“To ask for help from the enlightened forces of the universe to deal with a hardship over which one has no control is commendable, as it is a sign of humility,” said the Old Man, as we affectionally called the oldest monk of the Order, to a man who came to the monastery seeking help to deal with a situation afflicting him. Then, he warned: “However, asking help for them to do your duties only reveals a lack of understanding of the Laws, as it will not happen. Life does not get hard in order to abuse, but in order to teach. There are no privileges, only lessons.”
As a storm that arrives without warning, the life of this man seemed, all of a sudden, turned upside down. Senseless family feuds and professional troubles leading to unexpected financial hardships were the immediate, visible consequences of the hell he was living on earth. With teary eyes, he said he lacked orientation to go on with the struggle. The three of us were in the mess hall, and I was serving them coffee and corn cake. The man was good-looking and highly educated, and said that until few weeks ago he was sailing on calm waters on the seas of life. His family was apparently well-structured; he was a partner in a company that generated enough profit to allow him an above-average lifestyle. Until the day things went south.
“Life requires motion. Hence, it will make you move out of free will or imposition. Inactiveness and accommodation are tools used by the shadows to get the traveler stuck. To those who relentlessly seek to hone themselves, life shall be generous and provide all the necessary conditions for a quiet journey,” the Old Man explained. He paused briefly, sipped his coffee and continued: “To those who have the illusion of being elected by the gods, oblivious to everything and everyone, to those who believe to be “the chosen ones”, an imbalance of the scenarios that support them will soon come. The Law of Serving is part of the Unwritten Code, and imposes toil and spiritual evolution. Emotional crises, fights with loved ones, family dissent, economic hardships or diseases are some of the instability tools used by the Universe to impose adjustments according to changes in reality. The creature will now move out of need.”
“The Path is generous in allowing you to select the course of the journey, and fair in elaborating the difficulties intrinsic to the trip. The Master taught a couple thousand years ago that we must cross the narrow door of virtues. However, there are many who prefer the wide road of undue advantages. They caress the ego in detriment of the soul. The result? After the immediate, transient pleasures, one walks in circles on darker and darker bumpy tracks. Agony and sadness are travel companions.” The man became very emotional and said that, indeed, he had not been doing his best. In distress, he asked the Old Man how he could change his own life, as he did not know where to go. The monk arched his lips, forming a smile filled with compassion: “Do you want a new Path? Suffice to change the way you walk. Problems indicate the need for change. Realize what you must change within, and commit yourself to that wholeheartedly. Only then help from the invisible sphere will come.”
The man said that he suffered a lot, had no idea how to make the changes, and worse, his current situation was so foggy he did not believe he was able to solve all the problems without the help of higher forces. The Old Man replied with his soft, kind tone: “The Universe does not want you to suffer, but requires you to evolve in order to reach the next station. To learn, transform yourself, share and move on are different moments of each stage in the many existences we are allowed to have, like schools of wisdom and love.”
The man said he needed protection, because all that was bad seemed to be falling upon him at that time. The monk took a bite of the corn cake and said: “We are subjected to the inescapable Law of Action and Reaction, one that makes up the Unwritten Code. It attracts to your life people and situations that are suitable, not as punishment, but to be strict enough to promote learning in tune with the person’s attitudes. The perfume of the flower attracts birds and butterflies; the smell of sewage draws rats and roaches. Hence we select those who accompany us and define our next destination.”
“No one is beyond the reach of the Laws. The guardians of the Universe or angels are prevented from interfering in the conflicting situation, and this is your lesson to learn. You must help yourself. You must help yourself in order to be helped. It is an illusion to believe the world is the home of evil. Its roots are in each one of us, with more or less intensity, depending on the expansion of the individual consciousness. You can believe that no one causes more harm to you than yourself. To set in tune emotions and thoughts with the waves of Light, enveloping them with love so that good deeds emerge is the most effective defense against evil. It creates a dome of energy for protection around you, which will allow your armies to come closer more quickly, permission, and power. As you can see, the best shield against evil is a pure heart.”
“You will never lack support. However, each one will receive help according with the precise measure of your needs for development, your sincere will to transform yourself, the planting of flowers for those who will come after you. We cannot forget that difficulties bring us the indispensable lessons to hone the soul, oftentimes still rough and requiring strict learning methods.”
“Contemplation and meditation for you to confront yourself are powerful tools to expand awareness. Reading help the development of ideas and their philosophical support. Prayers that come from the bottom of the heart are extremely valuable as they help the emotional balance, and somehow the grace you have prayed for will be bestowed upon you, but do not forget that it is not up to the saints to take the steps you are supposed to take. Help will never come in the form of wagons filled with gold, or the loved one bending according to your wishes. Help will come as signs that will indicate a new direction, and as chance that creates unthinkable situations in order to protect us. Or through enlightened intuitions that indicate the required metamorphosis of the soul, and change the way you feel, think and act.”
“This is the alchemy of life: the transformation of shadows into light, of pain into love. This is the most precious of miracles, and many do not realize they have it at hand.”
As a modern addiction, man has complained about the situation of the planet, that everything is wrong everywhere and that evil seems to be spread around uncontrolled. The monk looked at me with sweet eyes and said: “Whenever we have regrets about the world, we regret our inner condition. Evil stems from the shadows that dwell within each one of us, from our imperfections and hardships, which form a set of iniquities. In contrast, it is also true to state that we are Light in constructing good and in maintaining the Work. Over the centuries, the world has always been a photo of our hearts. Mine and yours. Do you want to change the world? Transform yourself. How? You are the choices you make.” The man nodded in agreement, more out of fluster than satisfaction.
Next he regretted his own situation, and insisted that he be told, objectively, how he should overcome his current hardships. “I have no idea,” said the Old Man. Seeing the astonished gaze of the man, he asked me to pour him some more coffee and explained: “Managing the life of others is very easy and tempting; however it also demonstrates frivolousness and arrogance. The act of living, with its pains and pleasures, is the personal, nontransferable tool we have to develop the wings of the soul, to leverage our evolution. Understand, accept and properly use the freedom to search and to decide.”
“Even though help will not lack – and, let’s be clear, not for a magical solution to your problems as it will not be in the measure to fulfill the desires of your ego but the needs of your soul, meaning that it will provide the conditions for you to change yourself, hence reality – it is up to you the most important part of the process, to expand your awareness, to shape your heart, to be detached from old concepts. These measures will reflect the honing of your choices.”
He observed the man for a few moments, and advised: “Seek silence and quietness, to be alone with yourself. Go deep, as knowing yourself is the road to plentifulness. Establish eternal clauses of love and dignity for yourself. Realize what must be changed in your life. All can be different, and better. All who are wise have done so to break the hard cocoon shell and feel the wings of freedom.”
The Old Man asked us to hold hands and made a heartfelt prayer for love and Light. The man politely thanked him for the conversation and the prayer, and left. Alone with the Old Man, I said I had the impression the man was somewhat disappointed. “Few accept the weight and the toil they have to undertake. However, if my words are good seeds, sooner or later they will germinate,” said the monk. He paused briefly and added: “In fact, transformations require major efforts that not everyone is willing to undertake. They think it is easier to ask for a miracle, which will never come as a good teacher does not do the work of the students. One prays for help so that a high-walled castle is materialized, to ensure privileges and perks when, in fact, help will always come as a bridge, whenever there is genuine will of the wanderer to walk and cross the bridge.”
Kindly translated by Carlos André Oighenstein.