The Know-All

A rather brash young man decided that he had attained enlightenment and no longer needed the guidance of his guru.  He upped and left the temple and went around the region boasting of his spiritual achievements to anyone who would listen.  He heard that there was a hermitage in a nearby town and decided he would make the journey and thrill the resident seekers and their master with his wisdom.

Photo by Raychan on Unsplash

En route, he took a pathway through a forest, and as he ambled on his way, he saw in the distance an old sanyassin leaning against a tree; there appeared to be clouds of smoke issuing up from around him.  As the young man got closer he saw that the old man was smoking a long-stemmed pipe.  He also decided that the old man would be an ideal candidate to hear the story of his spiritual greatness.

“Good day Sir”, said the young man, “I am an enlightened soul and it is your good fortune that I happened upon you.  You may throw away your scriptures and spiritual texts, there is no pathway, no individual soul, no karma, no God, there is only the nothingness of consciousness; in fact, nothing exists.”

WHACK!  As quick as a flash the old man rapped the young “master” around the head with his pipe.  As the young man glared at him in anger, the old sanyassin said, “if nothing exists, where did that anger come from”, and he turned and went on his way..

The subject matter of this parable is something that I have written about before.  But, I like this story so much that I wanted to share it here.  Of course, technically what the young man said was correct, however, he fully deserved his rap on the head for his audacious display of ego.  Truly enlightened souls never make the statement, “I am enlightened”, because in consciousness, “nothing” is indeed all that exists.  But, to go around actually speaking of “nothing” in a dualistic world implies also the existence of “something.”  Consciousness, in its limitless state of eternal bliss, has no idea that it is referred to as consciousness, because literally, “nothing” exists.  So, in summary, to speak of being enlightened in a dualistic world only highlights that the ego is still present.  An enlightened soul would never say, “I am enlightened” because the enlightened soul is only aware of the state of enlightenment, there is no duality to imply that there is also the state of “un” or “non” enlightenment.

Karma Simplified – Part Two

Here is a slight elaboration on my previous video, Karma Simplified. I hope you enjoy Karma Simplified Part Two. It’s also from 2014.

The Art Of Life


As an occasional painter, and someone who recently dusted the cobwebs of his oil paints and brushes after what seemed like an eternity, it occurred to me recently that not only is life itself a work of art, but the people in it are also living, breathing Picassos’. Literally everything on the universal canvas that we call life is an intricate work of art; created to perfection by the cosmic artist. It is with this thought in mind that I will share a story with you from my recent past.

In the last six years I have on occasion worked with adults and young people with learning disabilities on a part-time basis. Now, people in general have an annoying habit of looking at someone else and forming a judgement based on what they can see; and I believe that to an extent we are all guilty of this. Also, if you were to hang a painting on a wall and ask a cross-section of people what it represented to them it is highly likely that you would get many different interpretations of the same painting. What this shows is that we all view things from our own perspective, and this includes life in general.

It is quite uncanny in this day and age that some people still look on those with learning disabilities as “mad”. I, however, have a completely different view. I actually had two stints of employment in one establishment where I worked, and the little story I want to share concerns an incident that took place at the beginning of my final shift at the end of my first stint. I turned up at the required time in the unit where I was due to work, and on finding that the day staff had already gone home, I thought it best to nip downstairs to the office to see if there was any messages for me. I had a quick scan of the kitchen but did not see the keys. What happened next was quite amazing. The kitchen was entered via the lounge, and diagonally and to the right of that door, was another door leading out of the kitchen to a corridor where some of the residents had their rooms. The distance between the two doors was minimal; no more than a metre and a half.

In the split second that the thought “I wonder where the keys are” entered my head, one of the residents (I will call him Paul) entered the kitchen en route to his room. Now Paul was a very pleasant and boyish man in his 40’s. Indeed there was something very child-like about him. However, if he did not know you well he was not a good communicator, and given the fact that I was only employed part-time and on a “bank” basis, I had only ever had minimal contact with him. It would be true to say that Paul and I had never had a conversation and that he had never actually spoken to me properly before. So I was astounded when in the very moment that the thought entered my head, Paul walked through the kitchen, paused momentarily, pointed to the worktop and in a voice as crystal clear as a mountain stream said “Richard, keys” and just walked off in the direction of his room. I was left gobsmacked; it all happened in the blink of an eye and all that went through my head was “how did he know I was looking for the keys to the office”. But sure enough, as large as life, there were the office keys sitting on the worktop; my initial scan having somehow missed them.

To me people like Paul, indeed all human beings, are works of art, because you can never know their intricacy just by looking at the surface. I have felt for many years that people with learning disabilities are not simply living out their karma. But in many cases I believe them to be highly evolved souls who incarnate into this realm of opposites in an effort to try to educate us and remove our ignorance. Of course, I am not saying that everyone with learning disabilities is a highly evolved soul, but who am I to judge. Regardless, they are all wonderful teachers, because we cannot but have our lives changed in some way by interacting with them; and as we change we also evolve, and as we evolve so does our perspective of the great canvas of life.

Hell-Fire And Damnation Part Two

Here at last, after many months, is my follow up post to Hell-Fire And Damnation.  I’m sure that some of you won’t even remember the purpose of these posts; it’s been so long since the original, so I will give a quick recap.  My aim is to demonstrate that the scriptures, even though they have been written in a way that strikes fear into the average person, are not that fearful at all.  Far from it, in fact; it’s just that they were written in the language of the day and contain a great depth of symbolism.  Now, before I go any further I will add that I am of the opinion that the scriptures, especially the Bible, have been altered over the centuries by unscrupulous religious leaders and are now only a shadow of what they were meant to represent.  I also think that it’s pretty obvious that only the most tunnel-vision Christians would not agree with that statement.

Take for example the following passage from Matthew XII : 36 & 37:

But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemnedJesus Christ

That is quite a scary statement, especially if you are not aware of the symbolism contained therein, and you take it literally.  There is also the little matter of the fact that Jesus spoke in parables more often than not when he was addressing the masses.  So, I would like to offer an interpretation that will not turn the reader into a nervous wreck.

If you examine the statement carefully it seems to be a reference to the laws of karma and cause and effect and a reminder that even the things we say are subject to these very precise natural laws.  We know that creation moves in continuous cycles, and we also know that we are responsible for our own actions.  So, it stands to reason that even the things we say will one day bear fruit; and that fruit will either be positive or negative depending on what our intentions were at the time.  There is no such thing as the “day of judgement” where we will all have to stand in front of an old man with a long white beard and either be given passage into heaven or cast into the fires of hell.  “Day of judgement” in this context (and to put it in layman’s terms) is the day when our actions, be they spoken or otherwise, come back to bite us on the legs.  It will be the point in time when, in accordance with the laws of karma and cause and effect, our actions (or words) will have gone through their natural cycle and ended up back at their place of origination.

So, we can conclude by saying that Christ, in his loving nature, was simply saying “hey peeps, watch what you say because as sure as eggs is eggs your words will come back to haunt you”.  Simples!