Saturday, October 10, 2015

Get Busy Living and Learning. Nobody Can Live Your Life for You.

By Grant Lawrence LPCC, NCC
Counselor at Gallup-McKinley County Schools

A local merchant approached the seated master.

"Honorable One", he inquired, "People all over have different opinions of you. Some say you are very wise and that your teachings are very helpful. Some say you are ignorant because you don't teach from a certain religious book. Others despise you and say you are a bad example to the young. They say that you are non-productive and you should be working to make money. Then if you want,  you can give some of that money to the poor."

The master replied, "In some ways they are right and in some ways they are wrong. Their opinions of me are based on their level of knowledge. Those with limited understanding have a very limited understanding of me. Those with greater understanding have a greater understanding of me. But like you and all beings, I exist in an infinite number of relationships and they only see a very small portion of those relationships. Then they say that they know everything about me. The focus of their minds and what they are capable of knowing frames what they think of me."

"You are confusing me, Honorable One. You are telling me nothing about why I should follow your teachings and how the others are wrong about you." the merchant said.

"I am not asking you to follow me. You have to decide what is right. I can only point you in a helpful direction. I cannot live your life for you. Right now you have a certain level of knowledge and certain teachings may fit that knowledge and be helpful to you. As you grow in experience and in knowledge, then your appreciation for certain approaches will be different and grow as well." the master said. 

 "So I must live in order to learn, Honorable One?" the merchant wondered. 

"Yes, often people want to be told how to live and what to think. It brings security for them. But they pay a heavy price for not exploring life and using their own hearts and minds. They can easily fall victims to liars and cheats. They can be used and abused by those claiming to know everything. They are herded like cattle by those that tell them how to think and how they should live. Their confusion and suffering only grows. They have crippled hearts and minds because of a refusal to live and use the tools they have been given, not only to survive, but to live a more humane and joyful life," the master replied.

The merchant left the master not knowing what teachings he would follow. But he did leave determined to explore various teachings and apply them to his reasoning as well as to his life. He thought that the master's words to him made good sense, and he was satisfied to get busy living and learning.