"As separate individuals, we live in separate cultures haunted by the vague memory of an intimacy that we all share. Let us, all together, chase the very horizon of existence, the edge of understanding, the point at which new sensations, emotions, thoughts and ideas begin to emerge… and let us bring this intimacy alive." ~Alex Mero
The bus ride to Marrakesh took a few hours. Nathan, who had used those hours to think and reflect on all that had gone on, took the opportunity to ask Sanah a few more questions: “Sanah, what is the essential difference between men?”
“The awareness they have of their purpose in life,” she answered.
“Everyone has a purpose in life, then?” Nathan asked.
“In effect, and everyone is capable of becoming aware.” She answered.
“And how does someone exceptional distinguish himself from others?” He asked curiously.
“By three exceptional characteristics,” Sanah stated.
Sanah had Nathan’s full attention. He was extremely curious as to what she was going to say.
“Someone exceptional does not need to discover that he has a purpose in life. He has always been aware of it.” She said.
Nathan recognized himself well in this; he had always known that to be the case. Sanah continued: “Someone exceptional benefits from a protection that is out of the ordinary, which is his ability to distinguish true knowledge from the false.”
Nathan understood better now why people often gave great value to his opinion.
“And the third characteristic?” he asked.
“It’s the most important one. From now on, it will continuously illuminate your path: the purpose of an exceptional person consists of accomplishing a higher mission.” She answered him.
In the book, Nathan does have a higher mission, but I believe that we all have “higher missions”. Whatever our purpose in life, whether it seems small or grandiose, is important, because after all, everything is connected… So there are no small or big missions, just different “assignments” for different people for one whole Big Mission—> Bringing out Love, Light and Peace…
“According to you, what is free will?” Nathan asked him.
Pablo answered in a wise tone, which Nathan instantly recognized as a reflective one coming from a place of deep knowledge.
“Very often, we have the impression of making choices freely, but in reality, we are mostly trying to respond to the expectations of the milieu we are in.”
“Do you think we are fooling ourselves in thinking we are choosing freely?” Nathan asked.
“Choices that are truly free can only come from deep within.” Pablo answered.
“How do we recognize them?” Nathan continued fascinated by what he was learning.
“By learning anew how to feel… by opening ourselves fully to our deepest inner desires.” Pablo responded.
After breakfast, the three men drove Sanah and Nathan to the bus stop, each individually saying their goodbyes. Lahcen told him:
“Pursue your journey, and among the stories you experience, tell people the ones that engender confidence. In that way, they will learn to listen to their heart.”
Next it was Saïd’s turn:
“Pursue your journey, and among the stories you experience, tell people the ones that taught you something, to incite them to use their creative power from their imagination.”
Finally, Rachid added:
“Pursue your journey, and among the stories you experience, tell people the ones that inspired you so that they can become better aware of their purpose in life.”
That’s how we should all live…Through our own journeys and experiences, we should give each other confidence and hope, teach each other, and inspire each other. Although we have our own growth to do, we are also here to help others along their own growth… What an amazing world this would be if our focus was to do these things rather then compete and tear each other down…
Nathan remembered what Adnan had told him about the power of images. He knew he had to discover the secret behind these shadows. Some of these shadows had made a point of presenting themselves to him, and therefore, there was significance to that. First there had been Curiosity, then Attention and lastly, Confidence. Nathan wrote down these names in his notebook and reflected on them for a while. It was clear that these names represented feelings. He picked up his notes again. Little by little, the words became clearer. These three feelings had personified themselves as autonomous Beings to introduce themselves to Nathan. The shadows were then feelings. They were the spiritual entities Rachid had told him about who accompanied all men. Nathan realized that what he had just experienced was simply an unusual vision that said much about human behaviour. He reread what Rachid had said: “In the end, we decide for ourselves which feelings accompany us.” Nathan understood now that we are always in the position to choose which feelings we allow to dominate us.
You CAN choose your feelings, and depending on what feelings you allow to dominate, you attract life events that “glory” those feelings. If you’re constantly in a state of worry, sadness, or loneliness, you attract the situations that will continue or even enhance those feelings. Whereas if you choose the more positive feelings such as confidence, calmness, love, then you attract the situations that bring about those energies even more. Of course there are situations that come our way that initially bring about the negative feelings, such as anger, and it’s fine to acknowledge and feel them, for that moment and that situation (within reason), but then you have the choice to either let those negative feelings continue taking charge, or not. The feelings you surround yourself with, in the long term, determine your personality, and determine the path you continue on in your life journey.
“How will I know if I’m still on the right path and if the obstacles I’m faced with are necessary or not?”
Mauro answered: “Let yourself be accompanied by your two guides, and make sure you do not starve them; the more you nourish them, the more they guide you in the right direction.”
“Who are these two guides?” asked Nathan very curiously.
“They are always by our side and appear in the form of questions.” replied Mauro.
“Questions that need to be nourished and can help guide us?”Nathan said a little perplexed.
“The first question is this: what resides within me?”
“That’s the most important question for which one day I hope to find the answer!” Nathan answered.
His father continued:
“The second question is this: what can give meaning to my life?”
“You are citing the two most fundamental questions of all time!” exclaimed Nathan.
“These guides know better than anyone the right path you need to follow. Nourish them with your thoughts and experiences and they will help keep you from straying too far from your path.”
“You said we could starve these guides? How?” asked Nathan.
“That can happen when your thoughts and experiences no longer nourish them…” Nathan understood immediately his father’s message.
“Let’s go back to the subject of compensation.” He began. “It goes without saying that a payment will only be effected once the work is done … so only in the future.”
“Of course!” said Y Chao
“However, what characterizes the future is that it’s not part of reality, which is the present.” affirmed Mauro.
“But the future does exist!” said Laura in an astonished tone.
“The future will indeed exist one day, but today, it’s only in the imagination!”
Laura and Y Chao glanced at Nathan. Obviously, this subject had already come up between the three friends.
“It’s the same thing with the past.” continued Mauro. “What has already happened exists only in our memories and therefore is also part of our imagination.”
Laura and Y Chao nodded their heads, indicating that they were following his reasoning. Mauro pursued:
“We can then say that only what is happening at this very moment is real.” Laura and Y Chao continued to nod.
“What’s curious is that most people let themselves be influenced by their impressions of the past and by their hopes and fears for the future, and pay very little attention to what’s actually happening this very moment in the present.”
Maura took another sip of tea, allowing the time for Laura and Y Chao to absorb this information. Nathan helped them further by clarifying his father’s proposals:
“There are many who are completely unaware that reality only takes place in the present moment…”
“Does that mean that it’s only the present moment that counts?” asked Laura. Mauro looked her in the eyes and said:
“Have you ever done an act that is other than in the present moment?”
“No, that’s impossible!”
Now Mauro looked at Y Chao:
“Have you lived any experience in any other moment other than the present?”
Mauro looked around at each of them and said, “We cannot think of anything whatsoever at any moment other than in the present.”
“What about future projects?” Laura asked anxiously.
“There too, “Mauro answered “Remember that when you are planning them, it is only their conception that is occurring in the present and not their execution.”
“What my father is trying to say, “explained Nathan, “is that any reward we hope to obtain exists only in our imagination.”
Only the present is real. All is imagination, the past as memories and the future as hopes or worries. Only in the present can you “do” or “change” anything. Holding on excessively to the past, prevents your full experience of the present, just as does excessive worrying or hoping for the future. This doesn’t mean you cannot think of the past, both as fond memories or experiences to learn from, nor think or dream of the future as goals to achieve, but both are not real, only the present is. So excessively thinking or worrying of what was and what might be, takes from what is. And could impact what could be, because you may not have clarity in the “now” to make better decisions for the “when”.
“When we let our feelings guide us, we live more consciously, and so we allow that inner power to clarify the messages present in every situation.”
Nathan was captivated by this conversation with his father! He sensed very deeply that what he was learning now would be invaluable to him for the rest of his life. Mauro got up and approached the river. Bending down on one knee, he stared ahead into the void for several minutes. Then he got up and proposed they take a stroll into the center of the city. As they walked, Nathan, wanting to know more, resumed the conversation:
“But how are these messages useful?
“They help differentiate what’s important from what’s not for our personal development.” answered Mauro, understanding very well the need his son had to clarify what he was learning before assimilating it completely.
“Don’t we have to be certain we know how to interpret these messages before we trust them?”
“Being certain limits us. What’s important is to have confidence in our feelings.”
“But how can we live without being certain of anything?” wanted to know Nathan. Continue reading →