the old tales...
we do many things that are ‘right’ because we HAVE TO or because someone is watching to catch us in case we don’t behave honestly.
But sooner or later the lessons of life include situations designed to see if we will do the ‘right’ thing simply because it FEELS ‘right’ to us – when there is no reward, when there is no punishment for doing the ‘wrong’ things, and when there is no one watching to catch us if we are dishonest.
There will be situations in which there is no fat pay packet to induce us to do the thing we KNOW deep in our hearts to be ‘right' - right for that person, not necessarily right for everyone’.
around me I observe:
some people are given money and power and it is their choice to use it wisely use it well, ... and examples of unwise use are easily seen all around us.
Others are given great talents but they are not FORCED to use them...
It is that freedom, which is the test. That kind of test I think of as an ‘exam’, an exam set in the University of life.
If you read the old wisdom (fairy) tales: they often test people that way: does the main character treat the weak and the ugly well or does he take advantage of them ? Does the character take the time to help the sick and dying on her way ? Does she help them when there is no benefit to be gained but simply because of the love in her heart ? Those are the deep tests of the heart. They test what is IN your heart.
These tests often come when no one is looking, when no outsider there to watch... or to judge, when there is no payoff, no obvious benefit, but only cost. They come when I least expect them, when I'm not ready to put on an act. I think they come that way to truly find out what is IN me.
But it is those weak and ugly ones who were helped on the road, who later come to save the hero in her hour of need.
But to live like that...?- it takes trust that the deeper reality of life is really like that.
It takes trust that power, money and weapons are NOT the ultimate reality, and takes a strange kind of exhilaration and a sense of childlike adventrure to live as though those things really are true. I guess that is what they call ‘faith’.
‘Wow!’ this sounds almost religious.
It is the courage to live by the sound a drum that cannot be heard with the normal ears...to live in world that you KNOW in your heart exists, and that you CAN help to bring about.
It is the courage to face the power, anger, and brute force inside yourself.
But then, on the other hand: would I really want to live in a world where the strong are right simply because they are strong ? where you have to fight for your bit, and kill others or be killed by them ? I don’t think so... been there, done that... its time for more than that.
One of my earliest memories in Germany is as a child of less than 6 years old, discussing the war (WWII) with my father. I clearly remember deciding that if there was ever a war in which I was forced to fight, I would get myself shot first, I would not kill another person (again?). I did not want that on my conscience – (again?).
Hope in unexpected places:
Later in life, for a time I lost hope that there was really another way, that my ideas were only silly dreams that I secretly kept to myself.
But slowly, over many years I learnt to feel and work with the subltle energy body, the energetic structures of our bodies (thats another story). When I looked at the structure of the etheric pattern I found that it was an embodiment of balance, principles such as: caring for others, were a part of the very structure of life.
The beauty of stories and music that brings tears to the eye, these are all part of the very structure of living beings.
I realized that the energy structures of our bodies are affected by truth, honesty, courage, .... that the structure of our physical bodies are affected by these things. Our bodies contain the spirit of those wonderful old ancient tales... tales of hardship overcome where deep truth and love win through in the end, where justice and mercy is found even though it might not look like it for a long, very long time.
And those are not just the stories... the reality is all around us... we live IN it ;-) - Even writing this train of thoughts, I suddenly feel exhilarated by life again. I like the challenge and the difficulties in my life. Would I really want to spend my life in a safe place or do I really want to test myself ? to feel that I have overcome and grown ?
When I am honest with myself I've always wanted to face the challenge - taking the skills of the monk, his peace, his knowledge and compassion make it work in the hard places, in a busy city, in places where they are needed. It is one thing to attain great spiritual levels in peaceful monastery on a mountain, it is another doing that in a modern city. That is the challenge ... a challenge I have often run from.... Then I think about the things I've written here, and I realize, this IS what I want after all and I can face the difficulties again... (for a while... ) until I again need to ‘regroup'.... And one thing I've found: it is not the failure that is bad, it is the feeling of not doing my best, of not wanting to face things that is hardest to bear – that is the signal that tells me to go back... find that sense of adventure again, ...
Paulo Coelho in his book "the Alchemist" captures what I have tried to say above: his site is on: www.warriorofthelight.com/
last updated on:
31 March, 2008