Danelys Valcarcel Cuellar – USA
Ignorance is Our True and Only Prison
Serving humanity through the Theosophical Society is one of the noblest and most uplifting paths one can ever tread. There are many ways of service, myriad forms of Life in this Cosmos. There are many great causes worthwhile to fight for. I would like to share with you a life lesson, and a most inspiring life changing experience I have had while serving at the headquarters of the Theosophical Society in America.
For the last year and a half it has been my duty to work in collaboration with our Department of Education, as a Theosophical mentor in the Prison Program. Words fail to describe the great impact the Divine Wisdom can work in the heart of a “fallen man.” It only takes one second of disconnection for a man to fall into darkness; a second that changes his life forever.
I remember one of my dearest teachers once said to me that there were three things that happened to a man in prison: Either he loses his mind, loses his life, or he finds God. These powerful words resonated in my mind for a long time until I myself witnessed them to be true. More powerful yet has been to patiently witness the extraordinary regenerative effect of Theosophical education on many of these brothers and sisters to the point of healing their minds, restoring their lives, and helping them reconnect with their Divine Source.
Mentoring prisoners is an enlightening experience. It certainly brings one down from the pedestal of teaching to the earthly ground of true learning, and one begins to observe life from a completely different perspective. Questions like –What is the true purpose of Education? What are those fundamental things that need to be taught? What is to be learned till the end of our lives? come to mind. The fact of corresponding anonymously with these men and women, “looking into their personal hand writing,” their hearts and minds is a most humbling thing. One can not help but surrender with impersonal love to help these souls through their arduous karmic walk.
A prison cell does not limit a man or woman from serving the Divine Plan once their soul has awakened. As Madame Blavatsky shares with us in Practical Occultism: “One could be confined in a prison cell and yet be a worker for the cause.” And sure enough, many of these fellows have found the most creative and inspiring ways to serve the Theosophical cause: through writing articles for our Quest magazine, hospice service in prison, mentoring others, reading to the elders who are almost blind, forming Theosophical study and mediation groups within their prisons, engaging in artistic activities like knitting scarves and hats for homeless children and adults, making peace sign and dream catcher necklaces for our little friends of the “Prairie School”, etc. Who would have thought? Once more our dear H. P. B was right!
Scarves and hats for homeless children and adults
To those outside of the USA, who wonder how to contribute to this particular program, there is a very effective way you could join this cause, beyond time and space, and that is through your daily meditations. If you will, dedicate a few minutes of your day to consciously send brotherly thoughts of peace, light, and understanding to all those suffering souls in need of healing behind the mayavic bars of ignorance. This is the great life lesson I would like to share: Ignorance, of the Universal Brotherhood of Humanity and the Oneness of All Life, is our true and only prison.