We go through life with a model of how the world is. This model is in our head, but we do not recognize that it is just a model. And, because we think that the model is ‘real’ we make many mistakes of omission and commission.
Diane was an earnest seeker. She had grown up in a conservative family and, while she never rebelled, she had chafed at the restrictions on her behavior.
She had a spiritual streak though she would not have used the term in describing herself. She explored religions, read Houston Smith, and went to Buddhist talks and Vipassana retreats.
She was drawn to The Master. She watched his videos on YouTube, read his books, attended his webinars, and talked to persons who had met him. There was no doubt that he was the genuine article. He was the real deal.
It took some doing but she arranged her affairs so she could spend a few months at his retreat in a different country on a different continent.
Within a week she approached a young novice in the office and asked him to arrange a car to take her to the airport right away. She was quivering with rage.
Noting her agitation, the novice asked her if there was anything wrong.
She readily unburdened herself. She had been deceived. The Master was a fraud. He was not a sage, he was a charlatan. He smoked. He drank and she had perceived his tipsy behavior herself. This morning he cracked a lewd joke and that tipped her over. She wanted out and could she have her money back?
The novice arranged a refund for her and personally drove her to the airport. On the way he gently chided her “There is no doubt that he is an enlightened master,” he said. “Many has he helped cross the sea of illusion and set countless more on the voyage. I, myself, have benefited greatly from his teachings and association with him. Alas! His karmic load is heavy and leads to the behavior you described.”
“But what about you,” the novice continued. “You know you are trapped in the Great Illusion. That is why you came here. You have a notion of what a Master should look like, and he does not conform to that. Are you going to hold on to your ideas and throw away this glorious opportunity? Ask yourself if his teachings have lifted your soul and rung true in the innermost chambers of your heart. Then decide what is right for you.”
Diane asked him to turn the car about before they reached the airport.
It is ever so easy to see the world as hostile from our self-absorbed perspective. Your small child is persistently clingy. Is he an annoyance to be dealt with firmly? Even scolded ‘for his own good?’ Or is he a tool given to you by a benevolent universe to teach you patience?
What are the models you are holding on to in the face of the universe telling you different?
Think about this.