A priest and his student were on a journey. The student, being a new novice, is instructed not to speak during that day. In the morning the pair passed a village. A young boy playing in the square. Suddenly a pack of wild dogs appears and set upon the boy. The priest does nothing as the boy is mauled and killed. The student protests, wondering if the priest had become both blind and mute, as the child screams much while being attacked. The priest motions the student to be quiet, and they continue on their journey. After lunch, the pair walk alongside the side of a large lake. They spot a boat close to shore. The vessel was on fire. The passengers scream in pain has they are consumed by the flames. Very few swim ashore. The student, horrified by the scene, can not understand why he and the teacher do not take a nearby boat and rescue some of the people. He protests at the inaction, and is again motioned to be quiet. Visibly distraught, the student walks on with the teacher away from the devastation. The student ponders why the teacher would not express acts of good in the face of destruction and death. That evening, while the teacher and student are taking dinner, there is a great commotion near them. A mother is holding down a screaming child and strangling him with great apparent force. The student looks to the teacher, and asks if they are going to stop the mother’s actions. The teacher again motions to student to be quiet, and they finish their meal as the mother hauls away the sobbing son, battered but still alive.
As darkness fell, and the day ended, the restriction of speak is removed from the student. He asks, in terse and angry tones, why the teacher acted as he did. Why had they stood by while a child was killed, many killed when lives could be saved, and a no effort was made to stop an mother from abusing and nearly killing her child. The teacher listens while the student speaks, and then explains his actions. He says ‘The child attacked by the dogs was to grow up to be a tyrant, responsible for the future killing and torture of many, many people.” The student nods and then asks why no attempt was made to rescue the burning people on the boat. The teacher pauses, and answers, “the ship was owned by pirates much feared on the lake. They were on their way to pillage a village when the ship caught on fire.” The student nods, believing he understands the teachings now. The student is still confused about the actions of the mother, and asks why there was inaction in the face of evil actions. The teacher paused and replies “the child has a history of seizures. The mother was holding him down and keeping him from swallowing his tongue.” The student is now truly silent, his learning of compassion begun.
The wise teacher in the story did explain the mysteries of life to the student during their daytime journey, and a wise guru does not attempt to wake people up. Waking up is difficult. People wake themselves up. People damage themselves, and people heal themselves. Other people cannot help you wake up. I cannot help and groups cannot help. Why? It is because most of what you feel and think is conjured by you and is your head, including the business of being helped by other people.
The concept that feelings are an illusion of our minds is scary. Consider this: you are never in love with anyone. You are in love with a prejudiced and hopeful idea of that person. When one is sleep they don't love the person; they only love the idea of the person. How about falling out of love? You are not out of love. Instead your idea of the person changes. Trust is like love. Do we really trust somebody? Do you instead trust our mental image of them? When your trust ends, did the object of your trust really change? You become angry at the person. You believe you are angry at them, but you are instead angry at your bad judgement of the person. Does this makes the sleeping us unflattering? No, it merely makes all of us human and asleep.
Here is another truth to consider: People don't really want to grow up. They don't really want to change or be happy. They are like the person with a banana in their ear, and cannot hear their companion tell them that they have a banana in their ear because "they have a banana in their ear".
Listen to yourself before you listen to me. See your reactions to what I say. Be aware (beware!) of what you are hearing. Be aware of yourself before awareness takes me in. The analogy to listening to me is that of driving a car. You respond automatically to the road because you are aware of the road. I may say “turn right here”. Your awareness gives you feedback to what lies in that direction. You have the final say-so. If the car drives off a cliff when the right turn is made, I did not do it. You did.
Do you want to wake up? The first step is to be very very honest about not really wanting to wake up. You don't really want to be happy. This is very very important. Awareness and awakening cannot begin until you know that you don’t want to wake up.