Heaven and Hell are Here and Now
“A soldier went to a sage and asked, ‘Is there really a paradise to live for and a hell to avoid? I sincerely request you to favour me with a clear answer.”
“Who are you?” asked the sage.
“I am a veteran soldier who has been honoured several times, but I am not satisfied. I am not fulfilled.”
“You, a soldier!” exclaimed the sage, “Who would give you the honours? You look more like a disappointed beggar.”
The solider was so angry that he began to draw his sword. But the sage continued: “So you have a sword. Are you sure your weapon is sharp enough to cut off my head?”
As the soldier drew his sword in anger, the sage said, “Here open the gates of Hell!”
At these words, the soldier, perceiving the sage’s intention, sheathed his sword and bowed down, and sat at the feet of the sage.
“Here open the gates of paradise,” observed the sage.
I read this parable this morning in Ramesh Balsekar’s Let Life Flow. It seems relevant to me these days when terrorists are promised paradise and alt-righters threaten hell, when fiery opinions burn old bridges and truth turns fake in the mix.
I feel the pull myself to react without pausing, to speak without listening, to have the last word. There is no win in this, only the perpetuation of misunderstanding. I am seeking another way. So I sit silently in the morning, read a few pages of something wise, and ask to know, “What is right action today?”
Today I hear a wake-up call to the heart of humanity: “You are responsible for reality – yours and ours. Remember. Release. Reset.”
And you? What do you most want to create today?