I would like to use a metaphor to express one possible idea about the necessity to find and follow a path in our existence. I have used a comparison between flowing water in a river and the human experience of life from birth to death.
It is like standing on a shore of purity and clarity. You see life as it is on this shore. Then something happens. However you do not realize how real and pure it is in that moment. You are persuaded to undertake a journey across a river of moving water. You are given a map of all of the known stones that are to be found above the level of moving water in the river. There are instructions included with this map. You are also told that along the path there will be signs and symbols to guide you and are strongly advised not to deviate from this selected path. You are told that to change this path would mean calamity and chaos for you and other people.
The shore where you are standing is solid, real, and safe. Unfortunately you are not aware of the totality within the moment. This causes uneasiness and fear. You begin to question everything that you experience.
Reluctantly you start the journey mentioned above. The journey begins by stepping to the nearest stone. You then view the river and your position on the stone in relation to the water before you. The next stone is indicated for you on the map. It is to be used as your path. However you see that there are two stones directly before you.
A note attached to the map shows a warning. You are to use the larger stone for the next part of your journey. This stone has already been selected for you. According to the instructions, you are not to consider any aspect of this stone. It is there for you to jump on. You become more aware of the second stone just before you leap to the larger stone that was selected for you. You see and instinctively know that the other stone is much more stable than the predetermined stone. This second stone is also much easier to access than the selected stone.
You are able to determine these facts by becoming aware of the stone for what it is, and not what you have been told that it is. You are able to see the second stone as well as the preselected stone in their true form. Awareness allows you to see each stone without the conditioning or judgment of other human beings. You feel a small amount of frustration at this point. This frustration is distracting.
You observe the river again. The moving water, sunshine, and a warm breeze allow you to become relaxed and even more aware. This awareness allows you to feel the connection between yourself, the water, and the sunshine. There is an instant of true recognition to the harmony of life in that moment.
Thereby your ego-enriched thoughts urge you to concentrate on the first stone, and so you focus your attention on it. You read the warning on the map, which clearly indicates that the second stone is dangerous. You hastily jump to the preselected first stone. Your decision to jump results from the anxieties connected with what you have been told about your path.
You pause after jumping. In that moment you experience stillness and once again are part of everything. This can be felt. It is real and true. Then your attention is diverted back to the map. The map indicates which stone is to be used. You now see the next stone before you. It is quite large. There is a warning carved into the stone. The warning instructs you to use the right side of the stone and not the left side.
While looking at the stone, you sense serenity. The pure goodness of this presence can be felt with all of your human senses. The presence assures you that the entire surface of the stone is solid. Your awareness becomes intensified. You know that the universal intelligence is speaking the truth, but it is very difficult to remain aware of the now. The map and the warning on the stone have a strong influence on your thoughts and behavior.
You feel frustrated again and start to question the intentions of the map and instructions concerning the path you are to follow. There is an ever-increasing friction that becomes more distracting as you travel across your path. There is a deep regret as you jump to the right side of the next stone. You regret this action, but it is what you were told to do.
You continue across the river; leaping from stone to stone. There are moments when you are still. These moments of quietness offer you space. This makes you aware of the world around you. Most of your journey is unfortunately filled with fear and anxiety. The suffering you feel continues to becoming part of your person. You ignore the pain and proceed on your path.
The map shows you where to go and what to do. Resentment grows toward everything associated with this predetermined path. You compensate these feelings of fear, anxiety, and resentment by concentrating on your tasks such as map reading and following the instructions. You become deaf to the pain caused by the thoughts and feelings about this path.
The complexity and urgency associated with your preselected path interferes with your awareness of the surroundings and the true significance of the universal intelligence that could be experienced. You slowly accept the pain-bodies as a natural by-product of your path in this human life. You readily allow the pain-bodies to govern your existence as a human being. The pain is eventually accepted as an intrinsic part of this human existence.
It is still possible to feel universal energy consciousness from time to time. You experience balance and fulfillment in such a moment. It is in such a moment that you feel life more directly; this feels very strange to the mind. It is only strange because of the thoughts, emotions and ego that are distracting you. Universal consciousness is always there but it is difficult to focus on it. It is something that you can sense. It is so clear and simple for you to understand when you are aware.
The stones come and go. It seems as though the journey across the river will never end. It becomes very routine and empty. Your obedience to the map, the warning signs, and instructions inhibits any real awareness to the present moment.
You do sense the feeling of freedom during a moment of awareness. This peaceful feeling is intensified when you become more aware of the water, the sky, and the world around you. You then begin to feel how unimportant the stones, the map, and the instructions are in relation to life itself. Here, we are speaking of life as a whole, and not of our human existence according to the way family, peers, and society have dictated it to you.
You suddenly see the river clearly and recognize the life energy manifesting through everything. Moreover this knowledge has always been there.
River Flowing Quietly
You can now see that the stones, map, and warnings have been contaminating this human-form existence. The man-made components of this world have been misleading you, due to a simple lack of awareness. It is clear that these relatively important existence details have been leading you in a zigzag fashion throughout your experiences.
The following sentences are my personal understanding of this metaphor. This awakening happened as I was able to feel life in its totality. There was no longer a need to study the stones, map, or the map’s instructions. I simply let go and, metaphorically speaking, fell into the water without any resistance.
I am able to understand that everything around me, including myself, is united.
This is significant for me because the river water that represented life for me in this metaphor was the one thing that caused me the most fear. This fear was reinforced through the components or content of the world. My fear of this water was very great. Water reflected life for me and therefore I had a terrible fear of life. Perhaps this is why I had such fear of the water. The map and all of the things associated with it were only tools and concepts given to me by people who truly believed these objects have an importance in our human existence.
River of Life
The content and the manner by which I was told to use them blinded my awareness of life. The stones in the river did not truly mean anything. Their substance and use only took on importance after I was told about them. The importance of the selected stones was determined by the tools and concepts given to me. Furthermore because of this I could not see the many variations and possibilities given to me through life.
Would you agree that we should not fear life? It is much more gratifying to live life. We have been on a human development path that induces fear of life and death. This fear is conditioned into all aspects of our existence.
We are convinced that what we have been told or shown about being a human represents the truth about life. Life is so much more than just being a human! Our human form is not permanent. This is true of all forms. Nothing is permanent. Life is not just happening around us, we are not separate from life.
We are a human form that is manifesting life and it manifests in everything. Therefore life can be realized consciously through our object existence. We are now a human form and, at the same time, we are the oneness of life.
Best wishes to everyone