Author Topic: Mystery schools  (Read 41187 times)

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June 22, 2013, 06:14:06 PM
Reply #15

Koujiryuu

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I wasn't attempting to be dramatic and I apologize if it came off that way.

I appreciate you posting this, and I hope you understand my viewpoint. As you yourself said, many people would observe TDS and see that it has things in common with a cult. Whether this is good or bad doesn't really matter because it's just a perception. I do disagree with some of the policies concerning discussing other styles on the forums but I can understand why it's done. However, for some people like me, we might feel uncomfortable being associated with what could be perceived as a cult. This probably doesn't matter to you, and it shouldn't, but it is ultimately my own problem to work through before continuing in the school.

I didn't mean to insinuate that your students are ALL liars or that they are incapable of seeing things objectively. I have, however, noticed a trend of experiences being talked about without questioning whether the experiences are valid or not. I have to wonder how many people make things up and how many people exaggerate their experiences.

Ultimately, the essence of my advice wasn't any kind of conspiracy theory stuff. The essence of my advice is to trust yourself first, and not let anyone else tell you they can produce metaphysical results for you. I would encourage anyone interested in TDS to check it out for themselves and then decide if they want to follow that path. I believe in what you are doing and I believe in the practices, but on the other hand, I do see it as being cult-like, which I've made clear. I think this is a result of the robes, secrecy, and social structure of the school. This IS something you have instituted and are doing, and I'll be clear, I wouldn't feel comfortable with those kinds of things in any other capacity either, but that's just me.

I meant no offense, but at the same time, I have to be honest about my problems and perceptions of the school. I am not going to lie to myself, or the others here who feel disenfranchised with the school (I have received quite a few PMs because of this thread. I am not the only one with this point of view, but others are quiet about it).

Again, what should matter is the students own progress and wisdom and practices. Everything else is secondary to that.

I apologize if I offended you at all. I was not trying to be petty. These are ultimately my own problems and issues with the school that I need to work through, but others can empathize and understand why I have doubts.

I respect you and value your advice and teachings and will continue in the school at some point in the future. Again- I am strong willed and I'm not going to lie to myself or others about what I really think, and what I think some of the problems are.

Joe

« Last Edit: June 22, 2013, 06:19:25 PM by Koujiryuu »
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June 22, 2013, 06:29:58 PM
Reply #16

Prophecy

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There is no problem and no offense, and it is good to share your opinions. The school is not for everyone, and those who do not like it tend to collect here.  Detractors are good, and make people think. Joining anything, whether its an academic college, a job, or an esoteric school, should be carefully thought out first, and one should know what is being gotten into. In the end I am just happy to have found a layout which at least helps most people, and that most have been happy with; there is no way to make it good for everyone.

June 22, 2013, 06:57:43 PM
Reply #17

Koujiryuu

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That is exactly the attitude I respect.

I'm very independent, I've had my own practices for a long time, and I'm a freethinker. I wish I could just put my doubts aside and wholeheartedly believe in the system and teachings and forget about the problems I have with some of it. Ultimately, I think that's what it will take to be able to continue.

Again, myself and some others have doubts about the validity of the lineage that aren't adequately addressed in the publicly available documentation, which seems to cover the historical background of the lineage and practices, going back to Plato.

What would be most useful is if you could give us some kind of documentation about the current 'hidden masters' you received the teachings from, even if you can't name names- but if you could provide some kind of supporting story of where you traveled, the people you met (with names changed), and exactly how you uncovered and received the practices and the lineage. A lot of my personal doubts surround this point of contention, because I haven't seen any proof of this. Knowing how much you've jumped between paradigms in the past, it would be interesting to know more about where the current one comes from and why it stuck. I suppose that would be my greatest question.
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June 22, 2013, 07:10:41 PM
Reply #18

jayfk

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Hey Prophacy can you talk a little more about the Divine Science school? More specifically I'd like to hear about some situations while teaching that made you feel proud to be the students teachers and one or two times that you have been disappointed by a student. I'm not asking for particular names or anything I think it would help others see things from both sides and give people looking at this thread more info about the school.

I'd like to hear more about it from your perspective specifically as you have been part of this for awhile and have a unique perspective on the going ons of the place, i've been following the activity on this thread throughout the day.

Stop and listen so you may hear.

June 22, 2013, 09:07:13 PM
Reply #19

Prophecy

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Very good questions. 

First, about the lineage.
Your doubts are perfectly reasonable! The truth is that, like I say at the beginning of that article, I was extremely hesitant to talk about the Platonic lineage for exactly that reason: there simply is no real way to prove it. It is the legend of the Sufi lineage that I connected to, but no one could adequately connect all the dots. Thus I spent a year doing my own extensive research on the lineage and put together what seemed to be the most plausible chain, based on the dates of the authorship of certain manuscripts which I knew for a fact the Tariqa library had, which strongly suggested that the Order itself was in fact descended from the early Sufis it claimed to be. In short I was able to trace the lineage back to Dhul Nun al-Misri, who has the story that he met a group of mystics in Akhmim called the Companions of Simplicius (Awilaya Simflicus), Simplicius having been the last major disciple of Damascius in Athens, who was himself the last Scholarch of the Platonic Academy. Unfortunately this leaves a much unwanted gap of over 200 years, and a leap of faith where we assume that if Simplicius was indeed ever in Akhmim, a circle of his students survived for a considerable time there. I made that leap because it was interesting to me, and because it seems the closest to connecting to the old Greek school out of any other lineage I've encountered. The truth is that you do not really need a direct link, because the Islamic Golden Age and Sufi Philosophy in general revolved around Platonic Philosophy, and began with Al-Kindi and Al-Farabi's translations of Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus anyways. But there were some fascinating manuscripts, such as a manuscript about talismans said to have been written by Apollonius of Tyana, and one on magic circles ascribed to Simplicius, which showed that the Sufi school itself at least placed importance on its alleged Greek connection.

As for other lineages, I have to be careful here. The Greek lineage came through a Sufi tariqah based in Morocco. We also received an ordination from a Sidiq of the Kalvati-Tajjaniya, who in fact we let all of our local students meet because he visited my house. He officially recognized that Veos and I in fact already knew the secret practices of his lineage, and conferred lineage-recognition. He also taught us his Order's version of our practices.  I've had several Sifus from different tongs, Longmen, Tien Shi, Quanzhen, and Shang Ching schools who have taught me a great deal. The latter was especially hard to acquire as a westerner. I've been initiated into the first four levels of the Mo Pai also, but turned down the opportunity to proceed because the fourth technique is absurd, unnatural, and sacrifices spiritual attainment for physical powers. Still, I sometimes teach the first three to people very serious about their martial arts. We have recognition from the Kalvati-Tajjaniya and the Chistiyah Orders, one based in Morocco, the other previously based in Damascus but I have not been in touch with them since the outbreak of the Syrian war and fear the worst. So much for China and the Middle East. From India Veos and I are connected to two yogic lineages from Matsyendranath, one of which recognized us formally as westerners this past Winter in India during a major celebration, where Veos and I were the guests of honor and carried their sacred idol of Gorakshanath through the streets and into the Godavari river for its sacred bath, before receiving the sacred kunduls (nath earings) and partaking in a special fire ritual. We have also learned three different versions of the popular Kriya Yoga, from Yogananda and Hariharananda's lineages. We have friends among the Palyul Nyigma sect, which has a small commune here in Florida, and the Kagyu Biddhist lineage which has a center here in my hometown, who have shared many of their lineages practices with us. A Rinpoche gave Veos and I a special recognition this year also, sacred to their tradition. After years of practice we now receive less techniques and initiations, and more "ordinances" and "recognitions." Most of these old communities are very eager to share if they can tell you are actually practicing and attaining things. I mention these because they are the more well known schools, there is no need to mention the others because their existence usually can not be proved.

There are two reasons why I do not go into all of the precise details about the lineages: firstly, because I feel no need to validate the system I am teaching by rattling off a long line of names. I believe that its success is its own proof, and it is indeed producing resounding success. Secondly, and most importantly, because the teachers I am actually close to do not want to be openly associated with magic, which still has a massive stigma in most parts of the world (even among Taoists). Veos and I were practically subject to a witch hunt in India when a group of people discovered we were magicians! I also learned early on, years ago, that it is frustrating to tell your student something, only to have him call your teacher and ask the same thing behind you.

After all of this, I still settled on Hermetic theurgy. It is, to me, one of the most beautiful approaches to the universe I have encountered, and I want to share it in a practical and operative form, providing methodology, for others who are also drawn to it. Since it was lacking greatly in its modern form, I supplemented it with the wisdom I soaked in from much older traditions all over the world. I believe that theurgy has been degraded by 1,500 years of religious prosecution, during which time other systems were allowed to grow and flourish while it was forced to hide. Thus, I'm catching it up. It is also important to know, I believe, that though Veos and I have received teachings from all of these lineages, it is impossible to fully dedicate yourself to so many things. We learned them because we were searching for the right puzzle pieces to fit into theurgy, not because we needed more practices. Our core set of practices have been stable for a long time, and are theurgic in nature.

To Jay's question.
I am always proud to be a teacher. The truth is that our school has had resounding effects. I regularly share the experiences of my students with my own teachers, Sifus and Lamas and Rinpoches and Sheikhs, and they are all consistently blown away by the progress the students in general are making. I am blown away by them. It is easy to imagine that many of them make certain things up, but the truth is that Veos and I have never once shared the marks and symptoms which occur spontaneously when true progress is being made, but we examine our students for them. That way we know when someone is telling the truth, or when they are just imitating what they have read or seen someone else do. Very specific things occur. New lines appear on the palm, special markings on the fingernails, certain specific mudras are formed spontaneously, etc. The signs so far have been very impressive. So it is hard to share  specific time I was proud. But here is a good one. One of our senior students was sitting and praying in a Church in England. An older lady walked in and for a moment thought she was seeing an angel, because there was light coming off of him. She approached him and he looked normal, so she talked to him. She was overcome by bliss and peace during her conversation, and finally asked what on earth was so different about him. He told her about the school and she joined, and told me the story. In fact we have a number of members who joined because they were inspired after meeting one of our students in person. The vast majority of our students are from personal reference: people who were amazed by the positive transformations they were seeing in the life of a friend, and wanted to try what he was doing. I am always especially proud when the senior students finally begin to open their clairvoyant faculties, and for the first time start to see the world around them they have been missing.

The disappointments have been there, but we shouldn't dwell on them. The only real source of disappointment is when we have a student which shows all the signs of extraordinary potential, but has one or two tragic flaws that ultimately prevent him or her from taking a real step forward. For example, a great student with a terrible drug addiction is a real tragedy and a frustration for me, when I want to see them all succeed. Others crack from fears and irrational phobias. I had a female student once who, when she joined, was terrified of us. She came from a world of government conspiracies, cults, etc. In fact she had grown up in a cult, and had escaped it as a teenager, where there was rampant sexual abuse and the likes. This became her world view. She joined us though because in spite of all of that fear, something in her knew that it was going to be okay. Ironically, after finally being with us for almost two years she was overcome by the powerful realization that we were not some dangerous cult, that there is no reason to live in a world of fear and conspiracies, and that she was, in fact, safe now. This feeling of safeness was so foreign to her that it made her crack mentally. I had pages and pages of emails from her during this time, and worked hard to get her through it, but in the end she told me that she had just spent too long believing that spiritual teachers were bad people, that cults were out to get her, that the government was following her everywhere, etc, and it was now the only way she knew how to live. So she went back to it. That was very sad for me, because I spent countless countless hours trying to help her through it, and she had a beautiful heart, but in the end fear can be a powerful habit.

But in the end you can't always have success. The same thing does not work for everyone. Also, people have a very hard time changing for the better. We do not realize that if something offends us, affronts us, confuses us, scares us, etc, it might be because we have something to learn. I was with one of my Sifus once when one of his students got very angry with him. She was confused and scared, and it turned into anger, because he said something which went in the face of some personal beliefs she had. He encouraged her, told her to shout, got her worked up, and when she got it all out in a flash it suddenly was totally quiet again. He then calmly said "Very good. If you ever find yourself agreeing with your teacher all the time, never confused, never wounded, flee quickly and find a new teacher. The one you have can teach you nothing." Though it was not directed at me personally, I learned a tremendous amount from that one experience, and it has given me the strength to endure the hardships that my students sometimes go through. The meaning is that if you are always agreeing with your teacher, it means that he has not said anything which challenges your opinions, and since by nature your opinions can not possibly all be right, it means that either you are both sharing in the same errors, or the teacher does not have enough truth to bring you to the next level of truth. On the other hand, if you have wrong opinions about things, then the truths of the teacher will challenge them, and you will have crises of doubt, confusion, anger, etc. I argue with my teachers all the time! Even when they're not around, I argue in my head. But I also still bow to them in thanks.

June 22, 2013, 09:25:51 PM
Reply #20

Koujiryuu

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This has been overwhelmingly informative. Thank you. I now feel quite a bit more confident in where the lineage comes from. Ultimately, I will still have to do a lot of introspection and contemplation on my own before continuing, to deal with my ideas and preconceptions about the cult issue. It is great to know that a lot of what you teach comes from Sufiism, and is linked to the Platonic lineage through that.

Quote
I've had several Sifus from different tongs, Longmen, Tien Shi, Quanzhen, and Shang Ching schools who have taught me a great deal. The latter was especially hard to acquire as a westerner. I've been initiated into the first four levels of the Mo Pai also, but turned down the opportunity to proceed because the fourth technique is absurd, unnatural, and sacrifices spiritual attainment for physical powers. Still, I sometimes teach the first three to people very serious about their martial arts.

VERY interesting. How exactly did you come in contact with the Daoist sects? How do their practices relate and compare to Theurgy? I would be intensely interested in learning about any of that eventually.

Of course, my own Qigong that I teach here is primarily basic exercises learned from books, theory and publicly available material. It is simple and it works for me and as far as I know it's authentic. It works for other people too. Sometimes, the most basic techniques have the potential to be the most advanced techniques as well, as with the Microcosmic Orbit. Another poster here, mystic, is a student of the Longmen Pai. I know that I don't know everything, and to some extent there is a hard limit on what I can learn and achieve with my basic Qigong from books and study. Unfortunately, there are no Daoist teachers in my area.
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June 22, 2013, 09:37:20 PM
Reply #21

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 :cool:Well, I have thought about this since the topic first came up.  I can only go by what I experienced in my winding adventures and misadventures on this always challenging path.  The Servants of Light offer a wonderful course but you do have to do your work...no lolly-gagging will be tolerated but the results are most worthwhile.  I do have doubts about a person being too young and trying to go into this field before they are ready.  I had to work really hard to be able to meet the criteria for acceptance and had a couple hundred books I had read before I dared to send in my application...but the Occult had always been a major interest for me and I read constantly, anywhere between 25-30 books per week of which 20% were on metaphysical subjects.

I think things are easier now for beginners but it was not that way when I started off.  Anything out of the 'norm' attracted all sorts of threats...I was going to hell, I was insane...all those loving  :rolleyes: emotions from the sweet little people who feared and hated what they did not understand.  Each day that passes finds me looking for the magic in life and I am never disappointed or bored by what that day brings me. :biggrin: :biggrin:.

Each person has to find their own way and mine has resulted in working on my own but as long as I have Bardon, I will never be alone.  The man was a good and decent human being, a person truly worthy of respect.  If a person is looking for a school I would say to ask questions and never  forget to listen to your inner judge...if it doesn't feel right, run for the hills

Good luck and have most grand and glorious journey.

Blessings to all.
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June 22, 2013, 09:52:42 PM
Reply #22

jayfk

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Very informative, and I do agree with you while I have not taught to large groups of people I do consider myself a spiritual teacher when the need arises. If you are not pushing your student to do those things he or she is not reaching their full potential. I have had those who have sought me out for spiritual advice and teaching and sometimes they just aren't ready to make a real effort, some leave as quickly as they find me. Once I have had turned away a student because she was just seeking "power".

Who knows maybe i'll take the first level of classes from the school when a opening occurs it looks like its free for the introductory classes. I like seeing different perspectives and learning how they relate to how I do things. I kind of feel like i've lost touch with my spiritual side lately and need to re-balance my life I haven't even meditated in the last couple of years because I know to many alternative methods. I can't even remember the last time I've communicated to my higher self. Its easy to take our gifts for granted when there is no longer real purpose behind them.

Thank you for sharing Prophecy and while your methods may not be liked by every student it sounds like your doing a awesome job.
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June 22, 2013, 10:11:21 PM
Reply #23

Prophecy

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Koujiryu: I would imagine that there are probably several people here undergoing the Longmen training, it is one of the more popular branches in the west. Its mother-school, Quanzhen, is the most widely practiced branch in the world, and the Chinese Department of Tourism keeps it very open to westerners. The downside of this is that many of the Taoist sects have withdrawn their teachings from the temples and retreated into family lineages, so that the temple teaches the government-approved Taoism, but you have to get through the temple and to the families to learn the more developed techniques. Wang Liping's branch of Emei Taoism from the Longmen has also become fairly popular in the West, and most "gwailo" western students of the Longmen come from either him or Jerry Alan, since they are the two most wellknown authors. I don't recognize Sifu Wang's particular brand of Longmen, so I think it was from a different temple: there were three mother centers for the tradition.

The truth is that most of the highest techniques in these schools are just variations of the microcosmic orbit. Some just have subtle differences. In my training you never consciously made the microcosmic orbit habit, which is different from other approaches. You just watched it quietly, usually for an hour after doing a standard meditation, to see if the river vehicle was moving yet. Then one day it picks up and moves on its own, very slowly, and you observe it. Every school does it a little differently.

June 22, 2013, 10:17:00 PM
Reply #24

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Thank you Prophecy. It is always a pleasure when you post here.  :)

Hearing you explain your lineage a bit more does do a lot to dispel my fears, but I won't pretend that it dispelled all of them. I still have personal concerns with a number of your policies, but I realize that I cannot make you change them. Nor should I, for it is your school, and not mine.

In case my earlier post seemed disrespectful, I do want to say that I respect you and Veos a lot, in spite of my doubts and concerns. Like Koujiryuu, I think you guys are fantastic people, and your articles have helped me a lot.

Thanks for posting and giving us information from your perspective.
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June 22, 2013, 10:48:25 PM
Reply #25

Koujiryuu

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Quote
The truth is that most of the highest techniques in these schools are just variations of the microcosmic orbit. Some just have subtle differences. In my training you never consciously made the microcosmic orbit habit, which is different from other approaches. You just watched it quietly, usually for an hour after doing a standard meditation, to see if the river vehicle was moving yet. Then one day it picks up and moves on its own, very slowly, and you observe it. Every school does it a little differently.

I've done this method too, but after practicing the "standard" orbit. In days past I would guide the Qi with my mind, all along the Governor and Conception vessel, forcibly. Now I just focus on Bai Hui when inhaling and allow the Qi to flow there naturally, along with rolling the eyes back in the head, and focus on Huiyin when exhaling, and roll the eyes down and allow the Qi to fall down the front of the body. This is the method the students in my Study Group will learn. However, after some time of practicing by guiding the Qi with the mind, I realized I could relax and I would just spontaneously notice the orbit taking place on it's own, regardless of my will. I think some systems require that you start the metaphorical wheel moving in the microcosm by leading the Qi through the vessels with the mind, and after this flow is induced initially, then the practice becomes what you described.

Btw, check my recent message to you on TDS when you get the time. I replied to the reply you sent me recently.
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June 23, 2013, 02:57:39 AM
Reply #26

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The latter was especially hard to acquire as a westerner. I've been initiated into the first four levels of the Mo Pai also, but turned down the opportunity to proceed because the fourth technique is absurd, unnatural, and sacrifices spiritual attainment for physical powers.
Really? That would make you the highest Mo Pai in the West, right?

June 23, 2013, 08:22:12 AM
Reply #27

Prophecy

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No. I know of two others in the west who completed the fourth level, because they were only pursuing martial power and not spiritual awareness. I learned it but did not complete it.

June 23, 2013, 08:44:20 AM
Reply #28

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I just wanted to thank Prophecy for that post on lineage.


The Mo Pai bit is interesting. I never personally got interested in it, but know of a few who do.
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June 23, 2013, 11:46:32 AM
Reply #29

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...Sometimes, the most basic techniques have the potential to be the most advanced techniques as well...

One of my teachers explained this to me about a year ago when I was being initiated into some more advanced practices that he teaches (Isha Yoga)... He (Sadhguru Jaggi Vasu Dev) told us in Satsang that (I'm paraphrasing here) enlightenment happens in a moment. The various practices are only to make us willing. The practices break through the layers and layers of unwillingness that we have but the simplest practice (here he is referring to the simplest practice in Isha Yoga, the Shambhavi Mahamudra) if done consistently is enough. I feel this wisdom applies to not just the Shambhavi Mahamudra but the simplest practice of any path.

P.S. I just finished a meditation with this lovely Super Moon that we have and I feel called to share the following story with this thread. My source says it is attributed to Osho, an Indian Mystic, but I feel it is a story that has relevance to the conversation here.

Quote from: Osho
In Tibet, there is a beautiful story about Marpa. It may not be factual, but it is tremendously significant.

I don’t care much about facts. My emphasis is on the significance and the truth, which is a totally different thing.

Marpa heard about a master. He was searching and he went to the master, he surrendered to the master, he trusted totally. And he asked the master, “What am I supposed to do now?”

The master said, “Once you have surrendered to me, you are not supposed to do anything. Just believe in me. My name is the only secret mantra for you. Whenever you are in difficulty, just remember my name and everything will be all right.”

Marpa touched his feet. And he tried it immediately — he was such a simple man. He walked on the river. Other disciples who had been with the master for years could not believe it — he was walking on the water!

They reported to the master that, “That man, you have not understood him. He is no ordinary man, he is walking on water!”

The master said, “What?”

They all ran towards the river and Marpa was walking on the water, singing songs, dancing. When he came to the shore, the master asked, “What is the secret?”

He said, “What is the secret? It is the same secret that you have given to me — your name. I remembered you. I said, `Master, allow me to walk on water’ and it happened.”

The master could not believe that his name…. He himself could not walk on water. But perhaps… he had never tried.

But it would be better to check a few more things before he tries. So he said to Marpa, “Can you jump from that hill?”

Marpa said, “Whatever you say.” He went up on the hill and jumped, and they were all standing in the valley waiting — just pieces of Marpa will be there! Even if they can find pieces of him, that will be enough — the hill was very high.

But Marpa came down smiling, sitting in a lotus posture. He came just under a tree in the valley, and sat down. They all surrounded him. They looked at him — not even a scratch.

The master said, “This is something. You used my name?”

He said, “It was your name.”

The master said, “This is enough, now I am going to try,” and the first step in the water, he sank.

Marpa could not believe it when he sank. His disciples jumped in and somehow pulled him out. He was half dead. The water was taken out of his lungs… somehow he survived.

And Marpa said, “What is the matter?”

The master said, “You just forgive me. I am no master, I am just a pretender.”

But Marpa said, “If you are a pretender, then how did your name work?”

The pretender said, “My name has not worked. It is your trust. It does not matter who you trust — it is the trust, the love, the totality of it. I don’t trust myself. I don’t trust anybody. I cheat everybody — how can I trust? And I am always afraid to be cheated by others, because I am cheating others. Trust is impossible for me. You are an innocent man, you trusted me. It is because of your trust that the miracles have happened.”

Whether the story is true or not does not matter.

One thing is certain, that your misery is caused by your mistakes and your bliss is caused by your trust, by your love.

« Last Edit: June 24, 2013, 12:34:22 AM by Dancing_Crow »
"Allow the beauty and grace of what you love BE what you DO and KNOW."