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Walking in The Forest

The young man couldn’t hear the voice of his old friend calling through the trees. It took a lot of calling and listening before they met in a glade near a pool of clear water and sat together on a log at the waters’ edge.

“There are many obstacles on your path my young friend. So many that you are unable to see the wood for the trees.”

The younger man laughed. “That’s a familiar saying.”

“Yes, and it describes your current predicament perfectly.”

“I wasn’t aware that I have any predicaments.”

“If there are belongings in your life stopping you from moving forward; you have predicaments. The trees are symbolic of the things you have allowed to get in the way. Deal with them and cut down the trees.”

“That sounds so simple. How can I throw things away that prey on my mind?”

“Are those things current and of value?”

“There is one thing from the past that returns and haunts me.”

“Does it relate to current events?”

“No, not that I can see. But when it happened, it aroused painful feelings and challenged my beliefs.”

“Did you have any power to change this event or alter the outcome?”

“No, because it related to a decision and action by somebody else. I would not have done the same.”

He looked at his image in the pools mirror and from the corner of his left eye, noticed a small waterfall softly tumbling between age worn rocks. Ripples rolled slowly across, distorting his image.

“Let’s say you had the power to alter that event. How would life be now if you had?”

“My path would have taken a very different route.”

“Imagine you are tumbling in the waterfall over there. If I move a rock your course will alter but you will still end up in the pool. If you manage a handhold, you will tire eventually, and the result will be the same.

I changed the course of the water. There was nothing you could do about it. You ended up in the pool.

So, finally, would it not be appropriate to take what you learned from that event, leave what you don’t need and, cut down the tree?”

The image of the young man cleared between ripples, he looked across at his old friend.

“I don’t like that you are right but, you are. That tree is on the log-pile.”

The friends smiled at one another before going their separate ways.

Angry Mountain

“What are you doing my young friend?”

“Is it not obvious?”

“You are spending considerable energy striking the ground with that shovel. You remind me of an angry mountain about to erupt. Come, sit with me, the garden looks stunning; many varieties of flower sharing one space.”

Slowly, the thuds of the shovel ceased. The young man looked exhausted.

What took you to the point of venting anger on the beloved earth?

“A neighbor.”

“Once again, earthly troubles placed at a neighbors’ door. What did she do?

“She doesn’t get involved except to calm his anger. He is unreasonable, his anger boils when things don’t go his way.”

“Tell me about him.”

“There’s not much to say. He occasionally lives in the house next door. I have no problem with that but wonder if that’s where his lies. He told me about things he’s had; property he owns and how wealthy he is.

When they visit, he expects life to stop accommodate his. It’s like the lord of the manor has arrived.”

The old man laughed to himself and stepped into the flowers.

“See how they move when I walk among them. Nothing I do halts their progress unless I step on one or pull it from the ground. All they need are minerals from the earth, water, air and sunlight. Humans are similar; each have basic needs but perceived unmet, they reach out and search.

Some have more than they need and want more. They don’t wish to see somebody better-off so, they collect and hoard. Do you remember our talk about competition?”

“Where does the anger of one man connect to that?”

“Something in his past has brought about insecurity. He needs to eclipse everybody’s sun because he’s jealous of their daylight. He compares himself to others and sees them as his competition.

Possibly developed from one instance in his life but allowed to go unchecked, it has grown out of proportion. “

“I understand and relate although I don’t identify with anger. I once found myself in a loveless relationship and didn’t realise I substituted it with ‘things.’  Nice cars, holidays, clothes . . . “

“You still do that my friend. Did anybody ever say, ‘be better, do better . . . ‘“?

The young man laughed without humor. “It is a mantra echoing around my mind since my early years.”

“The man next door brings challenges to your ego which reminds you of the mantra. Push it aside my friend and forget about the neighbor. Friendship is not an option so, blow him away with a tender heart like you would a dandelion clock.

Time

Sat by a campfire in the wilderness, the young man and his old friend talked beneath a blanket of stars.

“What time is it?” The old man asked.

“I don’t know, I don’t own a watch.” The younger man looked at his wrist.

“Why did you do that? You don’t own a time-piece.

“I used to; habit I guess.”

“You clearly think about time my young friend.”

“Yes, I must. Everything I do is geared to time. Preparing for work in the morning. Going to appointments. Knowing when it will be the weekend.”

“So, time is subjective; a tool used to measure events?”

“Yes, I suppose so, but if I try to live outside time, I will be at odds with the world.”

“Very well; forget about the world and consider this. There is no such thing as time; it’s a human construct. When you think about your past, you experience present memories of things that were or still are if you dwell upon them. Now consider your future. If you harbour those dwelled upon memories your mind may then predict or expect things to come.”

“What’s your point?”

“Simple my young friend. By confining yourself to your own limited slice of existence you waste the brief space of life you have.

Assimilate memories into experience if they are useful. If not, use them as warning flags or discard them. Do the things you must do and create steps to carry you forward. Don’t be wasteful, if you are, you squander your life. Heaven knows so many complain that life is too short.

Memories

Near the summit of a high mountain, a young man sat in a rocky alcove.  Wandering the universal consciousness, he came across an old man. They greeted one another as friends do, and the old man bid his friend to follow him toward the summit. It wasn’t long before the elder pointed out a way-mark.

“Those rocks are memories from your current life. Do you see anything in particular?”

“Yes,” said the young man. “A light shining through the rocks.”

Indeed, there was a small point of light shining through a gap halfway up the way-mark which stood at about two metres tall.

“An old,  insignificant memory holding you back. You have no further need of it. Take a rock from the ground and use it to block out that light.”

The younger man did as his friend instructed and they walked away.

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