“At every moment of every day, an infinite amount of choices is offered to us. These choices have consequences; every decision made in the past determines our future.” Nathan explained. “And what makes us opt for one choice as opposed to another?” Nigel asked. “When we consciously reflect before making a choice, we always try to weigh the consequences it will have. Each of us acts this way in accordance to our understanding of things, an understanding that develops from our past experiences.” Nathan stated. “In Central Park you talked about the importance of discovering the real source of our thoughts and feelings.” Nigel reflected. “You remembered my words well. Indeed we have to be aware that we always decide ourselves which feelings we designate to every thought.” Nathan said. Nigel gave himself a few moments to reflect before asking the following question: “Isn’t each thought already linked to a particular feeling?” “That’s often the impression we get, but in reality, we all have the ability to choose which feelings we associate with a thought. The more aware you are of this, the more you will understand things. Your choices will then become more appropriate and your actions will render you happier in the long run.” Nathan answered.
“Why is there so much incomprehension between people of different origins?” Nathan asked Songo. “Because in general, we pay more attention to the differences and not the similarities,” Songo answered. These words reminded Nathan that Adnan had said something along the same lines. “Then how come you’re understood by everyone everywhere you go?” Nathan asked. “To achieve that, you have to arm yourself with patience and learn how to inspire confidence.” Songo said. Nathan imitated Songo’s way of talking. “But how do you make yourself accepted by people who live differently and how can you inspire confidence in them?” Nathan asked. “You see, Nathan, our conscious mind is but a small part of our psychic activities. It’s the subconscious which constitutes the greatest part. When you address someone, it is better to reach his subconscious.” Songo explained. “How do you address their subconscious?” “First you have to pass through the nets woven by mistrust. That’s what you just did by imitating my very particular way of speaking.” Songo said smiling. That’s exactly what Nathan had done. He had familiarized himself with Songo’s distinguished style of speech and his use of unique metaphors. He knew that this was partly how Songo got attention for his messages by those he dealt with. He knew that it was necessary to listen attentively, ask the right questions, and use imagination. “What’s the role of these nets of distrust?” Nathan asked next. “They prevent information from reaching the subconscious.” Songo explained. “Do you always succeed in getting through them?” “I start by studying the body language of those I’m dealing with. I observe as many details as possible, and then I imitate them when I’m in their presence.” Songo explained. “You imitate them?” Nathan asked intrigued. “Sometimes what people see has more of an impact than what they hear.” Songo stated. These words confirmed to Nathan the power of the visual. “People get the impression that I am one of theirs, “ Songo continued, “And many think that if you behave like they do, than you must have been brought up the same way and therefore share the same worries.” These lessons were precious to Nathan. He understood better about the visual influence of images in communication.
We all look differently, live differently, and it’s these differences we notice, and hence why there is so much misunderstanding and discord between people, between cultures. To really communicate with one another, it’s necessary to look beyond the differences and see the similarities, and once we focus on the similarities, we’re able to “get through” to one another. Because in essence, we are all the same, and acting and speaking from the heart will reach the inner core of that other person, and they will understand you. The real connection and understanding is from within oneself to another…
“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.
“Tell him to arm himself with patience!” Samir translated his words to Nathan: “He said you need to be patient.” “With whom, and in regards to what?” answered Nathan confused. “Be patient with all our ignorance!” added the elderly man. Simon and the other two companions were already gone from view and Samir, distrusting this situation, proposed to Nathan they go to their encounter. When they were about to leave, the other elderly man asked Samir to translate something else for Nathan: “Tell him to be fearless and in this way he will show us the road to follow.” Samir translated this to Nathan, adding that he wasn’t really sure how to interpret these words. They said goodbye to the two older men and walked away. Nathan remained silent. This incident troubled him just as much as the one that had happened in Bombay. Were these two men delivering an important message or were they to be distrusted? He asked himself. The conversation had equally perplexed Samir, and looking at Nathan with curiosity he asked: “That second man was talking about showing the road to follow. What did he mean?” “I don’t know any more than you.” replied Nathan. Samir was not satisfied with this answer, but insisted no further. “What significance do we give “patience” here?” he asked Samir who was Pakistani. “My uncle taught me that patience permits us to understand the faults of others!” he replied. “My father taught me that the faults of others show us what roads not to follow!” replied Nathan in turn.
The concept of patience is introduced in this passage. As was posted in a much earlier entry: “Time is intrinsic to our world and governs all change. Patience teaches us to accept the time that accompanies all changes. The line of time and the line of space are strongly interrelated. There is always a place where time is ripe for the changes that we can bring about!” Life here is really all about timing, and patience is really a form of action. It allows us to accept things that cannot be changed, and to learn what needs to be learned before any changes can occur. So being patient is not being idle, doing nothing, but actually being active in learning, understanding and accepting.
The sky was turning more and more crimson, as the sun began to descend. Nathan went back to the high dune to watch the sunset. Once there, he had an open mind to the power of the images. He remarked that he had overcome hunger and that he was in a state of higher awareness. He could now concentrate with ease, and felt at peace with what was waiting for him. Daylight was coming to an end, and the dunes were taking on the color of dusk. Nathan associated this phenomenon of nature with all his feelings. He not only felt in perfect communion with the sun, but equally with the whole universe. He perceived intensely the connection between all the elements of the universe, and of all as a whole. Feeling blissful, he lay down on the sand.
We are connected with everything and everyone, but there are moments where this connection is so clear! Where we can actually feel ourselves blend in to all that’s around. It is not necessarily a “feeling”, but more a state of Being, where we feel like we are the sun, the mountains, the ocean, the trees, everything, and the “feeling” is an immensely blissful one. These are the moments where we are truly in reality, and where we’re truly ourselves, our essence, …where we’re truly “aware”.
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.
Nathan was becoming aware that every action brought about a consequence. Trying to organize his thoughts more clearly, he shared his reflections with his father: “Would this mean that there is a greater coherence to the world than meets the eye?” “Everything is connected!” Mauro had pronounced these words in a serious tone, and so Nathan understood this to be a very important revelation! “Everything, really?” he asked. “Each change leads to other changes which in turn lead to yet more changes. So much so, that we can say that ‘nothing is, all becomes!” Nathan tried to grasp the importance of this new information. Mauro stayed quiet and, opening a bottle of water, splashed some of the water on his forehead and brushed his hair back. Nathan stood watching his father until the latter gestured for Nathan do the same. While imitating his father he suddenly experienced a moment of clarity; a very clear thought came to his mind: If everything influenced everything else, than that meant that everything was indeed connected! Nathan realized now the conclusion his father wanted him to reach. Mauro saw, from Nathan’s eyes, that the message had been successfully delivered and completely understood. “If everything is connected then wouldn’t that mean that everything in the universe forms a single whole?” “We never forget what we ourselves discover!” concluded Mauro.
The dialogue is quite self-explanatory. Nothing stands alone without implications or consequences towards something else. Even thoughts and feelings, seeing that they’re energy, emanate vibes to the universe, even if they brought about no actual action or words.