Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside, awakens. -Carl Jung
You look inside upon the vastness of the soul and realize how much you don’t know… you are a witness to your own inhibitions and ignorance. The canyons, forest, and rivers you laid a path to as a child are inflected with beauty and transcendence, which in itself draws you in like a lover. You now know that you can never turn back and wouldn’t want to. But oh, what a life to live amongst all that heaven will allow.
Then a voice invites you to come closer to the mirror, asking, “Is there real life hidden under the mask, why don’t you stay for a while! And why shouldn’t you stay for all you have to do is learn about life. So you bundle up and descend and will not come back the same, like a Hobbit on an adventure. Now become a poet of your own life.
One day, a student asks his teacher to show him everything there is to know for it left him physically sick to think of the vastness of the universe and all we could learn if we’d listen to what she has to teach. Each day for the next month, the teacher would bring the student books of many different subjects and each day the student tried but in vain to learn all he was given. And with each day that he didn’t finish his assignments, the teacher would strike him across the palm with a ruler. After about a month of this daily routine, one morning as the teacher began to strike, the student caught the ruler in midair before it hit. And with that, the teacher bowed and said you have finished and learned well. For now, you know that there’s no way you can learn everything there is to know and how to stop the pain.
The idea for the story based on Buddhist myth.
*First posted summer of 2015 as ‘The Student’.
*Image courtesy of Pixabay.