Angels and Falling Angels

If you hear real laughter, then you may be close to an angel

John British School Pisa Group

di John Ayers

“Meister Eckhart” asked the gentleman. For he was a gentleman. “Meister Eckhart, we understand about God and about men but what about the angels, what do the angels do, up there in the sky?”

“Angels” replied the master, in that slow way that he had, “angels don’t do anything. They celebrate.”

“Well if they celebrate then surely they do something. I mean do they clap their wings and sing praises all the time?”

“They don’t have wings. And they don’t sing to celebrate. They don’t do anything to celebrate.”

“So, I mean, how can you know that they are celebrating, if they are silent and don’t do anything?”

“No, no, they’re certainly not silent. Where there are angels there is usually a lot of laughter, and singing. But they don’t laugh and sing to celebrate. Laughter and singing just sort of bubbles up. It’s a mysterious process which I don’t really understand.”

“You mean that you can hear them laughing and singing up there in the sky but that you don’t understand why they are laughing and singing.”

“No. They don’t live in the sky. I suppose they laugh and sing a lot because they are full of joy, but then you will need to know what is joy. To understand joy I think that it’s necessary to go back to this matter of “doing”.
Can we talk for a moment about the difference between “action” and “activity”. These are just two words that I use in an arbitrary way to try to explain something which seems to me important. Let’s take activity and give it the following meaning. Activity is what we do in order to get ourselves from one place to another or from one situation to another. There is always a reason for activity, a goal in sight. We are all very busy these days with our activities. We study, we work, we read books, we do everything we can to better ourselves and to become richer; richer economically and richer as people. It is more or less accepted all over the world that this is what life is about. That is to say that life is about trying to be something that we are not. Action, on the other hand, is what you do in response to life at the moment. Action is never something that you do in order to get somewhere else. Action is simply a bursting out of energy. Logically there can never be “joy” in activity because activity fundamentally takes place where there is a dissatisfaction with what you are and a desire to be something else or somewhere else. Joy, it seems, must therefore have something to do with this bursting out of energy.’

“If I understand you, Meister Eckhart, it seems that you are saying that angels are involved in “action” and not in “activity” because obviously they don’t need to better themselves. They are already angels. But even if they don’t live in the sky are they still closer to God than we are?’
“If we accept that God doesn’t exist, then yes. Angels also don’t really exist in our framework of thinking. They are not trying to go anywhere, they are not trying to better their condition, and so in this way they are similar to many other people who really don’t exist for our society; beggars, street vendors, gypsies, all those people who just are part of the background but aren’t angels. All these people are closer to God because God too doesn’t exist; that is doesn’t exist, can’t exist, shouldn’t exist in any framework of thinking that we can conceive of.”


“So how could I recognize an angel if met one?”
“In a way you meet angels all the time. We are all in part angels. But a real angel, let’s say what you would call a one hundred percent angel is difficult to meet and difficult to recognize. Generally speaking if you hear laughter, I mean real laughter, infectious laughter, then you may be close to an angel. Also if you hear singing, but singing that is just bubbling up from inside, then you may be near an angel. Even more so when both go together; laughing and singing. Children are usually attracted to angels. Obviously children begin life as angels. But nowadays your education system starts very early in life and it is a process which seems to have been designed to eradicate any angelic sensibility that children may have. It is a system based on “activity”. Everything in school is based on the premise that it is necessary to engage in activity in order to better oneself, in order to move towards a distant goal, and so children quickly are conditioned into not understanding angels, just as adults cannot understand them and don’t want to understand them.”
“It would seem that angels don’t really fit into our scheme of things. So how do they survive? How do they make money, for example?”
“Making money is really not so difficult and there are many ways of making money. Over the course of a lifetime most people can make money. The problem is how not to lose money, or rather how not to get into debt. If I understand well, your world is once again in the middle of an economic crisis. There is only ever one cause of an economic crisis; when people take risks with money they clearly risk an economic crisis. Sometimes they win sometimes they lose. It’s not really something that I know a lot about but my advice is that if you want to make money find yourself an angel.’
“Meister Eckhart, now you seem to be exaggerating a bit.”
“Look at it this way. You lose money when you take risks. Angels don’t take risks. Risks are all about trying to get somewhere that you are not, calculating how to get there in the easiest way possible. Angels don’t live in that sort of world because they live in the world of action and not of activity. That’s why some millionaires are angels.”
“So if I meet an angel what should I do?”
“Be thankful. If you let them, they bring joy. And just be kind. It’s not easy to be an angel. The civilized world has decided that it is ridiculous to be an angel. But they are still nearer to God than we are, even when God doesn’t exist.”
“If it is not easy to be an angel is that why there are fallen angels?”
“Not fallen angels, because there is always hope, but falling angels, yes. Falling angels are angels that were so excited by the idea of flying that they never learned to walk. And even 100% angels sometimes have to rest and walk. If you meet a falling angel, if you catch a falling angel in your arms while they are falling, it’s sometimes possible to help them to learn to walk. What is difficult is to help them without destroying their laughter and their singing.”
“Meister Eckhart, I still have one question to ask, even though I’m afraid it will seem a stupid question. What do angels celebrate?”
“No, it’s not a stupid question because I think you mean “what do they celebrate when God doesn’t exist” because obviously when God exists they celebrate God. But when God doesn’t exist, can’t exist, shouldn’t exist, that is in any framework of reference available to us, the fact remains that, by definition, angels are somewhere between us and God. On earth angels celebrate the only one thing that every mortal really and truly has, the only one thing that nobody can take away, the only one thing that the very poor and the very rich have in common but that the very rich have less of because they are so busy making other plans, and, but this is perhaps just a foolish theological opinion, the only one thing that perhaps heaven and earth share. They celebrate the present moment.”

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Jhon Ayers British School Pisa Group

John Ayers

Socio fondatore British School Pisa
"We are not supposed to be teaching English, we are supposed to be creating an environment where learning can take place."

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