The Seeker And The Master

The seeker, weary of life as he had come to know it, found the Master.

“Master, I want to be myself, my true self. I’ve heard you can help me.”

The Master looked over the young man with a steady eye, finally resting his eyes on the young man’s.

“And who is it you want to be? What is your true self?”

“I’ve always wanted to be a writer, an artist, a master of language whose words inspire others and for which I will be known by all. I know that this is what I am meant to be. I just know it. I feel it inside of me.”

“Young man, you are not ready. Go. Live. Return at this time next year.”

The young seeker, disappointed in the answer, feeling dejected, turned and left, eyes downcast.

The following year the seeker returned to the Master, after a year of much toil and trouble.

“Master, I’ve returned like you told me to. I want you to help me find myself, to be my true self.”

“And what is your true self?”

“Well, this past year was difficult but I survived. But not only did I survive I also had a grand revelation!”

“Oh? And what is the revelation?”

“Well, if you recall, I told you last year that I thought I was meant to be a writer and a master of language read by all. Well, I was mistaken. How silly of me, right? Now I know that I am meant to be a merchant, a great and wealthy merchant known and admired by everyone in my town. Now that I know myself, I’m ready to begin learning.”

“Young man, you are not ready. Go. Live. Return at this time next year.”

The young man turned and left in haste, his insides aching with shame, embarrassment and humiliation.

The following year the young man returned to the Master, this time more confident in himself despite having passed through a more difficult year than the previous one.

“Master, I have returned to you just as you told me to. I want you to help me find myself, to be my true self. And now I am absolutely certain who I am meant to be!”

The young man looked for a sign of approval in the Master’s face. The Master gave none.

“Yes, do share, young man.”

“Well, if you recall, last year I said I wanted to be a merchant, a great, wealthy merchant known and admired by everyone in my town. Well, how very silly of me! You see, now I absolutely know who I am and what I want to be. I can see it as clearly as the hawk sees the rabbit. I am meant to be a sea trader traveling to faraway lands to trade goods and ideas with other lands and cultures. I feel that my wanting to be a merchant and admired only in my little town was not a big enough vision for my life. I realize now that I am destined for bigger things, and hence my desire to be a sea trader whose fame and fortune will stretch throughout the world.”

The Master, with his usual aplomb, answered,

“Young man, you are not ready. Go. Live. Return at this time next year.”

The young man ran away, his spirit broken by shame, his heart by rejection.

The following year came but the young man did not return. Then came the nest year, still no young man. Four more years and still no sign of the young seeker.

Then, in the seventh year, the young man returned, only now he was disheveled, filthy, his hair and beard overgrown and matted. His face was gaunt and flies hovered around him, drawn by his stench. The Master looked at him impassively.

“I want to be myself, my true self, and I believe only you can help me,” pleaded the young man with trembling lips.

“And who is it you want to be? What is your true self?”

The young man fell at the feet of the Master and, gripping the Master’s ankles tightly, sobbed uncontrollably.

“Master, Master, have mercy on me, please! I don’t know who I am! I don’t know who to be or where to go anymore! I’ve gone through life pretending to be this or that, always seeking the approval and admiration of others! I’ve wasted my life chasing a ghost! All I want is to be free! To be free from lies, free from fear! PLEASE, I JUST WANT TO BE FREE! TO BE ME! AND I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS ANYMORE! I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING! I’M TOO ASHAMED TO EVEN LOOK YOU IN THE EYE!”

The Master looked on the young man whose body, crumpled to the earth, convulsed with wailing. The Master bent down. Placing his hand gently upon the young man’s head, he said to him,

“Rise, my son. Rise.”

The young man, with hardly any strength to stand, was helped to his feet by the Master.

The young man lifted his eyes to the Master’s, their eyes locking. He saw compassion now in the Master’s face.

“My son, now you are ready. Now you are ready to learn to be your true Self. And you will be all that you have desired to be for you already are what you seek to become. The truth you seek you are.”

Blessings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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