Below is a metaphorical story for metaphysical education purposes. Please take what you can from it.
Two teachers sat across from each other. Both were meditating. In front of them there were two roads. One marked Belief. The other was marked Enlightenment.
Enlightenment was notoriously difficult to find. Many teachers had gone before them and returned empty handed from that place. Some, it was rumoured, went mad in the search.
Both teachers had walked far to come here. Just before they started to meditate, one of them was about to bid farewell and move towards the path marked ‘enlightenment’, regardless of how insane or how difficult the terrain was rumoured to be. Just as she stepped her foot on the path, once and for all, she heard a voice, or perhaps she imagined it, the voice said, ‘wait, but are you sure? think of all that you will lose, once you commit to enlightenment. You may never have family or community. You may die, unknown and insane.’
There was something about that voice, that struck the teacher’s heart. She knew that the voice was not true, nobody can know the outcome of the path, but perhaps she wasn’t ready to pursue enlightenment–i.e., a place that transcends identification, form or faith. Perhaps there was still some karma to be resolved.
She turned quietly, and her bowl of raw rice jostled as she quietly sat down.
The other teacher looked at one of the most committed teachers he had ever met stop and watched as she sat, alone among the bushes.
He came over to her and said, ‘See I told you, you are wrong. Enlightenment is given to some and not others. Just because you want it, it doesn’t mean you will get it. It is up to God to whom He gives it. You should choose Belief. Here the great religions have solved the mystery for you. All you have to do is follow the formula. Look at the abundance and blessings that come from obedience to God.’
She looked up quietly. In her eyes there was a great sadness as she realized that somewhere inside her there was an abandoned child that had surfaced on the seashore of life, spurned even by Mother Ocean.
The grief broke and broke again, as she realized her truth. The child was her, and she was the child.
She had to heal the suffering that her tribe had given her.
Whether healing would come on the path of enlightenment or the path of belief as shortcut to enlightenment was unknown. Did peace lie in obedience or rebellion? community or solitude? religion or truth? work or art? arriving or searching?
What would all the small dead children say? What is worthwhile in life? belief or enlightenment?
As she heard the ocean break over the dead body of a child that was her, her tears dried.
‘The choice has already been made for me’, she turned and said to the other teacher. ‘In another Universe the child is running to its mother, as she stands with her arms open to receive him, so I must have had achieved enlightenment, and with me, thousands of others. It is already done. The struggle on the path, therefore, is an illusion. We will all go home.’
Belief looks for reasons and outcomes.
Faith is already where it seeks to be.
(c) Saima Shah