I've been thinking of this -- whether relationships can survive without touch. That the relationship between god and the human has thrived without it seems like a miracle. The first long-distance relationship.
These words by Sumana Roy, friend, poet, author, on Facebook yesterday, set me thinking.
Human touch heals, it is central to so many of our bonds, filial, familial, romantic, and those of friendship.
Human touch can hurt too. There are countless examples of that. But let us not go there.
I have had one experience where I felt that I was actually touched by my Maker. Someone very close to me had to undergo an extremely complicated operation. There were well-wishers from across the globe offering their suggestions, mostly regarding the location of the operation and the surgeon who would perform it. In most cases, the more renowned the surgeon, the stronger the recommendation. There was an information overload, as it were. I was sitting in the hospital waiting room, waiting to meet the consultant and show him the patient's latest reports. And then, and I can no longer recall if it was a voice or a gentle touch on my head, or both, but deep within my heart, I knew with complete, utter certainty, that this hospital, this doctor, this surgeon, all were the right ones.It was an absolutely unshakable conviction, which got me through the difficult days that followed. All went well, and it truly felt like divine grace.
Here there was no human intermediary. And yet, when we encounter those adepts who are deeply attuned to a higher power, there is magic in their touch, their entire being, and even in the touch of their possessions. Sacred relics are also supposed to be imbued with great spiritual power. I recall one such touch from my teen years. My parents, sister, and I would visit the home of an old gentleman, part of our natal Satsang, and attend weekly prayer sessions in his room. He was very frail, in bed. When it was time to leave, each member of the gathering would line up, bow our heads close to his bed, to the side he was facing, and with trembling, fluttering fingers, he would touch the top of our bowed heads to bless us.Fifty years later I can still recall the comfort and healing of that touch.