From a Notebook Lost – The Same and The Other 73
The Perilous Times
Walking down a path not yet trod upon by human foot, but only by the beasts of the earth. Looking forward, up the path we shall see that it leads up to the summit, the mount. “Tread lightly young friend lest the ancients strike you down. Tread lightly, for these are perilous times!” My students look up at me and ask in unison, “Why are these perilous times?” “These are perilous times for no one thinks anymore. They all talk but it comes from their stomach, not from their head. They have all become sheep. Being led this way and that, here to there, not caring as long as they stay fat. Not knowing that they are being led to the slaughter. Tell me does that not justify me calling these times perilous?” “Yes, teacher it does now, we see.” The sky beings to darken and I tell them, “We must quicken our step to be at the summit by nightfall.” We move quickly reaching the summit. I move ahead and turn towards the group, to address them, “My children, here we are, and here we will stay for a time. Only the ancients have trod here. We are on holy ground.” A student in the middle speaks up, asking a question everyone in the group wanted to know, “Why have none not come to this holy place?” “It is a three part answer. First, out of pure ignorance, not knowing. Second, out of fear that they would be struck dead by the ancients. Third, out of laziness, knowing and just not caring. But I have come here many times before and do not understand why they would not come. But I am joyous that all of you have come, so that I can share this place with all of you. But I know that when I leave and you return home that this place will become the abomination of desolation for those no fit will come here and chase the ancients away. But I am confident that one of you will learn what I know and that is why all of you are here, to learn. But only one will learn.” “Why is there only one? Why not all?” “Even the fool is considered wise when he is select.” Laughs mumble through the crowd. “What do you believe I meant by one? Did you take it literally?” “Yes, I took it literal.” “Learn from your error, so you error not that way again. Not everything you will see or hear is real, some will be illusions. You must learn to discern the true from the false. That is key, learning the truth and also learning what is false. You must know what is false to truly know what is true. It is easy to be told such and such is true, but to actually know for yourself if it is true you must study both sides and discern for yourself what is true and what is not. All knowledge is attainable, but only if you work for it. It will not be given to you freely, you will have to work for it. Truth and false go hand in hand. You must know both to learn knowledge. So ask, seek, knock, and you will learn and know.” The sun had already set when I had finished talking. “Let us rest, for to learn and know our minds must be fresh.” And we slept I awoke and looking around I rose. 3 students rose as well. I began to leave and they followed me. In the night, when it was quiet and we crept off leaving many behind. Halfway down the path, the sun began to rise from her slumber, and we headed away quickly off the path. Talking along the way. And all the way I was smiling knowing that those who came with would learn and know as I do so long ago, with my teacher, on that very summit.