A Fable of a Spiritual Reformation

Mindfulness, Perspective

“We decide what story to tell ourselves. Or whether we will tell one at all.” 

THE OBSTACLE IS THE WAY

Ryan Holiday

The intense battle commences to kill the narrative within, to come full circle and complete a spiritual reformation. Poisoned by civilization no more, he flees, to find himself. Little did he know, he had the answers all along.

He retreats to a remote wilderness cottage to do some soul searching and find the inner peace he so craves, without technology or the voices of society, he must look deep inside. Expectedly uneasy he feels, perhaps the withdrawals from life as he knows it. He must learn to be content with himself and at one with nature, for that is where he evolved. He rids himself of the nuances of his ‘old life’ to pave a way for his new being.

As time rolls on, his days seem longer and tasks more plentiful. He swaps an iPhone for a book and a radiator for a log fire. He trades an ice bath for a river and a gym for a mountain. He trades Fast food for fresh fish and fries for vegetables. The revolution has begun….. Still, 6 months on, he finds himself uneasy and unable to accept his whole self. He sees glimpses of a happier more present self, but can’t bottle it up and keep it. He can’t find the answer…..

Until one day, the young man is walking across a field and he meets an old man. A man who stands about 5′ 10″ and looks about 50. His earth age is actually 75 but he lives that pure lifestyle the young man so craves. Automatically and unknowingly to himself, the young man begins to compare the worst in himself to the best he sees in the older man. After a few minutes of chit chat and introducing themselves, the older man begins to explain;

“You know, I used to be a successful, wealthy businessman with a multi national corporation.”  the old man explains. The young man’s eyes light up… “And you know, I used to take holidays to the mountains, just like the place we are in now. Like you, I was always trying to improve and ‘find myself’. But I realized that the life I was searching for was right inside me.”

 The young man looks puzzled. “Can you elaborate?” he asks.

“Of course” says the old man. “The life you are searching for is right inside you too – let me explain… You are searching for inner peace, clarity of thought and the ability to be content with yourself, right?”

“Yes sir”, replies the young man…

“You are hoping to clear your head, change old habits and become a better, healthier person, right?”

The young man nods to say yes.

“Ok – well let me tell you, the circumstances of your life do not in fact determine your thought generated perception that you call life. The place which you are physically, does not determine your happiness, paradise is subjective.”

“I agree… I came here to find myself and have a breakthrough but I haven’t found anything yet.” The young man replies – in the hope he gives the old man the ‘correct’ answer.

The old man smiles and says “Young man, I admire people like you because there aren’t many out there.. But people like you often live a life of ‘what’s next’s’? Although this can be great for building a corporation like I did, it is absolutely soul destroying….. This life will run you into the ground, metaphorically and literally. You need to understand that the circumstances of your life are simply a reflection of your thought generated reality – like every human being, you will have ups and downs but you will never feel whole, until you understand the principle of thought. Young man, you must understand that you hold all the answers and they will come to you in time, just cease looking so hard… You need to go back to where you live and keep up the good lifestyle you’ve created out here… But you must teach the people this simple, elegant way of life. I see people pass through here, coming and going everyday, but they are never truly present or aware of these beautiful surroundings. Our attention span has shortened and our battery has life too – we must learn to stay in the moment and appreciate this beautiful thing we call, life. Young man, the feeling of being whole and at one with yourself comes when you accept yourself as human and love the fact that you are a flawed being, one that lives in a fragile vessel called the human body. You must understand that we are made not to be perfect but to be present and grateful. And there lies your answer. Where there is gratitude there is no hate of yourself or others. Be grateful for the life you live and the people you lead for people like you are few and far between.”

And so… The two men part ways.. The young man feels inspired and he decides to love himself like he does his family and friends. His whole life changes… The young man feels energized and curious about life in general. He is living in the unknown, a feeling that feels alien to him. The young man feels as though he has acquired a full library worth of wisdom and knowledge, all in a 15 minute conversation – but all he has really learned is how to accept himself and the nature of thought. He now understands that he experiences his thinking and the more he can be truly present, grateful and clear, the better his life will be.

Thank you,

UYP Team

Photo  – (Delphi, Co. Mayo, Ireland)