The Parable of the Man and the Elephant

Today’s Thought:
“The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth.”
~Niels Bohr

Do you ever get so focused on one thing that you miss the totally obvious? Truth can be a blissful experience and cause us to miss the obvious. We humans are especially fond of our truths. We argue over them, kill over them, and divide ourselves with them. We also find peace, happiness, and Nirvana through them. There is ancient story from India about a young man who is given what he believes to be a most profound truth by his teacher. This story has so many lessons for all of us. I encourage you to read it through a couple of times and really think about the many levels of meaning here.

A young Brahmin sat at the foot of his teacher. The teacher was explaining how all in the Universe is one.

“We are one with God and God is one with us,” said the teacher.

The young student pondered this for a moment and asked, “So, I am God? You are God? This building is God?”

“Precisely,” assured the teacher.

The young man was quite amazed by this concept and decided to go into the city and meditate amid the hustle and bustle to fully understand the teaching. He seated himself near the road and began meditating on his mantra, “I am one with God”.

Just about then a man riding an elephant approached. Suddenly the man lost control of the elephant and it began racing uncontrollably toward the young man meditating on the side of the road.

“Get out of the road you idiot, you’ll be trampled and killed,” shouted the man on the elephant.

The young man continued his meditation. Now he was saying, “I am one with God. The elephant is one with God. All is one with God.”

The man on the elephant now frantic shouted, “Are you a fool? Get out of the way. You’ll be killed.”

Still, the young man held firm, saying to himself, “I am one with God. The elephant is one with God. All is one with God.”

When the elephant was upon the young man, he lifted him up with his trunk and flung him into the ditch.

The startled young man, a bit bruised and muddy, went back to see his teacher. He recounted the whole story. He asked, “I am God?

“Yes,” said the teacher.

“And the elephant is God?”

“Yes,” said the teacher.

Sure he had his teacher, the young man asked, “Why would God fling God into the ditch?”

The teacher smiled and said, “Ah, you should have listened to the voice of God yelling at you to get out of the way.”

It pays to pay attention. It pays to remain flexible and listen to all possibilities. We never know where the message is going to come from. Sometimes the obvious is the profound. Sometimes the obvious is meaningless. We must keep an open mind and be ready to listen to truth, whatever its source.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

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Where Peace Begins – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday October 13, 2009

Check Out Our Cool New Affirmation Apps:

Check out our new affirmation apps for Apple devices or search i-mobilize on the iTunes store. The Affirmation Spot is developing these motivation apps in partnership with i-mobilize. Click an app to view it – Love Magnet, Sales Booster, Confidence Affirmation, or Full Body Scan.


 

Peace Affirmation: “Peace comes to my world one person at a time beginning with me!”

It is my firm belief that 99% of the people who live on this planet get up every morning and have a desire to live in a peaceful world. They are not interested in struggle, strife, or violence. They want to live their lives, raise their children, and enjoy the richness of community.

The problem that humanity faces is knowing how to get there. Where does this peaceful world emerge? How does it overcome centuries of hatred, constant advertiser pandering to selfishness, and greedy hearts? How do the great faiths and philosophies learn to share this planet together?

S.N. Goenka is one of the great teachers of the Buddhist tradition of Vipassana – “Insight meditation”. His message of non-sectarianism and universality is a beginning to the goals we all seek. Following is a brief excerpt from a speech he gave at a U.N. conference back in 2000. He speaks eloquently of the birthplace of peace in our world.

“Conversion,” Goenka says, “should be from the impurity of the mind to purity of the mind.”

Stay inspired!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”

I Have A Dream – The Affirmation Spot for Monday January 19, 2009

Today’s Affirmation:

“I believe in the future of humanity. I believe our species’ most prosperous, peaceful, and enlightened times are ahead. I am living my life in a way that turns that belief into reality.”
(Click the affirmation to hear the mp3 version)

Today I am recognizing the celebration of Martin Luther King’s birthday. As has become tradition on this blog, I am doing so by posting the video of Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech delivered August 28, 1963.

This week – regardless of your political point of view – an historic step towards Dr. King’s dream becomes a reality with the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of The United States. It’s unlikely that even Dr. King anticipated such a big step so soon.

While Dr. King’s speech was aimed at the specific circumstances in The United State in the early 1960s, it’s message is timeless and transcendent. It is a message that needs to be heard in Israel and Gaza, Pakistan and India, Iraq and Afghanistan, and, yes, in the halls of power in Washington, London, Moscow, and elsewhere.

In too many places, man’s inhumanity to man is the rule of the day. Let us – all six billion of us – heed Dr. King’s wise words. Let us create a new dream where Israeli and Palestinian children walk arm in arm. Let us create a world where we work together to bring about justice.

Then, we too, can say, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty. We’re fee at last.”


Runtime is 17:57

Stay inspired!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be.”
MP3 version of this affirmation

If…By Rudyard Kipling – The Affirmation Spot for Friday November 14, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“Aging gracefully…I am aging gracefully. I am gladly trading youth for wisdom.” (click the affirmation to hear it in mp3)
 

Rudyard Kipling (1865 – 1936) was a British author and poet born in colonial Bombay, India – modern-day Mumbai. He was best known for his childrens’ books The Jungle Book  and Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. However, he was quite an accomplished poet. Some criticized him later in life as a proponent of British Imperialism. That said, his writing was accomplished and has been read by generations of children and adults alike.

 “If…” was written in 1910 and is every bit as motivational and true today as the day it was penned. It’s simply timeless. It is one of my absolute favorite poems. Parts of this poem have proliferated greeting cards for many years.

Absorb the message and you will be empowered.

If…

By Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

 

Stay inspired!

Ray

India Goes to the Moon – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday October 22, 2008

Today’s Affirmation:

“Determination…I push my limits and I achieve great things.” (click to hear it now)

Space represents such an opportunity for humanity. It is chance for us to work together on something important to all of us.

As The United States has largely rejected its space heritage in recent decades, other nations have stepped up in its place.

Today India took a major step forward in its space program by launching its first unmanned mission to the Moon. It joins its Asian counterparts Japan and China who already have craft orbiting our nearest celestial neighbor.

India’s craft dubbed Chandrayaan-1 – “Mooncraft” in ancient Sanskrit – lifted off today from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, India. The launch site is located on India’s southeast coastline near India’s largest city Chennai.

For longtime readers of this blog, you know I love space. It is my belief that space exploration poses challenges and offers economic opportunities that could fundamentally alter how humans interact on Earth.

It is my firm belief that the global war economy – sadly still far and away Earth’s largest industry – could easily be replaced by a global space economy. In fact, I would argue that economic reasons are the primary driver of wars on our planet. Our planet could be fundamentally improved by the substitution of space exploration for war.

Chandrayaan-1’s two-year mission is to provide the most detailed maps ever of Earth’s nearest neighbor and set the stage for landing an unmanned craft on the Moon’s surface by 2012.

Last October Japan successfully placed it’s Kaguya moon vehicle in orbit around the moon (view Earthrise and Earthset videos from Kaguya). The Japanese have set a goal of 2025 for placing a manned mission on the surface of the moon.

China’s Chang’e vehicle has also been orbiting the Moon for nearly a year now. Russia has announced plans to land on the Moon around 2025 and even NASA has announced plans to return by 2020.

This transition to a spacefaring race is a positive step. Just as human beings the world over took pride in the accomplishment of landing humans on the Moon July 20, 1969; everyone can take pride as other nations continue to push the envelope of exploration in our Solar System.

So it is in a spirit of common cause, common hopes, and common dreams that I congratulate India on its accomplishment today. May Chandrayaan-1 expand human knowledge about the Moon and bring closer the day when humans work together to travel the stars.

That’s one giant step for India and one giant leap for humans in space.

Stay inspired!

Ray