Gary’s life had been gaining downhill momentum for years. In rare moments of reflection, he often described his earthly existence as the three D’s: divorce, disaster, and despair. One day, he heard tell of an eccentric guru named Mountain Peak Michelle from a spiritual seeker, who had heard of her from another. It was rumoured that she could help a person solve most, if not all, of life’s problems through her esoteric understanding.
In a last-ditch effort to save himself, Gary sold all of his belongs and set out to find her. After a long and arduous journey (the type we read of in books about Shangri-La), Gary finally reached the mountain peak cave in which Michelle resided. Winded and cold, he found her meditating in a lotus position. She appeared ninety years of age, if a day. For some strange reason, she was wearing a faux leopard-print dress. Before her eyes opened, she said, “Welcome, Gary, I’ve been expecting you.”
Dumbfounded, Gary gently sank to his knees in front of her. “How could you know?” he asked.
“The technique is really quite simple,” she said, with a smile.
“Please help me,” said Gary. “I feel so deeply lost. Whichever way I go leads to ruin. Why must I suffer so?”
Squinting, Mountain Peak Michelle leaned forward and said, “Because you know not What you are.”
“Come again?” said Gary, perplexed.
Mountain Peak Michelle rolled her eyes, her head following in a slow corkscrew. “I said, ‘BECAUSE YOU KNOW NOT WHAT YOU ARE!’ ARRR YOU DEEEF?!”
“Not at all,” said Gary. “I apologize. I just don’t understand.”
“This will go much better if you pay attention,” said Mountain Peak Michelle, as she wagged a finger at Gary.
“Yes, M’am,” said Gary, with a bow of his head.
“Have you been concerned, as are most humans, with getting?”
“Yes,” said Gary, “very much. “I got more money–more cars, houses, and relationships; but the pleasures from them didn’t last. All of them brought only a brief respite from suffering.”
Mountain Peak Michelle set aside her immediate thought–“No $h@t, Sherlock!”–in favour of a wiser, more compassionate reply: “This is the way of the world,” she said. “If we chase happiness in things, circumstances, and possessions, we will be chasing happiness forever. The Bible states in Proverbs 4:7: Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. When you discover What–not who–you are, your suffering will greatly diminish. Our main purpose here is to recognize our higher nature.”
Gary eyes were as big as…(reader’s choice: saucers, Frisbees, or really big marbles). “I climbed a mountain range for this!” he exclaimed. Abruptly, he stood, turned to Mountain Peak Michelle and said: “I came here for help. I thought you were going to give me something–anything!–onto which I could hold!”
Looking softly at Gary, Mountain Peak Michelle said, “I cannot possibly give you what you already ARE,” said Michelle calmly; and with that, Gary turned and descended the mountain.
Note: For readers who may believe that Mountain Peak Michelle’s advice seemed trite at best, and seriously lacking any worthwhile content at worst, I offer this: Michelle was attempting to point Gary toward recognition of the Substance of his Being. The various terms for that Substance can never actually be “That” to which the terms refer. In our spiritual journey, it is tremendously important that we do not erroneously “mistake the map for the territory” (attributed to Alfred Korzybski). God (also referred to as Awareness or Consciousness) is, logically, indescribable; for it is impossible to describe or limit The Infinite. Without “That” we are not. The key to greater understanding, and a life experience that flows more easily, is to let the layers of delusion related to the false self fall away and–directly–recognize true Self. Such is often termed “enlightenment,” which means to awaken from the dream (or nightmare) of personhood. A good way to begin this inner process is to be still (meditate) and know that I Am God.
Dare to dream (and care for one another).
With heartfelt regards,
Copyright © – 2022 – R. Arthur Russell
P.S. Please share this article if you enjoyed it. If you’d like to view my latest book (This Taste of Flesh and Bones–released September 8, 2020), press here. My YouTube videos may be found through this link. May the content of either or both help you along your spiritual journey. 🙏🧡