A Short StoryPosted: September 7, 2012
Once upon a time there was a little boy who lived a life infused with the Beloved. He was able to rejoice in the most simple and ordinary things. A sense of magic and awe were his constant companions. As a result, he would never be anxious or regretful for too long but for the most time he would be serene and content.
As the boy grew up to be a young man, though, slowly and unnoticeably, a thick forest started to grow around his house. And at some point, the forest had become so dense that darkness befell his world and turned it into a wasteland. In the absence of light he quickly forgot about the Beloved. Worse still, he got so used to the wasteland that he accepted it as a fact of life.
One day, though, by some curious coincidence he suddenly had an encounter with the Beloved. Having been so long separated, he confused what he had experienced with some kind of artificially induced illusion. While most others would have dismissed it on that basis and quickly returned to business as usual, the young man, however, was curious and his intuition made him seek out people who had reported similar experiences.
These people claimed that the Beloved had never left and that He was waiting behind the forest. And since they were masters in teaching the ancient art of crafting weapons to cut through the forest, the young man followed them with eager interest. It took him a long time sitting with these craftsmen and listening to their instructions, to build his own weapon, which he called ‘One’.
He would keep on enhancing and sharpening it until one day, when he least looked or hoped for it, the Beloved appeared to him suggesting the weapon was now ready. So, the young man set out to the forest determined to root out all plants and trees that separated him from the sought.
The forest was so impenetrable and his weapon so heavy to use it took both hands and wholehearted effort to proceed. It was hard work. Sometimes he did not seem to get ahead, or he cut a branch and a few more would grow out of it. Sometimes he would be paralyzed by fear of what he encountered as he pushed deeper. But whenever the young man was feeling depressed or stuck, he would either be encouraged by the craftsmen or he would catch a glimpse of the Beloved. That’s what gave him the strength to carry on despite all challenges.
But the more he advanced into the forest, the darker it got. Completely unexpected, at the darkest hour, however, a miracle occurred. The young man suddenly stood face-to-face with the Beloved. All that was asked of him now was to let go of the weapon and to fully embrace Him. Because the weapon and its powers had become so dear to him, thought, it took the young man another big leap of faith to eventually drop it. But as he did, and as he united with the Beloved, he re-establish wholeness to every inch of his being.
In this very same moment of unification something suddenly dawned upon him. He realized that neither the forest, nor the weapon had ever really existed. They had all been mind-made, mere figments of his imagination. His separation from the Beloved had been an illusion all along. He had never left the Beloved but in his mind. While this discovery made the young man laugh at his own folly, he cried for everybody else who was unnecessarily suffering because of their delusions. But what he now knew for certain was that he had finally awoken from the confines of the mind.
After having gone through this ordeal, the young man, with his consciousness altered, re-engaged with the everyday world as a most ordinary person. As he grew older he would occasionally act as craftsman, pointing others through the quest of leaving the illusory maze of the mind.
When he died he had a smile on his face.
“Before I tasted the root many times and felt, how delicious.
Today I became the root. How ordinary.”
Nature… the supreme spiritual master