“This journey home to God is nothing more than a journey to our true, spiritual self.”
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Orest Stocco - Author
KEEPER OF THE FLAME is a modern day Pilgrim’s Progress. It is the story of one soul’s spiritual quest that spans the centuries. Reincarnation is central to the story. From the narrator’s first primordial human life on earth as “Grunt,” where he experiences the dawning of self-consciousness, through to his lifetime as Phaedrus, student of Pythagoras, to Samuel the Essene, when he studied the same secret teaching as Jesus Christ, to his lifetime as the infamous “scoundrel of Paris,” a black slave in southern Georgia, a dishonoured textile baron in Genoa, Italy, to a self-exiled English aristocrat, the narrator completes his spiritual quest for his true self in his current lifetime.
KEEPER OF THE FLAME opens the doors to the deepest mystery in life: What is man’s relationship with God? The answer will surprise you!
A Memorable Dream
In a dream one night, I left my body and flew to a large urban center. I didn’t know which city it was, but as I floated down into the city I zeroed in on one house in particular.
It was a grand Victorian style red brick house. My attention, by whatever force guided me, went straight to the engraved brass plate attached to the stone pillar at the entranceway. It spelled out a man’s full name, his credentials, and the services that he offered.
The man’s name has long been erased from my memory, but what did remain was the distinct impression that the guiding force which brought me to this lawyer’s house in my Soul body made upon me.
To this day, I’m not sure if what I felt as an impression was spoken to me or not, but by whatever means of communication, I knew that this man was a Keeper of the Flame.
It has been thirty years since I had this dream and only now have I come to understand what it means to be a Keeper of the Flame.
Life is full of mystery. No one can go through life and not ask the big questions. Experience will inevitably force every person to ask the big questions. Is this all there is to life? Do we have an immortal soul? Is there life after death? Why is there so much suffering in the world? Does God exist? Is reincarnation fact or theory?
These big questions are impersonal. In good time, they will become very personal. Why did my child have to die at such an early age? Does true love exist? Why me, God? And so on.
As one remarkable Keeper of the Flame, Paul Mathews, once said, “It seems sometimes like the whole world was made of questions.”
When I began my spiritual quest in my teens, I had no expectations of finding answers to all these big questions, but that didn’t stop me. I was compelled by a force within to become a seeker.
I went on instinct alone. Once I picked up the scent of The Way, like the “hound of heaven,” in Francis Thompson’s poem I could not stop until I found the answer to the question that haunted me the mostWho am I?
Curiously enough, I asked this very question in my past lifetime as Samuel, the Essene.
I had seven past-life regressions recently, and I learned that I was a seeker who found the Holy Flame of God in the Essene community during the time of Jesus Christ.
Before I became a member of the Essene community, my friends wrote my name on a piece of cloth and tied it to my forehead. It was their way of making fun of my need to know who I was.
I remember a Jewish comedian on a late night talk show poke fun at spiritual seekers who ask this very question. “I tell them to look in a mirror,” he quipped, and then broke into raucous laughter. Perhaps he was the reincarnation of one of my past-life companions.
Who am I? is not a question to be ridiculed. A woman married to a man who demands that his will be obeyed will one day, perhaps while doing the dinner dishes or vacuuming the house, ask herself, “Who am I?”
As she reflects on this, she says to herself, “ I’m not the person who married this man. I don’t know who I am anymore.” Stunned by what Albert Camus called a “pries de conscience,” she repeats, “Who am I?”
This woman, like so many people, has lost connection with her inner self. We are all born connected with our inner self, but along the way, most of us lose this mysterious connection.
Not all of us become seekers, though. Most people who lose connection with their inner self live out their lives in what Henry David Thoreau called “quiet desperation.”
At the age of twenty-three, my quest for my inner self took me across the Atlantic Ocean to Annecy, France.
One night, in my tiny one room apartment, I had one of the most fascinating dreams of my life.
Once again, I left my body, and as can only happen by the magic of dreams, I entered into the mind of every person in the world. Then the miracle that awakened me to the spiritual scent happened.
I took every question that every person in the world had ever asked and reduced them all to one simple question: Why am I?
I came back to Canada and went to university to study philosophy. In my efforts to answer this imponderable question, I got touched by the Holy Flame of God. I did not stop until I became consumed by it.
That’s how I became a Keeper of the Flame.