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Three Gates of Wisdom !



A King had for only son a young courageous skillful and intelligent Prince. He sent him to see a Wise Old man so that he would open his mind to awarness.
- "Enlighten me as to the path I sould take", pleaded the Prince.
- "My words will only vanish like foot steps in the sand, replied the Wise man. However I'll accept to give you some indications. On your path, you will come across three gates. Read the sayings on each one of them. You will be overwhelmed with the need to follow them. Do not seek to turn away, you would be condemned to live again and again that which you had run away from. I cannot say any more. You must fell all this in your heart and flesh you may, go now. Follow the road, right ahead of you."

The Wise Old man disappeared and the Prince started walking on the Path of the Life. He was soon across a large gate on which one could read:

"CHANGE THE WORLD".

- "This is precisely what I intended to do , thought the Prince, if some things are pleasurable in this world, others are not."
And he started its first struggle. Driven by ideal, his ardour and his strength pushed him to be confronted with the world, he undertook, conquered, modelled reality to his desire. He experience the pleasure and the exhilaration of the conqueror, but his heart was not at rest. He managed to change certain things but others would not give way.
Long years went by. One day, he met the Wise Old man who asked him:
- "What did you learn on the path?"
- "I learned, replied the Prince, to see what was in my power and what was beyond it, to see what depended on me and what didn't ".
- "Well done, said the Old Man. Use your strength to act upon on what you can. Forget about what is beyond you."
And he vanished.
Sometime later the Prince came across a second gate. One could read on it:

"CHANGE OTHERS"

- "This is precisely what I intend to do, thought the Prince. Others give joy and pleasure, but also cause pain and bitterness and frustration."
And he rose against all that could disturb or displease him in his fellow being. He struggled to alter their minds, and correct their faults. This was to be his second battles.
Many more years went by. One day, as he was meditating on the uselessness of his attempts to change others, he came across the Wise Old man and he asked him:
- "What did you learn on your path?"
- "I learned, answered the Prince, that the others are not the source of my joys or sorrows, my achievements or failures. They are only there to make me aware. I am the one to grow these feelings in me."
- "You are right, said the Wise man. Though what they awaken in you, they made you aware of yourself. Be grateful towards those who make you fee joy and pleasure. But be also grateful to these hurt and frustrate you for through, them Life teaches you. When you have yet to learn, and the long way ahead of you."
And the Old Man vanished. A little time after, the Prince come across a door where you could read the words:

"CHANGE YOURSELF".

- "If I am myself the cause of my problems, this is that I have to do" he though.
And he started his third struggle. He tried to inflect his character, to fight his imperfections, to remove his defects, and change every thing which didn't correspond to his ideal.
After many years of struggle during which he was at times successful at times defeated, the Prince met the Wise man who asked him:
- "What did you learn on your path?"
- "I learned, replied the Prince, that some things can be improved, others which resist and can't be change."
- "Well done," said the Wise man.
- "Yes, the Prince went on, but I'm getting weary of fighting against everything, and against myself. Won't this never end? When will I be at rest? I which to stop fighting, to give up, let go."
- "This happens to be your next lesson, Wise Old man said. But before further going any further, turn around the gate and look back at the way you've already tread."
And it vanished. As he looked back, the Prince saw in the distance the 3rd gate and realized that one could read a different message on the back of it:

"ACCEPT YOURSELF"

The Prince wondered why he hadn't noticed this inscription when it had crossed the gate the first time, in the opposite direction.
- "When one is fighting, one becomes blind, he said to himself."
He also saw, spread on the ground around him, every thing he had rejected and fought within himself: his faults, his dark side, his fears, his limits, and all his old daemons. He then learnt how to recognize them, accept them and love them. He learnt how to love himself without comparing himself, judging himself, blaming himself.
He came across the Wise Old man who asked him:
- "What did you learn along the path?"
- "I learned, replied the Prince, that to hate or refuse part of myself was to condemn myself never to be at peace with myself. I learned how to accept myself, completely, unconditionally."
- "Well done, said the Old Man, it is the first stage of Wisdom. Now you go through the 3rd gate again."
Just as he had reached the other side of the gate, the Prince saw the back face of the second gate and it said:

"ACCEPT OTHERS".

All around him he recognized the people he had met in his life; those he had loved, those he had hated. Those he had helped, those he had fought. But to his surprise, he was now unable to see their faults which has disturbed him so much, and against which he had fought so much.
He came across the Wise Old man again.
- "What did you learn on your path?" asked this last.
"I learned, replied the Prince, that if I were on peace with myself, I would have nothing to blame others for, nothing to fear of them. I have learned to accept others totally and unconditionally."
- "Well done," said the Wise Old man. It is the second stage Wisdom. You can go through the second gate.
When he arrived on other side, the Prince saw the back of the first gate and read:

"ACCEPT THE WORLD".

- "That is strange, he thought, "Why didn't I see the inscription the first time?"
He looked around him and recognized the world he had tried to conquer, transform, and change. He was hit by the brightness and the beauty of all things. By their perfection. And yet it was the same world as it used to be. Had the world changed, or had his perception of it changed?
He come across the Wise Old man and asked him:
- "What did you learn on your path?"
- "I learned, the Prince said, that the world is the mirror of my soul. That my soul, my heart does not see the world, but sees itself in the world. When it is cheerful, the world seems merry. When it is gloomy, the world seems sad. The world, is neither merry or sad. It just is; that is all. It was not the world that was troubling me , but the idea I had of it. I accepted to accept it without judging it, to tally, unconditionally."
- "This is the 3rd Wisdom, said the Old Man. You are now at grace within yourself and others in the World."
A deep feeling of peace, serenity and fulfilment overwhelmed the Prince. Silence was within him.
- "You are ready, now, to cross the last Threshold, said the Wise Old man, From the silence of fulfilment of Silence".
And the Old Man disappeared.

Charles Brulhart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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