The Irmas of this world

I was once invited to a multi-day event of a herbal college, which was also dedicated to the care of the spiritual aspects of life. I had a whole day with the participants and so we also got into conversation during the breaks. We talked about various things and I got a small superficial impression of the participants and the way they treated each other. And there was a small woman. She was probably already 70 years old, but looked much younger. Everyone treated her a bit like „little Irma.“ She had an unadorned and childish short pony haircut. She seemed a bit naive to everyone. She told me candidly about her sister who was trying to push her to give up the garden and move in with her. She told me about her grandson, who was so comfortable and whom she had to wake up every morning so that he would go to work, and about her marriage, which was very short because it didn’t really work out. She told all this not complaining, but as one might tell what happened to one during the daily housework of not very exciting things. To all the participants she appeared as the naïve little Irma, who always did everything for others and still does, who is not even angry about it, but passes over it with equanimity. Maybe she did not even realize it! Now we were all sitting in the seminar and I was trying to make the participants aware of the miracle of animate nature, how easy it is to keep contact. What knowledge could be given to us, which shows itself in us out of the silence. Then little Irma spoke up and began to tell: „That’s exactly how it is when I’m in the garden or in the forest. I speak to the plants and they answer me with a feeling like love. Sometimes I walk across a meadow of flowers and then I think of a melody all my own and sometimes a song all my own and I sing that as I walk across the meadow. Sometimes the plants also advise me something.“ And she went on and on, and I sat there and listened to Irma. I still have tears of inner touch in my eyes now as I write it. It was what she said. But even more so, the way she said it. There was something so unspectacular and casual about it. So very different from the higher-faster-further esoterics who boast loudly and eloquently of their oh-so-special abilities. She had achieved it. Little Irma, the ridiculed little Irma, had achieved it. Long before all of us. She was in deep mental exchange with things – and she was in absolutely no way aware that this was exactly what she was experiencing on her excursions or in her garden. I would have loved to bow down and say, „Irma, please continue here in my place so that I may learn from you!“ But I couldn’t. If Irma were put on such a pedestal, everything would be gone. If she had to start thinking about it, then everything would be just wasteland. To report about her „everyday“ experiences was only possible in this casualness, in which she would never get the idea that she was just telling something very, very wonderful. If it had been pointed out to them, that’s when all the external worries, anxieties and compulsions would have come crashing down on them. „Ogottogott“ SO extraordinary is what I’m saying? Ogottogottogott, now I am nervous, my throat is tightening. Everyone is looking at me now. I hope I don’t say anything wrong or even worse: stupid! I can never talk about it again. I don’t know anything about it. So I let her talk and listened to her. Not a word passed my lips. And so Irma went home after the seminar to her little oh so secretly wonderfully inspired life. Quite unspectacularly. That’s the way it is with the naive little Irmas of this world. It is worth listening to them. We have no reason to smile about them. They are there, where we can never reach with all our knowledge. They possess something that many would outweigh with all the gold in the world, if they could only obtain a semblance of it. And as far as Irma’s husband is concerned, she threw him out the door when it became too much for her after a while. On this level, too, we should not underestimate Irma’s calm, friendly and tolerant nature.

Pain must never be allowed to guide us. Our actions grow out of the fearless knowledge of our security in the meaning, of our soulfulness and of the eternal unity of everything. We always act in love for everything and everyone. There is no inner separation. Pain alone must never guide us.

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