"Godzone is different. As far as I'm aware, there are no signs indicating where it starts and stops. I have never seen a sign declaring, 'You Are Now Entering Godzone.' And for good reason. You never do enter it, or leave it for that matter. You're standing in it, as the farmer said to the traveling salesman. Wherever you are, you're in the Godzone," writes Mike Riddell , author of Sacred Journey and a regular columnist for the British magazine Third Way. This questing paperback takes us on journey of the soul into the kingdoms of God. Chapters include the lie of the land, customs, danger, traveling companions, and the last frontier.
Riddell makes a fascinating and innovative tour guide. For instance, he points out: "God casts a lot of shadows in the world. By listening to many voices and putting together the pieces of truth, you can come up with a sort of identikit picture of God. It's good, because it gives you an idea of what you're looking for. But like a postcard of a Monet, it's not the same as the real thing. God shows up best in people, and one of the things you learn in the Godzone is to see bits of God in everyone." That also means that people who irritate us can be spiritual teachers.
It also is important to know that in Godzone the love of the Divine One is always present as a gift and as a blessing. While you are on the road, you will have unique adventures and be guided by the Primeval Hitchhiker. You have to learn to travel light, which makes letting go a primary spiritual practice. There are many lessons to be assimilated on the journey, and Riddell presents a lively mix of teaching stories. Here are two of our favorites:
"A certain woman had a vivid dream. In it she saw a man with untidy long hair and bare feet sitting on a bench outside the post office. A voice said to her that if she were to ask this man, he would give her something which would make her rich forever. She woke and shrugged the dream off. But the next day while walking through town, she saw the man from her dream sitting on the bench outside the post office. Feeling somewhat foolish, she approached the man and explained her dream. He listened, and then reached into his rucksack. He produced an enormous gold nugget, saying, 'I found this beside the road. Here, it's yours if you want it.' She looked longingly at the nugget. It was huge, sufficient to make her wealthy. That night she could not sleep, tossing and turning in her bed. At dawn she set off to find the tramp, who was sleeping under a tree in the park. She woke him and said, 'Give me that wealth that makes it possible for you to give this treasure away.'
And another about the high price of the truth:
"A man went into a store with a sign outside which read 'The Truth Shop.' The woman behind the counter was very polite. What type of truth did the gentleman wish to purchase; partial or whole?
" 'The whole truth, of course,' said the man. 'No deceptions for me, no defenses, no rationalizations. I want my truth plain and unadulterated.' The woman waved him to the other side of the store. There a salesman at the desk pointed to a price tag.
" 'The price is very high, sir,' he said. 'Are you sure you can afford it?'
" 'What is it?' asked the man. He was determined to get the whole truth, no matter what it cost.
" 'Your security, sir,' replied the salesman. The man walked away with a heavy heart. He was not ready to be bankrupted for the sake of truth."