12 Aug The Message and the Messenger
To return to the root is to find the meaning, but to pursue appearances is to miss the source. ~ Seng Ts’an
There was once a great Mystic…
The Mystic lived in a mosque and he had a faithful disciple who served him his meals. The disciple lived 5 miles away and would cook food for the Mystic every day and bring it to the mosque. He would sit and wait for the Mystic to eat, but the Mystic was a crazy man. Sometimes he would eat in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, sometimes in the evening. Because the disciple would not eat until the Mystic had eaten, he often went hungry the entire day. By the time he reached home each evening he was so tired that he would think, “Tomorrow, now who wants to prepare more food?” Many nights he fell asleep hungry.
One day the Mystic said, “Listen, you need not come so far. I can come to your home. So tomorrow you prepare the food and I will come to you. It is too hot for you to bring the food 5 miles only to wait the whole day before eating. When you are ready, I will come to you.”
The next day the disciple was thrilled to prepare delicious food for the Mystic, because he was coming to his home for the first time. This was grace – his Master is coming to his home! He decorated his house, he laid flowers along the path…but nobody showed up, only a dog. The dog wanted to eat the food, so the disciple chased the dog away. But the dog kept coming back, trying to snatch the food. The disciple had seen many dogs, but this dog was strange. Though he repeatedly chased and beat the dog, it kept coming back. Finally he gave the dog an intense beating and the dog retreated with tears in his eyes, disappearing into the night.
The disciple waited all evening, thinking: “The Master is crazy, he has forgotten to come.”
Finally, the disciple packed up the food and carried it 5 miles to the mosque. When he arrived he saw tears in the eyes of the Mystic. The same tears as he had seen in the dog! He was puzzled and said, “Why are you crying?”
The Mystic replied, “Why shouldn’t I? You have beaten me so much today!
The disciple responded, “What are you talking about? I have not beaten you? You never came as you had promised!”
Then the Mystic said, “I came to your home not once, but at least 12 times.”
The disciple suddenly remembered that the dog had attempted to enter his home exactly 12 times.
Then the Mystic said, “Do not attach to form. You must become capable of seeing beyond the form…to the formless. Why should I be thought of as only in this form, in this body? Why can’t you recognize me in other forms?”
There’s nothing to understanding people. All you have to do is take a close look at yourself and you will understand everyone else. ~ Isaac Asimov
You are everyone you meet - everyone who is before you is everything you seek
Look at what you have made of yourself through the “mirror” of others
Everyone and everything that comes into your lifetime is there as a means to point the Way
Honor whomever or whatever is before you as a disowned part of your own inner self - welcome them into your Heart with patience and compassion
Live in Love as the meaning that supplants your fears and liberates you from your self imposed spiritual ignorance