Being on the way in the Third Millenium
Dario P. - Varese (Italy)
If someone has suggested that we visit a certain place, let's say, for example, “VITTORIA”, the first thing that our common sense tells us to do is look it up in an atlas, and this is what I did too.
As a result of my research, I found out that there are several different places with the same name. Which is the right one?
Vittoria, a city in Sicily – A while ago I spent a short holiday in this very beautiful region that I'd never visited before, and I promised myself I'd go there again.
Stadio della Vittoria (Stadium of Victory) (Bari) – At present I am interested in other kinds of activity which don’t take place here, but I do like Puglia, Castel del Monte, etc... (All these are places in Italy).
Suburbio della Vittoria (Suburb of Victory) (Camilluccia – Rome) – I take out my dictionary to check the meaning of the word “suburbio”, which I think means suburb, and I read: “In a city, the area that expands in a more or less orderly manner”. Just as I imagined, but I wasn’t certain. I think the idea of returning to Rome is not so bad, I used to live there years ago, and a very dear friend of mine lives there, so perhaps this could be a good opportunity to go and see her.
Rifugio della Vittoria (Lecco) – It is fairly near where I live now, so it wouldn't take me long to get there, and the word “refuge” brings me back to the subject I am supposed to be writing about.
The introduction has helped me to describe to you the situation I found myself in when I ws asked to write this article. What should I do? Should I take one of my many books (some of which I've even read) and look for ideas, or should I copy here and there? How can I speak about what I have read and know only partly through my own experience? How can I speak about a path that many people have followed all their lives and that I’ve only just begun? I am referring, in case it is not clear, to “...being on the Way... The Reflections of a modern-day disciple.”
With reference to what I said above, my past experience leads me to believe that the right attitude to take is certainly not one of making promises I may not be able to keep, such as: “...well, I want to, I can, and so I decide to 'be a Searcher'", without knowing whether I have the possibility and the necessary skills to do it.
And it is also wrong to think I already know what I really need in order to evolve from my mechanical nature “if the Way hasn’t been shown me”, ...what shall I do? Shall I go to Sicily or to Puglia?
Perhaps the only way forward in this situation is to seek confirmation of what I would like the Search to be, in order to satisfy my emotional centre? Something tells me that I have to seek the centre and not limit myself to the suburbs, ...as the saying goes: “all roads lead to Rome”, Roma Caput Mundi.
I sense that the most desirable solution is to find "refuge" from my hopes and fears, in “His” arms, so near and yet so far.
After this introduction, I should inform you that I deliberately left out “...in the third millennium”, because even though the form of communication has changed, I think that the substance is still the same, because today, just like centuries ago, Contact with the Source is the basis underpinning the Way... we must find a living Master.
I think it would be more correct yo say that He found me, during a conference in Milan, at the end of which he came up to say hello to me, calling me “Professor”.
This was not what I expected from a person I was meeting for the first time; was he touching on my pride? Did he want to test my sincerity? Why was I there? Was I driven by my avidity for knowledge, or by my desire to learn how “to be”? I don’t know; I intended to ask him, but in the end I didn’t feel the need for it any more. Instead, I let his words work inside me, thinking that my attitude probably revealed a lack of humility or instead of being like those who know science and apply it, I was like those who know it but don’t put it into practice...
If I had understood I would not have been where I was, ...and I was there.
Distinguishing truth from vanity is not always easy, every day I have to fight with that part of me which, with its overconfidence and arrogance believes it is “being”, whilst another part is concerned only about “appearing”. Someone once said, “I think, therefore I am”. But on reflection, would it not be more correct to say, “I am, therefore I think”? Who am I anyway? ...
His greeting to me, and the things he had spoken about at the conference triggered something inside me, and thanks to Him, after some years of 'hibernation', I started once again to work on myself.
During the following meetings, I was seized by a silent acceptance of the fact that this “boy”, much younger than me, could show me aspects of myself that I didn't even know of.
I will put him to the test, I want to get to know him better... I was mistaken, it was He that started to work with me, as if he had always known me, ...I had found the Friend once again.
Just like when we ask someone for directions, and we have to trust the person who is speaking to us, I had no choice... the only possible way was submission, I will follow his advice. Certainly it is not easy, but what have I got to lose, and what is there to be gained?
But that's not what it's about either. Someone once said, “I would like to know what a man without Knowledge has really gained, and what a man with Knowledge has not gained”.
The journey with Him has begun, where will it take me? ...I shall stop here.
If, reading this short story, you expected to satisfy your curiosity, and you were looking for some answers to your questions and mine, you will certainly be disappointed. My duty is neither to deceive you nor to console you with conclusive answers.
I am still a beginner in this subject, and like a child I need to be held by the hand, but at the same time I am adult enough to try to shoulder my responsibilities.
Now I'll be off, ...VITTORIA awaits me, we will meet there and share our experiences.
Allow me to end my brief reflection with the words of Hakim Sanai, a Sufi master; unfortunately, my inadequacy and inability have come to the surface, but there is no lack of help if we try to listen to our heart... I will let him speak and I will sit aside, repeating his words in silence.
“If He hadn’t revealed himself to us, how would we have got to know Him?
If He doesn’t show us the Way, how can we get to know Him? "
“We tried to reach Him through reasoning, but it didn’t work;
As soon as we gave up, all the obstacles disappeared.”
“He revealed Himself us in his goodness: otherwise, how could we get to know Him?
Reasoning got us as far as the door, but His presence let us in.”
“How will you ever get to know Him while you are unable to know yourself?”
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