There was once a man
named Agathon who understood the secrets of life and the true meaning of love. He had a neighbor named Cyrus. Whenever they met, Cyrus talked only about topics of interest to himself, such as social affairs and business, but never asked Agathon about anything.
One autumn, Cyrus became involved with a woman, which turned into a disaster for him. The next time he met Agathon, Cyrus snapped accusingly, “You are supposed to have a mind which understands all things. Why did you not warn me about that woman?”
“You did not ask me,” replied Agathon.
The following winter, Cyrus invested a considerable sum of money in a fishing enterprise, which collapsed. The bitter Cyrus once more accosted Agathon: Whith your knowledge of human events, you could have prevented my loss. Could you not have advised me?”
Inquired Agathon, “Could you not have asked me?”
The next spring, Cyrus was about to engage in several new activities, both social and financial. For an entire week he thought about them, while remembering his past disasters. Finally, he put on his coat, walked over to Agathon’s home and said, “Friend Agathon, there is something I would like to ask.”
Self-Trust is True Trust
Cyrus is representative of the hurt and confused person who has reached the end of his rope — and then has the solid sense to let go of his fake wisdom. Such a person suspects the existence of another way to live, a way which is above his mechanically repeated errors and injuries. Such a person is teachable, and this is everything.
Jannie P. wrote to say she had lost her way in life. Neither her marriage nor her career served as guides any longer. “Not knowing what to do is the main torment,” she explained. “I don’t know how much longer I can take this endless agitation.” Jannie heard as a reply, “This may sound too simple to you, but suppose all can be changed by changing the way you think. Will you start with this principle and go on from there?” Jannie agreed, which was her right start.
The only difference between scattered stacks of metal and a beautiful airplane in flight is what someone’s hands do with the metal. So be happy when reality scatters your beautiful dream and be double happy when you proceed after the scattering. Tell yourself, “There is another way to think about my condition,” for, in fact, there is a better way, which any suffering mind will find.
There is one powewe which is always and instantly available. No one can ever deprive you of your natural ability to choose a different and richer life for yourself. Nor can events and circumstances take away your right to become a new man/woman. And this is all that matters. If all else falls apart, this is steadfast as the universe itself. We need only remember that though we are not as yet fully awake, the truth is the process has began.
The only trust is self trust. Even when you inquire of an authentic teacher it is your own understanding which responds to the knowledge he offers. Someone may ask, “But how can I trust myself when I realize my confusion?” Your realization of confusion is the beginning of genuine self-trust, because you are abandoning false self-trust, which consists of reliance upon illusory strength. A deep realization of self confusion produces a miracle of insight in which you see that trust in yourself and trust in the truth are one and the same.
You can give yourself everything you need. You can give yourself the ability to respond to a disappointment just as if it did not happen to you at all. You can supply your own needed encouragement for removing a crisis. You can provide self-strength for shaking off the costume of an imitative life and live from your own essence. You are both your own powerhouse and your own electricity.
Help is everywhere. Want it deeply and you will receive it abundantly. The truth has a flood of enthusiasm which wants to reach you just as much as you want to reach it. The use of one aid reveals another aid. Here are aims for immediate use:
- Use anxiety to end anxiety.
- Experiment with your absorbed knowledge.
- Ask questions about your new way of life.
- Try to feel the good in goodness.
- Be your own inspiration.
Michelangelo and the Stone
During a class session a pupil said to his teacher, “You say that our true nature knows what to do in every daily situation. I find this difficult to understand. Where am I thinking incorrectly?”
The teacher explained that our true nature does in fact know what to do, so our confusion is a result of not releasing its power to perform its perfect work in daily affairs. “Confusion,” the teacher explained, “simply means that we are still inwardly divided. One part of us wants one thing and an opposing part wants another thing, leaving us frustrated and fearful. Your unified nature is never a problem to itself, therefore, it never creates exterior problems in the first place.”
The teacher then provided this illustration: “The authorities at Florence requested a sculptor to carve a statue from a huge block of stone which had an awkward shape. The sculptor tried, but soon gave up, declaring that the strange shape of the rock made work impossible. The authorities then asked Michelangelo to work on it. Because Michelangelo was Michelangelo, he carved from the rock his famous statue of David.”
The teacher’s lesson concluded with, “Be and you will do.”
The True Meaning of Love
The last five words of this story deserve special consideration. What do they mean? They simply mean we must realize our oneness with life, we must not mistakenly think we are separate from the All. Then, our doing is easy, unopposed, for we do not create opposition by faulty thinking. Then we are just at ease with what unknowing men call “failure” as with what they call “success”, for our undivided mind — our Cosmic Mind — does not live by labels.
When disconnecting ourselves from self-will, to blend with the cosmic flow of life, everything we do is a success — true success.
To understand a truth means to be one with that truth. As long as there is a self and the truth there is still separation from that truth. While a truth must first be absorbed by the mental part, it must proceed to be understood by all the other parts which make up the whole man. We must grasp a fact mentally, emotionally, physically, even sexually. This is psychic health, and psychic health means wholeness.
Connect the principle of oneness with the principle of love
. In true love there is not love and the someone or something which is loved. Such division is the artificial love of a divided mind, which quickly turns to anger when rejected. True love is based on self-unity and self-knowledge, also on deep insight into human nature, not on ego-serving sentimentality. Being one with itself, true love is also one with everything in the universe.
So self-knowledge is everything. If you know what you are all about, you know what life is all about. You are not separate from life; you are life..
Why does a man persist in false duties and burdensome responsibilities which wear him down? Because he wrongly thinks they are necessary to his psychic survival. If you have a nightmare about drifting down a river towards a waterfall you may fight all over your bed, with tortured nerves. But upon awakening you see your right right relationship to your surroundings, and so relax. Do you see why self-awakening should be your great aim in life…
Once you really see, it is all so simple. Test it for yourself. How do you feel and how do you act towards someone from whom you want something, perhaps relief from insecurity? In contrast, how do you feel and act towards someone whom you want nothing? Try to see the great difference. When seeking nothing, you are free, spontaneous, lighthearted. When wanting something, there exists tension, caution, heavy-mindedness. Know that you can have relationships with others without seeking anything from them. That is right relationship.
You can set yourself free by the following method: Whenever you lose something of psychological value, perhaps a person or an object, do not seek a replacement. Live without it until something changes within you, which it will. A refusal to replace an apparent security sets you free.