Tuesday, October 25, 2005

You biggest fear

Here's a little story I've been trying to retrieve from my way-back machine. I've forgotten the source so I cannot give credit. Please feel free to let me know where it originally came from or any corrections. I've written it just as I remember it.

A spiritual master climbed up into the mountains to practice meditation. After a day of climbing, he found a large cave protected by the wind. It was near a stream with clear water and plenty of nearby fruit. After examining it carefully, he decided to dwell there for a time in much-needed solitude.

His first night in the cave, however, he discovered that, alas, he was not alone. The cave was inhabited by many horrible demons and monsters. They made terrible sounds and encircled him, telling him that they were going to kill him and eat him for dinner. As he had found this particular cave quite a suitable one, the master wasn't going to be inconvenienced by a bunch of scary demons and monsters.

The master was a great master indeed. He walked right up to the first demon, who had great horns and was drooling down the sides of his mouth, and shouted, "Get out of here! I'm not afraid of you! Get out!" The master, knowing what he did about scary demons, wasn't a bit surprised when the demon put his long, scaly tail between his legs and ran out of the cave.

After the demon left, the master then walked up to a giant blue monster. The monster's breath smelled of rotten human flesh and he had a great knife in his hand. The master walked right up to the monster and shouted at him the same way he had shouted at the demon. In a second, the monster was running away into the darkness of the night never to be seen again.

The master spent all night shouting at all the scary demons and monster that lived in the cave. Some of them had lived there for many thousands of years, but when the master shouted at them, they all ran away. Finally as the rays of the morning light were beginning to creep into the mouth of the cave, the master walked up to the very last demon. This demon had a necklace of dried human skulls. He had eight hands and each had a sword, knife or club in it. His mouth was like that of a shark with many rows of teeth and his robes were soaked in human blood. He stank of death and mold and all things found in the darkness of abandoned caves. When this demon looked into a man's eyes, his horrible presence pierced into the core of consciousness and spread terror into the far corners of the heart.

For the first time that night, the master was aware that a thin trickle of fear was dripping down the back of his consciousness. The master knew, however, from all his training and life experiences that the demon could not harm him. So he walked up to the demon and shouted at him, just as he had done to all the other monsters and demons, "Get out of here! You are terrible and scary but you cannot harm me! I am more powerful than you, I always will be. You are powerless over me because I am master of myself."

The big, scary demon got even bigger and scarier. He began to drag his huge body towards the master.

Again, the master shouted at the demon, "Get out! Go away! Leave me in peace you horrible beast!"

The demon, who now towered over the master, grew even larger, so that his huge, stinking body began to fill the entire cave. He moved closer and closer to the master, who had to move away because the cave was becoming full. The demon open his enormous, horrible mouth with its rows of teeth and was just about to gobble the master up, when the master, in genuine friendship and delight, cried, "I say, would like to take your morning tea with me?" The monster shut his mouth in surprise. No one had spoken to him in a hundred thousand years in such a friendly manner. He suddenly realized, indeed, he would very much like a cup of tea.

So the master and the demon sat down at the mouth of the cave. The master built a cheerful fire and brought out his best oolong. Together, the master and the demon and had a cup of tea. They laughed at all the peculiar rock formations in the cave and the demon told the master where he could find the best berries in the spring and the best fruit in the autumn.

Finally, after a pot of tea and hours of good friendship, the demon told the master, that come to think of it, he was tired of being in a cave and might wander down the mountain. The master recommended his former monastery as a good place where he could take refuge and the two agreed that it sounded like a fine plan. The demon took off onto the path that led through the woods. As he took each step, he shrunk a little bit each time and at the largest part of the stream he took a bath.

Meanwhile, back at the cave, the master smiled ever so faintly and sat down, finally, to enjoy himself in his solitude.