If you happen, somehow, to read this blog post, this is for you. I heard you the other week on the radio, talking to John Wilson about your performance at the closing ceremony of the Olympics. You said this:
... what was extraordinary was being in the stadium and knowing, having a sense, a real sense that what was going on in the stadium was what I’ve always believed was the great moment for me in rock, was when we realized that when we gather in large numbers and we lose ourselves in the crowd we’re going onto a higher plane. It’s brief, but it’s one of the reasons why there are 450 music festivals a year in the UK alone. Now if you get that even for a moment it’s a fabulous feeling.
I am sorry I didn’t see the ceremony. But I am glad I heard you on the radio. I am moved by your openness about the experience you shared with all those people in that stadium. There is something about being human, isn’t there, that is not there when we are alone; something in our nature that cries out for the gathering. Even an introvert like me needs that. A great devotee recounted to his followers a vision he had one day. This is what he saw:
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’
The vision of this fantastic multitude is similar to the music festivals you talk about. But not completely. You lose yourself in the gathering but they find themselves, or rather are found and led to streams of living water by the Lamb, who is also the shepherd.
Also your experience was just for a moment but in his vision the devotee is then told that ‘they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night’. Never ending conscious bliss!
I don’t know where you live but if you are ever in Bridgend for the weekend I would like to take you to a gathering that is a kind of warm up for the big event in the vision. If not I am sure I can find one near you.