Renee Sell – New Zealand
There’s a wonderful parable from The Tibetan Book of the Living and Dying that goes like this:
Patrol Rinpoche tells the story of an old frog who had lived all his life in a dank well. One day a frog from the sea paid him a visit. “Where do you come from?” asked the frog in the well. “From the great ocean,” he replied. “How big is your ocean?” “It’s gigantic.” “You mean about a quarter of the size of my well here?” “Bigger.” “Bigger? You mean half as big?” “No, even bigger.” “Is it . . . as big as this well?” “There’s no comparison.” “That’s impossible! I’ve got to see this for myself.” They set off together. When the frog from the well saw the ocean, it was such a shock that his head just exploded into pieces.
One day I was sharing this story with a friend, and we just cracked up laughing. He was a wonderful artist and he drew a picture of the frogs and the well on the spot. I think we both knew how radical and drastic the nature of the change required in the individual, to have an all embracing view of the universe. Some type of interior movement within our own mind would need to occur for us to see things in a different way. It is more than clear that the work we are to do first is within ourselves. Right at the beginning of The Voice of the Silence, H.P.B. lays it on the line: “The Mind is the great slayer of the Real. Let the disciple slay the slayer.” To slay the mind is to move beyond the mind as the mind only sees what is manifest and not the unmanifest. The Buddha’s Noble Eightfold path teaches Right View to view things from the whole and not from the part. And H.P.B. wrote in The Secret Doctrine when speaking on unity: “The radical unity of the ultimate essence of each constituent part of compounds in Nature — from Star to mineral Atom, from the highest Dhyan Chohan to the smallest infusoria, in the fullest acceptation of the term, and whether applied to the spiritual, intellectual, or physical worlds — this is the one fundamental law in Occult Science.”
To fully embrace this one fundamental law, our immediate goal would be to find that interior center within ourselves, so that we may realize our essential unity or interrelatedness with all existent beings. H.P.B. alludes to this further in, The Voice of the Silence: “…the right perception of existing things, the Knowledge of the non-existent!”
This requires an openness of mind and an awareness of what we ourselves are thinking and doing and how we are in relationship to the parts around us and the relationship to the whole. Are we open and sensitive to all who come within our sphere? In the words of the Masters:“The Illumination must come from within.” And once again H.P.B, “The Universe is worked and guided from within outwards.”
All roads are leading us to delve deeply within ourselves and to discover this living tradition, which we call Theosophy. This Theosophical view that is put forward is so wide and all-encompassing in nature that a major shift is required on our part and I imagine it would be mind-blowing like our friend the frog from the story. Each of us is in our own world or Theosophical world at times, like the frog in the well. How often do we poke our head up and out of our own perspectives to see a wider, more panoramic view? When I sit on the mountain each morning, I can see far more from that still poised position on the mountain, than when I travel all day amongst the turmoil of the suburb I live in. I take in everything from the ocean, nature, the community, housing, the roads, the sky and beyond. And it is through seeing a wider view like this that helps bring about a realization of the unity of all things.
Unity, Oneness or brotherhood whatever you wish to call it, is at the heart of Theosophy, and is it not our duty to probe and ponder more deeply the meaning of this? I will finish with some words from the Masters of the Wisdom: “How many of you have helped humanity to carry its smallest burden . . . . would you be partakers of Divine Wisdom or true Theosophists? Then do as the gods when incarnated do. Feel yourselves the vehicles of the whole humanity, mankind as part of yourselves, and act accordingly.” Let us rise above all things that divide us so as to become whole and with H.P.B. “Lift High the Torch.”
Frog picture by Rick Lucas