The Maze of LifeAuthor Unknown
One morning, a young man came to the Master saying, "Master, I wish to understand my path on earth better. I wish to know why it is that I seem to carry my past and re-live it again and again. Why is it that I cannot get past my past?"
The Master smiled at the young man who seemed to be earnestness itself. "Go forward into the Maze in the garden. But carry this backpack as you walk the maze. It will help you stay focused and balanced. Be careful as it is quite heavy though," the Master said.
The young man took the backpack from the Master who handed it over quite easily. But when the young man had it firmly in his grasp he was astonished at how heavy it really was! Placing the shoulder straps over his arms and bent over from the sheer weight of the pack, he strode towards the Maze. He was surprised to see it was not a garden maze, but was built of silk panels that were nearly translucent.
The young man paused before entering the maze and then stood and walked into it. Immediately he found himself facing a solid wall of silk. However, he could see just enough through the silk to other areas of the maze to make out others there at the same time. He could "see" them and hear them but they were not part of his path.
The weight upon his shoulders reminded him of why he was there, so he put the thoughts of the others out of his head. Walking forward, he found himself hopelessly trapped. It seemed that no matter which direction he walked, there was no way to proceed forward. Baffled, the young man sat down and pondered his situation.
'The Master told me to walk the maze but it seems un-walk-able. Yet, there are others here who are obviously ahead of me. They must have figured out a way to get through this section. How did they do that? Are they smarter than I am? Did they cheat? Did they crawl under the silk, as that would be really a simple matter and who would ever know?'
The young man weighed his options and then rose, deciding to not sneak under the silk. As he stood and turned, an opening appeared before him as though by magic and he moved forward. Soon, he faced another series of solid silk panels and could see no opening or direction to walk other than the one he had come from.
Again he sat down and thought of his situation. He had gotten through the first test he felt, by reflecting upon his options and then choosing to take the one that was for his highest good. Stating again his affirmation that he would desire to walk the maze only with positive intent he stood, ready to face his opening. But none was there. He still faced a blank series of panels.
The young man was baffled. He had felt that surely he would be rewarded as before for his desire to proceed only within his highest good .The weight of his backpack cut into his shoulders, bringing him sharply back to reality. What was it that weighed so much? What had the Master placed in it to weigh it down? Rocks? Bricks? It did not feel hard and unforgiving like those items, it felt soft yet heavy. What could possibly be soft and yielding yet heavy enough to weigh him down like this?
Pulling the backpack off of his shoulders, he opened it and peaked inside. 'The Master did not tell to not look,' he reasoned. It was EMPTY! Yet it had weight! 'How could this be', he wondered. Picking it back up, he again felt how heavy it was yet it was empty! Again he glanced inside and this time felt with his hands. Empty! But the weight!!!
Placing it upon his shoulders he stood. He asked himself what it was that he had just learned from this experience. He heard a voice clearly say, 'Look inside of you, young man, for the weight lies there,' he was told. As he walked he looked at his life and his path. He thought of his childhood and the friends and enemies who had caused him harm. He thought of how stuck he had been by their feelings of him, their attitudes towards him. He remembered how angry he was with one particular boy who had taunted him unmercifully. This boy was hated to this day by the young man. The pack became even heavier as the student re-created and re-lived the experience within his mind and heart.
'Ahhhh! I understand now. I carry the weight of that which burdens me. I am the weight! I therefore have it within me to unburden myself as well.' The student was joyous with this insight and then saw and walked his way through a series of panels of silk.
He thought of how he could unburden the weight of those he still despised and resented for their treatment of him. He knew that they were not there with him in the maze so he could not expect them to say, 'I am sorry" and thus lessen the weight and allow him to go forward easily.
"I forgive you, wherever you are,' he found himself saying to his own amazement. The weight of the pack lessened immediately and he was able to walk without bending forward at the waist. 'Ah ha!' the young one exclaimed. 'Through my intent to forgive, I unburden myself of this weight which hinders my journey. But how can this be? For they were the ones who wronged me. Yet my forgiving of them un-weights me?' The young one's head swum with the implications. And another series of openings appeared before him in the panels of silk. His pack was considerably lighter, but still weighed enough for his mind to stay focused upon it.
'Oh, Great Spirit, I ask you to help me see what it is that you are showing me here. How do I make my way through this maze? How do I release myself of the full weight that I carry with me?' It was at that moment that a beam of sunlight hit him squarely in the face, warming him.
He suddenly realized that his pack had lightened again with the warmth of the sun! 'What does this mean, God? Why do you lighten my pack with sunlight? What are you showing me?'
It was then that he found himself remembering a "woman" that he had kissed when he was thirteen. It was his first kiss of adulthood and he remembered her clearly. His heart raced with the remembrance of her taste upon his lips and his love for her. His pack lightened considerably this time.
'Thank you God for your considerable wisdom in this. I see now how I am to unburden myself completely. It is through my loving AND forgiving those who have been in my way and have wronged me previously. It is not their wronging of me that has hindered me. It is my holding on to that wronging that has stopped me. By seeing myself as one who has been wronged, I could not go forward in the maze. And by seeing myself as one who was without love, I could not lessen the weight of the pack. As I forgive and bring love within me, I make my journey easier.'
The young man felt his heart swell in size as he felt these insights. He felt his heart race with joy, as it knew its lesson to him was being heard.
The pack weighed nothing now and the young man took it off and held it lightly in his hands. He stood before a solid silk wall now and could see neither an opening nor his way to where he had just come from. He was surrounded by solid silk!
However, instead of panicking, he sat and breathed in this mantra:
"I Am the Light and the Way. I carry within me all manner of healing and knowing. It is through this healing and knowing that I make my way through this earthly maze. I am able to carry forth of the journey through this maze and I am able to release my entrapment. I alone have the ability to solve this riddle and I ask now to have it done. I breathe in full acceptance of my path and its possibilities, God. I recognize that I was the impediment, not anyone or anything else. I am LIGHT and I am LOVE. Thus being so FREES me and allows me to soar above the physical realm. In this I re-discover myself which is my True Self, God. Thank you for helping me to see this. I so love you."
At this, the young man felt his feet rise slightly above the earth! He floated above the silk panels and could clearly see the others stuck within the maze. Their darknesses were carried around in their own packs and held them stuck. His head swum with the implications of what was happening to him at that moment. But he focused not on that, but on the fact that he was flying! He was soaring! He was above the earth in his lightness! He was outside of the Maze!
Spying the ground around the maze, he thought of being there and staying outside of the maze. And at once, he was. By thinking it and seeing it, it became. The Master was at his side as he touched down.
"Master, thank you for placing my weight so severely upon my shoulders as you did. Were it not so heavy, I would have gladly carried it longer and longer for it would have not hindered me all that much. But as it weighed me down so greatly, I had to get rid of the weight first before I could do anything else."
"How did you free yourself of your weight, my son?" the Master asked. His face was alight with joy and love as he did so. " I found myself forgiving those who had wronged me, Master. It was my pain in response to their actions that made me hold on to the pain inside of myself. When I let it go, Master, I watched it soar away from me and felt myself growing lighter." The student's face shone with love as he spoke.
"Ah," said the Master. "And what of the maze itself? That is impossible to walk through. There is no way out." "Oh, Master. The most beautiful thing happened. I began to fly after losing the weight. I saw myself as light and love itself as I found it within me to forgive and forget those that had harmed me, had wronged me. It was my darkness that had caused my weight and it was my lightness that freed me to fly.
By BEING Light and Love, I floated, Master and found myself outside of the maze. I was freed from its confines; above its entrapments. Master, I see now that I cause my own weight, that hold me down. That I keep me trapped in my past. That I, alone, am responsible for the manner in which I walk this maze.
By releasing those entrapping thoughts, those weighting down feelings and allowing me to feel love and light, I soared above it all. Did I do wrong by getting out of the maze in this way, Master?" The young man was earnestness itself as he awaited the Master's answer.
"What do YOU feel, young one?" the Master answered with a smile. "Do YOU feel freed from the Maze?"
With that, the Master strode away before hearing the young one's reply. He knew that whatever the young one answered would give him further insight as to his own journey.
And this is as it should be.