Nitztotz, spelled N-I-T-Z-O-T-Z, is a Hebrew word naming the “divine spark” that is at the core of every person’s being. This is a portion of God’s own being, the same stuff God’s composed of. One can call it the Life Force; the brighter it is, the happier and healthier the person is, and the more inclined she or he is to do good things.
You can tell when someone has a very bright spark; they shine. What one’s actually seeing at that time is the person’s aura, which gets brighter along with the spark itself.
When you’re in high spirits, your spark is bright.
So, what sorts of things are prone to lift your spirits?
I don’t know what it is with me and roses, but every time I see or smell a rose, and I mean ANY time, I’m prone to feel my spirits lift.
The same goes with seeing a pretty female, no matter how impossible it might be to hope for romance.
If someone smiles at me, first of all, I’m prone to smile back — and feel better. On the other hand, I’m prone to smile, myself, and smile at other people, and so lift their spirits, or brighten their sparks. This is typical of, and key to, what I now mean to do as Mildew — I’ll explain all that after the break.
Which we may as well do now.
What Mildew will do.
“Mildew” is a code name I use for William Tell, so that his enemies won’t know I’m thinking or writing about him. The full name is Philip Mildew, a take-off on the name of the fictional detective, Philip Marlowe.
A couple weeks before the election, I began praying for the nation. This has never before been normal for me.
After the election, I was praying day after day for insight as to my career, or my whole direction in life. What is it that I really want? or CAN really want? It came to me that I’d really like to see all Americans with brighter auras. Happier and healthier. Less prone to strife, BECAUSE they are happier. Better off, no matter what their material circumstances, BECAUSE they are happier. This is a vision I can really, really want, something that will bring me untold joy. I can be happy wanting it; I can be happy seeing it.
There’s a very unusual dynamic here, that wanting it, and having it, are the same thing. To want it, is to have it. I will visualize all Americans as having brighter auras; and if I happen to meet an American whose aura is dark, I will visualize that person as being surrounded by bright light anyway. All by itself, this is prone to resonate to her or his nitzotz, his or her spark, and make it brighter. I can’t lose.
And yet somehow I’m having a real hard time composing this episode. It’s a different way of seeing the world, with many unknowns.
One unknown is what this all means for The William Tell Show, the call-in, two-way radio talk show that’s been my ambition for years. I have wanted it to be a Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood for adults; that will lift folks’ spirits; that becomes front and center now. Teaching things may become less important. But I know that, just the way I am, the ways I interact with people normally, are prone to lift their spirits, prone to resonate to the spark they already have in them, and amplify the spark, make it brighter. People who follow the teachings set forth in my little book, Free Speech Handbook, will be happier than people who don’t. And I can share about my whole approach to life, which may make it easier for people to be happier, than otherwise.
My new worldview has not yet been tested. For example, although I am safe in many places other people aren’t, there may still be places I won’t go. I’ve specifically remarked some such places in previous blog posts, where even at noon on a sunny day, the spiritual darkness is palpable. One such place is Penn-North. Another is the block on Gay Street, from Fallsway on the south to Orleans Street on the north, by the Juvenile Justice Center. When I used to stay at the hotel there, I walked that block many times. Somewhere along there is a carry-out with a singularly bad reputation. I have heard homeless black men talk about it before, and I wanted to ask them, “So why do you go there?”
Literally and figuratively, there may be better places to go. Seeing all Americans happier, may be the best place I can go.
I conceived this post many months ago, at a time when I did not find what I was hearing on Sunday mornings was meeting my needs or the needs I see in the community. Throughout this piece, I apprehend projecting my own needs onto the community. I might can’t help that.
Jeanette is a pleasant, demented homeless woman who frequents St. Paul Plaza and the library.
She’s always immaculately dressed. I don’t know how she manages that.
One day, I think in May, walking through St. Paul Plaza, on impulse I approached her and asked if she’d sell me a cigarette. (At that time, I was buying “loose ones.”) Instead, she gave me three Newports.