When Human Beings Were Gods
“When we have begun to take charge of our lives, to own ourselves, there is no longer any need to ask permission of someone.” — George O’Neil
There’s a tale told by the late Anthony de Mello which underlines the message that truth is found within us and not in someone’s teachings.
To a visitor who asked to become his disciple the Master said, “You may live with me but don’t become my follower.”
“Whom then shall I follow?”
“No one. The day you follow someone you cease to follow truth.”
We must avoid following other people blindly, mainly because everyone is searching for answers of their own. A teacher can take you so far while your inner wisdom has access to absolute intelligence. No one is infallible, by virtue of our human existence we are prone to mistakes, and the enlightened among us are no different. Occasionally, you might come across a quotation in a book or overhear a line in a film that resonates with you. Explore this further and be curious of the underlying message behind it. Has this happened to you before? I experience these occurrences frequently.
Truth reveals itself through self-exploration. Occasionally, the answers we seek appear at inopportune moments. Therefore, we must welcome these insights for they hold significant clues to our life’s journey. I’m reminded of the tale when human beings were gods and abused their wisdom. So God took it away from them and hid it where it could never be found. Where to hide it was the question. God called a council of chief gods to help him decide. “Let’s bury it deep in the earth,” said the chief gods. God responded, “No, that will not do because humans will dig into the earth and find it.”
Then the gods said, “Let’s sink it in the deepest ocean.” Again God responded, “No, not there, for they will learn to dive into the ocean and will find it.” “Let’s take it to the top of the highest mountain and hide it there.” But once again God replied, “No that will not do, because they will eventually climb every mountain to reclaim their wisdom.” Then the gods gave up and said, “We don’t know where to hide it, because there’s no place on earth or the sea that humans will not reach.” God thought for a long time and replied, “Here’s what we’ll do. We will hide their wisdom deep in the centre of their own being, for humans will never think to look there.” All the gods agreed this was the perfect hiding place, and the deed was done. Since that time humans have roamed the earth: digging, diving, climbing and exploring, searching for something contained within themselves.
Develop Trust In Ourselves
“No one and nothing outside of you can give you salvation, or free you from the misery. You have to light your own lamp. You have to know the miniature universe that you yourself are.” — Banani Ray
Wisdom is available to us and we needn’t look for it in some ancient texts. The key, is to be silent enough so we can tune in to the inner counsel that communicates to us. It was the Buddha who cautioned following other people’s teachings centuries ago when he said: “Do not give up your authority and follow blindly the will of others. This way will lead to only delusion.” We must own our mistakes however painful, for they hold clues to the realisation of the truth.
I appreciate the passage from teacher and author Mary O’Malley in What’s in the Way Is the Way in which she talks about how the truth corresponds to the level of the questions we pose: “Truth walks toward us on the paths of our questions. In other words, when you ask a question without looking for an answer, you create an opening where truth can speak to you.” The greatest adventure we will embark upon is to discover our truth and live it to the best of our ability. I relate it to finding the correct frequency on a radio. We might dial one way and miss the reception entirely, then dial the other way and land on the correct frequency. Can you identify with finding your own truth? Have there been circumstances where your truth conflicted with loved ones, yet you stuck to your guns?
Our life’s passage is a fleeting moment in eternity and what often appears as the wrong turn is often life unfolding as it should. We must be wary of handing over our authority to another since they may disappoint us. This is clear in relationships where one partner delegates their happiness or emotional wellbeing to the other, only to realise they were deceived. If we assign our faith in others, we suffer because few people will live up to our expectations. This kills many a relationship because we believe we are owed something. People will let us down when their truth does not align with ours.
To find the answers, we ought to connect with our inner spirit since it reveals itself through us. If we’re constantly besieged by noise, the voice within us is drowned out. Often, the answers we seek will appear as an inner knowing, intuition or as messages or symbols. We must let go of worry which is not as easy as it sounds. This is because we live in a world overshadowed by news events that occupy our attention. Our brains are alerted to imminent fear because we sympathise with news stories, instead of turning our attention to our inner wisdom.
Similarly, it pays to trust our intuition because in doing so, we will have discovered the keys to life. Author Penney Peirce affirms this idea when she writes: “Common truth signals include tingling or chills, bubbling warmth, leaning toward something, feelings of expansion and energy rising in the body. Perhaps you feel something click into place or “ring” true.” We must trust ourselves more often, which I realise can be difficult at first, however self-trust is the basis to self-fulfilment. Key lessons are normally contained within our life’s events and they should not be interpreted as random happenstance, but used to align ourselves with our noblest truth.
As a final point, to create space for wisdom to reveal itself through us is important by clearing clutter from our life like: unwanted material possessions, disempowering thoughts, harmful relationships and unfulfilled career opportunities. Simplifying life helps us to let go of unnecessary complications and concentrate on what is meaningful to us. As the Master said to the visitor, to follow someone is to deny our own wisdom, contained within your rich supply of knowing.