The master asked his disciples: “how do we know when the night is over and the day has arrived?”
And the disciples pondered the master’s question.
One answered: “Master night is over and day arrives, when you can see a house in the distance and determine if that’s your house or the house of your neighbour.”
Another disciple responded: “Night is over and day arrives when you can see an animal in the field and determine if it belongs to you or to your neighbour.”
A third disciple offered: “Night is over and day has arrived when you can see a flower in the garden and distinguish its colour.”
“No, no, no,” thundered the master. “Why must you see only in separations, only in distinctions, only in disjunctions. No. Night is over and day arrives when you look into the face of the person beside you and you can see that she is your sister, he is your brother, That you belong to each other. That you are one. Then, and only then, will you know that night has ended and day has arrived.”
Source | unknown
If you didn’t know the master’s answer, and if you happened to be one of the eager disciples how would you answer the question: “how do we know when the night is over and the day has arrived?”
A rabbi asked his students, “When is it at dawn that one can tell the light from the darkness?”
One student replied, “When I can tell a goat from a donkey.”
“No,” answered the rabbi.
Another said, “When I can tell a palm tree from a fig.”
“No,” answered the rabbi again.
“Well, then what is the answer?” his students pressed him.
“Only when you look into the face of every man and every woman and see your brother and your sister,” said the rabbi. “Only then have you seen the light. All else is still darkness.”
Source | Johann Christoph Arnold, Seeking Peace
(Plume, 2000) page 103
“We can’t go around measuring our goodness by what we don’t do by what we deny ourselves, what we resist and who we exclude. I think we’ve got to measure goodness by what we embrace, what we create and who we include.” | from the ‘Chocolat’
Who is it that you are still excluding from the circle of your compassion?
The master gave his teaching in parables and stories, which his disciples listened to with pleasure – and occasional frustration, for they longed for something deeper.
The master was unmoved. To all their objections he would say, “You have yet to understand that the shortest distance between a human being and Truth is a story.”
Source | Anthony de Mello, One Minute Wisdom,
(Doubleday, 1986) page. 23
PONDER AND CONSIDER
- The shortest distance between a human being and Truth is a story
The master asks the disciple, “What have you come here for?”
The disciple says, “Moksha.” Moksha is the Sanskrit word for “freedom.” “I’ve come for freedom.”
“Oh freedom,” says the master. “Go and find out who has bound you.”
The disciple goes back and meditates for a week, returns to the master and says, “No one has bound me.”
“Then, what do you want freedom for?” says the master. And in that very instant the disciple’s eyes are open and he attains freedom. He attains liberation.