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Is This Love?

“Do you know what love is?”

“Yes, I believe I do.” The young man sounded confident when he answered his old friend. They sat near the summit of a desert mountain.

“Very well; give me your definition of love.”

“It is an intense feeling of affection toward other human beings. True love is about accepting their individuality.”

“But what about you my young friend? What’s in it for you?”

“Loving is payment enough; if any payment is necessary.”

“But if you love somebody, should they not return the love?”

“I love many people in different ways. Some are unaware that I love them. Therefore, they cannot return my love, nor would I expect it.”

“Where do you think this begins?”

“Love is preinstalled. None arrive on this planet without it. It’s said the universe vibrates to the frequency of love.”

“So why do humans fight my friend?”

“Our birth families follow religious practices and ascribe to particular beliefs. Some follow none. We mimic their ways and the world outside. To be better, do better. We become part of a great race and forget the one truth. You have taught me these things my old friend.”

“I tell you only what is. What about those who harm others because of the beliefs they love?”

“You cannot love a belief, only another living creature. But sometimes, people love others because their lives have led them to identify with harmful beliefs.”

“Yes my  young friend, the mind is like a glass of water. Mix in the beliefs of society, agitate and it becomes difficult to see. Leave it to settle and all becomes clear.”

“That’s why this desert solitude is so special. Here I connect with the truth, nothing here reminds me of those things that bring pain and hate to the world.”

“You love this place?”

“Because it reminds me of love.”

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.

Competition

Walking across a vast grassy plain at the height of summer, a young man met his old friend.

“You look tired my young companion.”

“Yes, I am. Work is difficult. I want promotion because it would pay for the new car.”

“So, chase the promotion.”

“That is precisely what I’m doing, but the competition is great.”

“There is no competition my young friend.”

“Yes, there is. As far as I know, I am one of five internal candidates and I don’t know how many externals.”

“No, you are the only competition. What do you wish to prove?”

The young man glanced at his friend. “Is it not obvious? I have to show them I am the best.”

“Indeed, you can show them that you are great at what you do. But, what if they seek to expand the team with somebody who has complimentary skills to yours? Or, they want a woman instead of a man. These are things outside your control. As I said, you are the competition, and that is only if you aim to be better. Then I agree, there is much competition.”

“Other people who want the job see me as their competition.”

“Yes, I am sure they do and that is because you make them feel insecure. They wish to eclipse your sun because they’re jealous of your daylight. They compare themselves to you, but you are not their competition, nor them yours.”

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.

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