There is a magical painted house that lives somewhere this side of the great universal divide. Can a house live? I guess it depends on what you define the house to be and if you believe that all that exists is alive, even if purely a mere vibration on the atomic level.
Wondrous is this house! It is what it is and yet each and everyone who comes to look at it, if they can be bothered that is, sees a different thing. The myriad facets of its architecture are such that no one person can quite see it fully. Though there are some who get mightily close but when they do they simply become one with the house and never wish to leave.
Sadly, most of the time, the house is dismissed as a little too vulgar, a little too eccentric, not quite the thing, not what the discerning and worldly person would want his acquaintances to associate him with.
It is decidedly shabby, too. Years of erosion from the battering of its occupants and the disdain of those who pass through and by those who cannot see its worth. Yet there are many hidden rooms each containing a jewel or prize so precious anyone finding such a treasure would keep it close to his heart and never part with it. Even so, the nature of such treasures is they refuse to be hidden and the bearer becomes one with the precious object and emanates its light even so; at once becoming a focus for all and sundry to do as they will in accordance with their nature. Such secret rooms and secret treasures are only allowed to be found by those who have the courage to bear the jewel within. The house is ever mindful of its parts.
One day it was painted anew and afresh. Glorious and wonderful; beautiful and divine. “Here I am!”the house seemed to shout. Come along and live within these walls and feed off of manna and rich wine. Come within and find a host of saintly, angelic brethren ready and waiting to help you and do whatever you wish. The light from the house was so astonishing it cast dim the surrounding landscape. The inhabitants of this landscape, this world in which we live, saw the light and cried with horror. Everything they held dear and precious was revealed for the illusion it was. Their world made no sense anymore, their chief means of fulfillment disappeared in one stroke. Like bored and aimless youth they aimed stones at the lighted windows, sprayed caricatures over the walls and kicked in the doors till they were not much more than broken splinters of wood tipped with the bloodied specks of the fresh red paint.
Within a moment the glorious dwelling was shabby once more, blended once more, with the dull drab of the local environment. The painted house could now be dismissed and forgotten as it always was and always had been by the multitudes who passed it by.
Yet there were still the few who saw the poor house, felt compassion for its sadness and entered within. Once entered, the house would respond to its visitor with a prick from the red splinters of wood into searching palms; a shard of glass might enter the soulful eye; a hint of perfume from another world may enter the lungs and so fill the being of the explorer. These attacks would penetrate and wound deeply, would give insights of glories unimaginable, reveal truths so painful and hard and would transfigure the soul into something akin to the source which was revealed when the house had been so shining and renewed.
The wounded ones would emerge eventually from their suffering and experience of the house, they would emerge and walk in the dim, dull desolate place and show their wounds and their agonies and also the joy they had found through the transformation. In doing so they would be ignored, rejected, attacked, maligned and brutalised by those who were afraid of the revealing light they bore. Some would be accepted but only whilst they conformed to the needs of those around them as they ministered and helped. Once this ministry was at an end they would find themselves tossed aside once more to endure further suffering. Yet they would not really be suffering because they knew this pain was the passport back to the holy painted house. The heart pierced by the sword of human vitriol or ignorance could not suffer any further as it already bore the wounds from the painted splinters and shards of broken glass. This mystical pain, suffused with the perfume of the Divine, is sweeter and more sublime than any passer by who dismisses the house could possibly imagine.
The painted house sits there still. Its secrets revealed to those who can see and hidden from those who refuse to see. There is still time to visit this holy painted house. Just a little time, but still there is time.