The tale below was given to me a few years ago by my spiritual teacher. It’s time to share it. I am sure you will find easy parallels between what the little stream has to go through and what we need to surrender to get to the *other* side – beyond the low end of our ego and beyond the persona of this lifetime.
A bubbling stream reaches the desert – the end of its journey in its lifetime
Drop by drop, Sand absorbed it and the water was quickly vanishing out of sight.
The stream cried aloud, “My destiny, I know, is to reach beyond this desert but how?”
The voice of the Desert answered in the secret tongue known by all that is nature. It said, “Wind crosses the desert easily and so can you.”
“I have been trying, but always I am absorbed into the sand; and even if I attempt a desperate dash, I can only go a little way before more of me disappears.”
“Wind does not make desperate dashes across the desert sand.”
“Wind can fly, I cannot.”
“You are looking at this the wrong way, little stream – trying to fly by your own means is absurd. Allow Wind to carry you over the sand.”
“How?” “Allow yourself to be absorbed within Wind.”
The stream protested that it did not want to lose its individuality by blending within the wind. It feared that if it did, it would cease to exist.
“Your reasoning is not one based on facts,” explained the voice of the Desert. “When Wind absorbs moisture, it carries it over the desert and then lets it fall again as mist and rain. The rain becomes a stream once again.”
“But how,” asked the stream, “can I know for sure that this is true?”
“You cannot know for sure, but it is so and you must believe it is so. Otherwise, you will simply get sucked deep into the sand. You will lose yourself there. After several hundred years of darkness, you will only amount to a mere quagmire. It is not a very glorious end for such a lovely stream as you.”
“But if that is true about the waters forming again, will I be the same stream that I am today?”
“You cannot remain the same stream that you are today and why would you want to? Your shape and your destination are not yours to choose. Wind will carry your essence, the finer parts of you. When you become a stream again in the mountains beyond the sands, men may call you by a different name and you might flow differently – but you, yourself, essentially, will know that you are yourself. Today, although your essence has never left you, you are not aware from where come the very particles of your self. You call yourself by such and such a name because it has been given to you by others. In truth, you neither know who you truly are nor how you came to be.”
So the stream allowed the welcoming arms of Wind to lift him upward. Slowly and carefully it was gathered up to float inside billowy clouds. They carried it some distance before lowering it with gentle firmness atop the mountain of a far-away land.
“Now”, said the stream as it curled languorously around glistening boulders, “I still don’t know who I truly am, but, at least, I now know I shall never die.” Still, the stream had questions that bubbled up as it sped along through the forest, “Why could I not reason this out by myself? Why did Sand have to whisper this wisdom to me?”
Suddenly a small voice spoke to the stream. It came from a minuscule grain of sand on the other side of the mountain range as a bird flies. “Only Sand knows of such affairs for Sand has been witness for a very, very long time. Besides, Sand extends from the stream to the river to the mountain and far beyond. Sand forms the link and it, too, has a function to perform – as has everything particle.” The little grain of sand explained wisely, “It is in the sand that is written the manner in which the stream of life is to carry itself.”