The first part of this journey brings us to the forest of darkness, where hate prevails and evil rules. Here lives the cruelty of man, his lies, his envy, his smallness of nature. If we do not believe in ourselves and allow only the good to direct our paths, then we will lose ourselves in this darkness and soon become a part of it.
If, however, we have accomplished this first task on the road to discovering these truths, then we have overcome the first barrier in life. We will then find ourselves at a river.
This river is the river of suffering, and across this river we must swim. The way is cold and seemingly endless, our bodies will tremble with agony and our minds cry out in despair. Here one must have the strength of endurance and sacrifice. No matter how painful it is, we must not give up. If we are strong, and reach the other side, then we have won another battle with ourselves. But still we must go further, for the other half of our journey lies before us. We will find ourselves confronted with great mountains. These are the mountains of ignorance.
Here the journey becomes even more arduous. Here, one is vulnerable; and it would be easy to close our eyes and go no further. For here one has the influence of those who did not have the will to open their minds and learn. they will try to discourage one who wishes to challenge their blindness. One will find himself alone, to stumble along his own path. But, one must not be afraid of the unknown, and learn to trust his own thoughts.
When one has finally reached the other side of the mountains, many years will have gone by. One will be weary and yet, if he has hope, then, the last part of his journey will suddenly stand before him. It will be a mirror. We must be true to ourselves to look into this mirror. This will be the most difficult task of all, for in this mirror, one sees himself. No one can change what one sees, nor can it be overcome, for it is truth.
Here one learns that the answers to life were always within him, but that he had to earn them before they could truly belong to him. These are the simplest of answers known only to those who dared to seek them, those strong enough to find the truth.
For the forest was the challenge of good over evil, and those who overcome this great obstacle are given `Honour`.
The river is the lesson of accepting our suffering and through this strength one learns `Compassion`.
The mountains are the experiences in life that we must learn from and grow from. When we have accomplished this, we will have earned `Wisdom`.
And finally the mirror is our conscience and here we find the last answer, the ultimate truth. This is where we see what is in our hearts and souls. Having overcome evil to find honour, suffering to find compassion, and ignorance to find wisdom and through courage to have earned all of these, it is here that we will then see in ourselves the last and simplest answer of life; and that is…love.
I love this story and have found it to be so true! Thanks for sharing it as it will benefit all who read it. Evil, ignorance, and fear are not meant to be present in the one who has self-actualized.