Imagine you are looking upon a scene from another age, somewhere out of time. There is a long, narrow and impossibly tall outdoor hallway, corridor. The passage is dark, and leads to an arena.
In the arena is a tiger, as ravenous and unpredictable as they come, maybe rabid, maybe brain injured, but nothing to sneeze at.
The passage leads to something good, but you have never been told the specifics. You just found yourself at the mouth of this arena, in a darkened corridor, with a cardboard sword in your hand, and some kind of innate understanding that you are to stay at the mouth of this corridor, with your inadequate little sword, facing apparent daily annihilation, with absolutely no clue what is really going on.
Now imagine that the person holding that Weapon of No Consequence is eight years old. There are many things that escape an eight year old, through no fault of their own. An eight year old is unequipped to command authority, not because s/he is weak, but because s/he does not have capacity for the mechanics of blade and flesh, shade and sun, fear and fearlessness.
The child succumbs to the madness inherent in finding oneself in an impossible situation. Outgunned, unskilled, frightened, threatened, uncertain.
When I saw this in meditation, I understood that this poor abandoned soul is my ego.
The part of myself who has had to guard me as I slept. She kept the tiger at bay. Sometimes she would bellow at the tiger, red in the face, taunting it, knowing full well that the tiger would not, could not pounce, but knowing that just one swipe from that great paw was enough to finish her. She yells, “Bring it on, you twisted creature. Come over here and I’ll let you have it!” When threat passes, the little girl crumples against the concrete wall, too shaken to stir. But the vigil goes on. It goes on today, within each of us.
In meditation, I realized that the person observing this drama is my higher self, or what some have called the “positive ego”. I think talk of positive and negative needs to be discarded. It sets up false assumptions and equivalents. So, let’s call the observer the core self. The one who set up the drama, who knows all three acts, and has calculated the probabilities of all players to a miraculous degree.
The core self knows that this whole drama is an assignment. She agreed to the rules of reality in which the drama was to be played out, and then she wrote a stunner. But she did it with a heart full of love and excitement, in a spirit of benevolence and exploration and discovery. She always knew that her work was a gift for the only one she has ever truly loved, a love that is deep and true and clear.
My core self wrote this drama, and then fell into asleep. Sure, there were bathroom breaks, and there have been a couple of times when my core self has gotten dressed and just simply intervened. But then, after all the passion and fury died down, I went back to bed. I let the eight year old hold down the fort.
“It’ll be good for her,” I said. “I’m too tired to go on. See you when I feel better.” Off to sleep among the stars, trusting in this little girl to ward off attack, leaving her with no clear instruction, without food and drink, without companion.
Yesterday, I rescued her. I took the paper sword from her sweaty, tiny, calloused hand, and led her to my bed. I tucked her into the sheets in which my core self has found only peace, all these years. She is asleep now. Shh. We must show the little one honor by moving now with stealth, with great gladness, with precision, with devotion and purpose now.
In my core self’s hand, the paper sword turned heavy, silver and jeweled. No ordinary sword, this.
Astoundingly, when I walked into the arena to confront that tiger once and for all, to mete out a terrible and great punishment for its reign of terror, I found instead a friend. That beast approached me and laid down. It began to purr. It rolled and exposed its belly. Funny to think that all this time, the tiger just needed to my love.
The one who rented me the space to put on this little show was quite pleased, I think. I heard music and laughter from deep within the place we have, together, been guarding so well. I found a gate within the arena, and I let the tiger go. I gave it a lingering embrace before it ran, thankfully, into the fields adjacent to this stadium.
I know the tiger will never again be a threat to anyone, and will live in harmony in a place it feels comfortable, no longer required to do the bidding of its creator, free to be at peace.
It had not been rabies. It had not been a brain injury. It had not been any internal defect which made the little girl so scared. The tiger had become more and more ferocious because it had been caged, subjugated, its will overthrown in some kind of cosmic joke, living out a divine and esoteric purpose it would only understand asleep, on its bed of leaves.
The Father. The Son. The Holy Ghost.
Which is which? Who deserves credit for being the originator? Who is the boss?
The answers are simple, and take a lifetime of observation to understand. Is the father the tiger? The tiger certainly kept the whole thing going. Without its mighty roar, there would have been no fear. Without fear, there would have been no reason be on guard. Without the guard, there would have not been deep soul rest. Without the rest, there would have been no release for the tiger.
I think that Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, all of them, are keys to opening the doors. The joke is that they are all skeleton keys, none unique from other in function, only in design are they crafted with individuality. Each key opens to a door of distortions and misinterpretations. But at least through whichever door you pass, there is holier air, lighter rooms, and more to read.
Let them tell me their death cult is the best, and without it I am damned. That’s fine. If I must do a cannibalistic rite every Sunday to skirt damnation, I would rather be damned. If I must see The Other as sinner, infidel, untouchable to function within their designs, I choose their damnation.
Being damned has its benefits. Each religion requires sublimation of will, and that is how you know they are man made and not God made. God inspired, but not direct from Source. Source trusts us, reveres us and loves us. God gave us will, curiosity, creativity and joy. Belief structures that do not radiate those qualities are uninteresting to me now.
With the tiger over yonder, frolicking with its now reconciled family, and my child fast asleep in bedding made soft and fragrant from all my days and nights of gentle surrender in The One, here I am, in this stadium.
It is empty.
No one wanted to see that long stand-off. Far too heartbreaking and scary. No spectators. Not even any press.
No one but me, a heavy sword, a crisp blue sky, and Father Sun winking at me. The Sun tells me that it is time to leave the stadium, and assures me that the sword belongs there, not on the road leading to and from this lonely amphitheater.
There is no more fight left in me anyway.