really happening?
My mind began to scan everything I'd ever experienced, and like machine-gun fire, questions whizzed through my consciousness. Why is the giant so thin? Why hasn't he spoken? Why can't I move? Followed by my warped mind whispering—maybe he wants to tell you your fly is open? That you're losing altitude? My thinking works that way. Making fun of things, especially scary stuff, takes the edge off.
In a plaintive yet jovial tone, he said, "Friend, may I, a weary traveler, trouble you for some coins, so that I might purchase a cup of liquid refreshment?"
Whew! He wants a handout. Give it to him and get out of here. Maybe this is starting to make sense.
When I put my hand in my pocket, I remembered that I deposited my last quarter in a parking meter in Hoboken. I only had tokens for the train.
Why not? Give him a dollar and have it over with. But when I went through my wallet, the smallest I had was a five.
The seconds that had passed since he tugged at my sleeve seemed like minutes.
His eyes! They're so weird. My thoughts kept ruminating about his eyes. I decided to give him the five.
I handed it to him, but he didn't take it. Then I said, "Here you go; get something to eat with your liquid refreshment."
He held out his hand and I placed the bill in his palm. He put it in the right-hand pocket of his wrinkled black raincoat.
He had been carrying a stained brown shopping bag in his right hand and what looked like a short, metallic club in the other. He had put the bag down to take the money. As he did, he put the club in his left pocket. After he put the money away, he turned his palms toward me facing up and bowed his head.
"Holy moly," I murmured to myself and thought he was going to start to pray, but instead he took a step back and gave me the space I needed to escape.
I was halfway to the stairs when I heard, "Mac ... Mac ... Come back ... please ... I beseech you!"
Beseech? Who says beseech in the New York subway? I could only think of clergy and milk-crate philosophers proclaiming the end of the world.
"Mac, I have a gift for you," he said.
After I heard him call me Mac the second time, it registered! Does he call everyone Mac, or does he know my last name is McCabe?
He didn't have to offer a gift. I was already on my way back. Sister Martina, my fourth-grade teacher, was the last person I can remember saying beseech. I think it had something to do with one of the kids who kept blowing his nose and disrupting the class. She was losing it. Beseech was the final warning before she went over the edge to the place where nuns go to reclaim their sanity. Beseech was serious. Like when a cop says, "Please step out of the vehicle."
As I walked toward the mystery man, I believed I didn't want, or need, whatever it was that he thought was so important. What I needed to do was lose fifty pounds, get my blood pressure out of the stratosphere, find a new job, make more money, repair my strained family relationships, and most of all, learn to relax. For a long time, I felt like a gerbil on a wheel and I wanted desperately to escape.
"Mac! Just a few seconds of your life ... I have it here for you ... I have been waiting to give it to you for a long time."
They can pick me out in a crowd. I could be wearing Hell's Angels colors with ripped dungarees and they'd still know I was a soft touch. It's a curse.
On my way back, I saw him rummaging through his bag.
"I have it here. I know it is here. Just a moment! Ah! Yes! I have found your treasure."
When I returned he handed me what appeared to be a ledger. Like everything else about him except his eyes, the book looked worn—no, more like ancient. As if many fingers had caressed its texture before mine and, in doing so, left minuscule deposits of oil that had darkened the fabric. The cover, if my guess was correct, had become a repository for the DNA of everyone who touched it—if it wasn't a scam.
My internal alarm bells were still sounding and I wondered, maybe I'm on Candid Camera. Maybe a Gypsy was going to pick my pocket (or already had). At the same time that I checked to see if I had my wallet, I noticed the odor was gone. Instead, there was a fragrance of freshness, and I wondered if someone had turned on an exhaust fan. It smelled like the forest after a morning rain shower and before the heat of the day. Too much input. Not enough answers. I'm on overload.
When I looked into his eyes, he said, "My name is Theophane. I am a gift bearer. My job—or I should say my vocation—is to travel the world and reward kindness and compassion wherever I find it. The world is such a mess you know, so much evil ... but there is also great good. I am here to recognize those who deserve to move to the next level, and you have passed your first test for consideration."
Test? What was he talking about? I gave him a handout? No big deal!
"You could have walked away when you remembered that you put your last quarter in a parking meter. It became more difficult when you realized that the smallest bill you had was five dollars. It was here that you earned your gift. You were no longer afraid of me. My smell and clothes did not matter. You thought I looked hungry and you presented your gift knowing that there was nothing I could do for you in return."
I interrupted him. "What do you mean consideration?"
"For the privilege of allowing me to help you change and your assistance in helping to heal our ailing planet."
I was working on processing his answer when he continued. "The book I have given you is what you need. What you really need. I know about your health, your job, your family, your book, and your money problems."
How does he know all this?
Then he said, "As you suspected, the book is very old. It is much older than you imagine."
He smiled, closed his eyes, bowed his head toward me, and turned away. I stood there in shock as he took the metallic club from his pocket and unfolded it into a cane ... a white cane with a red tip.
My last memory of him was watching the bones of his shoulder blades undulate under the worn, thin fabric of his coat, as he walked with the tentative gait of the blind, his cane acting as a scanner, while his right hand held his bag of treasures.
I was on my way to see Mel, my prospective publisher. I had spoken to his secretary so many times that all I had to do was say, "Hi, Sandra," and she'd recognize my voice. I usually joke with secretaries and I try to remember their names. This approach is not limited to secretaries; it's directed toward people who I sense want to laugh if you give them the slightest reason. Maybe because when I had jobs that were boring, I was always looking for a laugh, something to make the time pass on my way to a paycheck.
During one of our conversations, she told me that Mel liked to call himself "Mel the Magnificent." She found that hilarious because he combed his thin strands of hair from his left temple up and over to cover his ever-widening bald spot. Apparently, it was incongruent to her that anyone with his hairstyle could call himself magnificent.
Magnificent or not, if it meant selling my book at a great price, I'd call him magnificent or Uncle Mel, whatever it took, as long I got the money I felt the book deserved, as long as I didn't have to do anything I couldn't share with my mother.
My appointment with Mel had lost its importance as I gripped the book.
"Get hold of yourself," I mumbled, "The guy is probably schizophrenic, or maybe he's a con man." Where's the con? I had given him the money before he gave me the book. Maybe the con hasn't unfolded yet? Maybe he pulls this act a hundred times a day and lives in a mansion in Scarsdale ... maybe his wife is a credit card junkie and he does his act on the way to work to make extra money ... maybe he showers at work and puts on an Armani suit.
My inner voice of reason was screaming: you jerk! Throw the book away and get on with the day. You have a meeting with Mel.
I passed a trashcan and made the decision. I couldn't throw it away. I kept thinking of his eyes. They were unlike the eyes of any blind man or woman I had ever met. They radiated joy, peace, and a profound sense of compassion and understanding. His eyes held a secret I wanted to know.
After he walked away, I stood there looking at the book cover. It had the texture of linen. As I flipped through its few pages, it seemed to tell a story. I turned to the inside cover and found a raised, gold-colored fleur-de-lis pattern that appeared to be made of some kind of very thin metal I didn't recognize. In a pocket, like a library card holder but smaller, under the fleur-de-lis, was the top quarter of what looked like a business card. I removed the card and observed how the upper right- and left-hand corners had the same pattern as the inside cover of the book. In the middle it read, in gold leaf print, The Gifted One. The lower left-hand corner advised By Appointment Only, and the lower right-hand corner listed a phone number. There was no address. Unlike the book, the card looked new.
The six-by-nine-inch book contained only three pages of text, followed by three pages of handwritten signatures and dates. The book was bound with three tiny cords tied in bows that went through holes in the covers about one inch from the left side. The holes were evenly spaced at the top, middle, and bottom of the book, and the bows allowed pages to be easily added or removed.
I looked up in anticipation of running after him, but he was gone. In the direction that he walked, there was only a platform and no stairs—the station was empty. I needed to sit down and make some sense of all this. My watch read 7:13 am. My 8:00 appointment with Mel had taken a back seat to the book. I was intrigued. I wanted to see what it was about. I'd figure out an excuse to tell Mel's secretary. I wanted to find a place to steady myself with some strong coffee, and learn about my supposed treasure. I suspected it wouldn't take long.
Across the street from the subway exit, I found a sandwich shop that had tables in the back. I ordered coffee and took a seat against the rear wall. I sat facing whoever came in, and it made me feel like a cop. I was nervous and needed to see the arriving customers. For some reason, seeing them enter made me feel safe. I turned to the first page. The black print was perfectly executed in an ancient, precise hand, like something that might have been copied by a monk in a moldy, candlelit abbey in the Middle Ages. It read:
Thank You for Your Gift
By now, you know my name is Theophane and it has been my task to travel the world and find people who will be brought to the next level. To do so, they will be taught to overcome their life challenges and heal themselves in preparation for their work. Yes, I am blind. It is not a trick. My father and his father, and the fathers before them, for centuries, were blind. We have been using this book for eons and the names of those who accepted the challenge are listed on the last three pages and signed in their own hand. We hope to add your name to the list.
I turned to the signature pages, which looked older than the text, read the names, and said to myself, "Wow!" Some of them were written in Greek or Latin, and for those, the English translation was printed in black fountain pen next to each. Some of the names went back to antiquity, and I remembered them from Latin classes in high school. Others were unknown to me, and some were modern historical greats from the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. This couldn't be. There were three additional blank signature spaces.
If you accept your training and pass, you will be asked to add your name to the list. Whether you accept or not, keep this book safe. If you choose not to embrace this challenge, a messenger will be sent to retrieve it. If you accept your mission, you will give the book to your teacher, whose name is identified on the card placed inside the cover.
A list is kept of everyone who has passed the first test and been offered our gifts. Some accept the challenge; some refuse. Many of those who chose to move to the next level have changed the course of human history. You have an opportunity to become one of them.
You have many questions about me and I trust the following will answer most of them. As a young man, my father told me that our lineage goes back to the Golden Age of Greece. He said that our forefathers believed our blindness could be traced to the legend of Tiresias who was known throughout Greece for his wisdom.
Supposedly, Zeus, the king of the gods, was arguing with his wife Hera about who enjoyed lovemaking more, the male or the female. As the story goes, Hera had changed Tiresias into a woman after hitting copulating snakes with a stick. No one is exactly sure why his action made Hera angry. However, later he was changed back to a man after leaving the copulating snakes alone the next time he saw them. Since he had experienced both being a male and a female, he was consulted and asked to settle the dispute. He responded, "Why, the female, of course. Nine times more than the male!"
Hera was angered again. Why? Tiresias revealed woman's greatest secret when he said, "Of ten parts, a man enjoys one only." Hera thought his response was impious, as it was not the response she had wanted; so in punishment, she struck Tiresias blind. Zeus, feeling responsible for his wife's action, but not being able to restore Tiresius' sight, decided to give him the gifts of insight, prophecy, and understanding.
According to my father, his father told him that since that time, every male in our family has been blind, where the female children have been sighted—although every generation has had a Theophane. The translation of which is, "One Who Speaks with God." Originally, this book was printed in Greek, and every Theophane has used it. The cover contains the DNA signature, in the form of hand and finger oil, from everyone who has touched it. You will learn more about this if you decide to begin your training.
Like my male relatives before me, I am able to see clearly into the minds and hearts of those I have been assigned to meet. Because you have been given this book, you have passed our first test; and there are more. Many, for a variety of reasons, do not complete the training. Your problems, suffering, and worries have provided the raw material for your transformation. Your kindness, compassion, and instruction will create the alchemy necessary for your graduation to the next level.
Just as there have been many Theophanes, there have also been many teachers. You are not obligated to contact the teacher identified on your card. In fact, do not make contact unless you sincerely desire to know the real reasons for your earthly concerns, as well as their solutions. The price you will pay for your knowledge will be that you must give up all your excuses and become who you really are, with no pretending. As a result of your training, you will want to spend the rest of your life serving others, and in so doing you will find joy and satisfaction in living, as well as all of the answers you seek.
Do not contact your teacher unless you have decided to walk past your fear and step into the unknown. I promise that your journey will be fulfilling beyond your dreams. The choice is yours.
Excerpted from The Gifted One: The Journey Begins by Andrew Aloysius McCabe Copyright © 2011 by Andrew Aloysius McCabe. Excerpted by permission of BALBOA PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents
Chapter 1. Subway Surprise....................1
Chapter 2. The Summer of the Great Silence....................11
Chapter 3. The Sign....................17
Chapter 4. Alone at Night in the Desert....................21
Chapter 5. Kemosabe....................26
Chapter 6. The Awakening....................35
Chapter 7. Appetites....................49
Chapter 8. The Gift of the Wildflowers....................61
Chapter 9. The Making of the Gifted One....................67
Chapter 10. Imperfections and Certainties....................85
Chapter 11. Surrender....................92
Chapter 12. Star....................97
Chapter 13. When Everything Will Change....................100
Chapter 14. A Message from the Ants....................107
Chapter 15. Kidnapped by the Mob, by Anthony the Monk....................114
Chapter 16. The Ancestors Speak....................123
Chapter 17. The Benefits of Silence....................135
Chapter 18. To Live is to Suffer....................144
Chapter 19. The Joy is in the Now....................161
Chapter 20. Kachinas and Whirlwinds....................175
Chapter 21. Tony Soprano and John Rambo....................183
Chapter 22. The Initiation....................194