Essays

Water

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Seeing what we’re like doesn’t ever seem to be fun or easy. If it is, we’re probably not seeing what we’re like. It’s more likely we’ve been led into the land of imagination by our two giant guides, Pride and Vanity. Sometimes though, if we’re sincere and work as instructed, we do get a glimpse of something more Real than our usual pictures, acquired through our contact with life and the other sleeping people around us. If we have formed some foundation within ourselves that will support such a sight, we may have the strength and courage to look unflinchingly at what these esoteric ideas can show us about ourselves. This morning was such a morning for me. It would be misleading to say that, without also saying that no moment in Time stands alone. Our journey is like a flight of stairs. Each step is preceded by the former and leads to the next. How this morning got here is the same way every morning gets here. How the realization came with this morning is a different matter. There must be preparations for such realizations because new Understanding has to have something Real upon which it may be founded. The Truth of esotericism provides us with the basis of that Reality, the Reality upon which new Understanding may rest. That Understanding can give us, in turn, new Meaning about life and ourselves. The meaning we get from life, through the five senses, is very different from the meaning esoteric ideas give us about ourselves. Internal development, transformation is dependent upon new Meaning. Without it nothing can be different from the way it has always been.

The way the realization came was in pictures rather than words so I will share the scenes with you. Because a picture is worth a thousand words this may be longer than I might like. Fortunately, James is learning it doesn’t matter what he likes or dislikes. It changes nothing except his inner state from peaceful acceptance to negative resistance. Each one may take from this offering what he or she may find of value according to their level of Being and Understanding.

The scene spread out before me revealed James standing at a well with a rope in his hand and a bucket tied to it. I recognized him but was not him. It was possible to understand him moment by moment but not understand him as I would if I was being him. His job was relatively simple, if not easy. When someone came and asked for water, he was to lower the bucket into the well, allow water to flow into it, haul it up and give the person, or persons, the water. He seemed to have almost no awareness of his job in the early stages as all his awareness was entangled in his desire to survive and succeed by gaining the acceptance and approval of those with whom he imagined he was working. Ouch. The pictures were moving rapidly, but without sound, as we might expect from a film. In the place of sound was a knowing that filled up my internal senses in a way sound could never do.

As the realization progressed James gradually changed. Over the years he learned much about his job, both through direct experience and what was taught to him by others. Much of what he learned had to be let go because it was either unnecessary or wrong. With pictures, Time is less sequential and linear than it is with words, so the way the learning came will appear linear and sequential, as the words come forth that way, but in truth, it was not the way of it. Eventually whether the bucket was fancy or plain mattered not. When this particular lesson was learned is impossible to say. It may take around twenty-two months of gestation for an elephant calf to reach the point of birth. The gestation period of some lessons can take as many years or longer. Sometimes when it looks like nothing is happening, everything is happening beyond our awareness. Xiaomi power bank instructions

Keeping the bucket clean on the inside became more important than what it looked like. What mattered was the water. He learned it was not his job to create thirst or hawk water to passersby extolling its many benefits, nor was he to charge money for the water. He was not to forbid payment for drawing water either. He learned, eventually, that he was to give freely. The word freely can’t contain the meaning of the lesson, which was as deep as the well itself.

James had met people who came for water and after receiving it, put it in containers and sold it. Others claimed it had magical healing properties and sold the water they’d received freely at exorbitant rates. In the beginning this vexed him and he tried to prevent them. Later he learned this was not part of his job. At first the water was used mostly for bathing, washing clothes and the like. It made outer things look better, cleaner, more attractive. When people began using the water he drew to make colorful, sugary drinks to sell to the thirsty, he learned, sometimes painfully, it wasn’t his concern what people did with the water. Others added ingredients to the water that made it noxious and harmful to those to whom they gave it. This caused problems when the people got sick and blamed James for providing bad water. Gradually he learned he was not to leave his post to try to remedy the injustices. Unfortunately, after a time I saw James take pride in what he did, as if it was he who had done it. As if the water had come from him, as if he was more than a simple servant at the well. Ouch. This was hard to look at and filled me with shame. As the movie rolled I watched James struggle and fret, making one mistake after another until he slowly learned what his job was really meant to be. Sadly, for years James complained bitterly about his job. It was difficult to look at this too. He wanted to choose who was worthy of the water and who was not. He wanted to make sure people used the water as he thought it should be used, according to his limited understanding. He had consistently moaned about people not understanding, not valuing, not wanting the water but preferring the colored, sugar water served by others. He complained about how it was being used too. Eventually James learned that pouring the whole bucket over the person’s head wasn’t necessary or helpful. He learned to keep the bucket clean as well as to keep the bucket and rope in good repair. Over the decades, the more he brought up water the more he learned about service. He had to learn it didn’t matter who asked for water or what they offered in return. None of this could affect his main job, which was to bring the bucket up from the well and give freely to all who asked.

After what seemed like far too many years he found that he could drink the water himself and that there were great benefits in doing so. Not only was he refreshed physically but he also began gradually to be purified internally. It was good water. The water, taken internally and not just splashed over the body to make it look better, to look cleaner, made his job less work and more of a blessing to others and himself. Because realizations, like moving pictures, don’t stay with us as the images fade, we must try to remember what we were shown. We must take whatever little scraps of the whole we may be able to apprehend and immediately put them to good use in our daily lives. We never know when the next realization may come, when the next time may be that we get a glimpse of what we’re really like, apart from our self-affirming pictures that we prefer over the less pleasant reality of what we’re really like. Of course there will be those who don’t understand what I’ve shared here. Some will say it’s more Pride and Vanity. How can I say that’s not true? Who of us is free from Pride and Vanity? After seeing something like this I can’t say I’m not influenced by those giants. All I can say is I don’t wish to be. For a time I will probably limp along painfully as if I had a pebble in my shoe that made walking difficult. Eventually I’ll forget what was shown me and I’ll run along in life making the same mistakes I’ve made in the past. Mistakes that shouldn’t be repeated but will. The only hope I can hold out for myself and perhaps share with you if you wish it, is that I won’t forget all of it. Something will stick and that something will make a difference. Too little, too late, but something.

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About Esoteric Talks

"No good deed goes unpunished."

The person most frequently credited as the originator of the phrase is playwright Clare Boothe Luce. Also credited have been playwright Noel Coward, writer Oscar Wilde, journalist Walter Winchell and the late Washington Post writer Bill Gold. The original idea is probably an ancient proverb.

Appearing cynical on the surface, a closer examination of human nature reveals the False Personality to be incredibly vengeful and petty due to its hubris.

Plato has Socrates say, "An unexamined life is not worth living." The reason no good deed goes unpunished is because most people are living lives not worth living. If you feel a sting that probably means you.