Many people are familiar with the truism which states that it is the obstacles and difficulties which we encounter in everyday life that enable us to tread the path successfully. Dealing with all kinds of different problems and challenges provides us with the 'traction' that enables us to move forward.
If we want to build our muscles we must put in the work of muscle building, only then will strength come. But in the realm of 'profound truth,' our mind is continually challenged by seeming contradiction.
On the one hand it can be said that we must 'tread the path' to truth, but on the other hand, there is no path and 'truth' is always with us, inextricably so.
So where is the need of effort?
If one tries to unravel this mystery of seemingly diametrically opposing views, using only the mind, we will never succeed. We cannot reconcile the irreconcilable and if we try to do so, while also clinging to rigid concepts of what is and what is not, we end up confused and disillusioned.
Yet, despite the existence of seeming contradictions, when it comes to relative and absolute truths, we can find a way to live harmoniously even while recognising the truth of both these views. Moreover, this can happen simultaneously. A certain way of understanding can dissolve much that may, in an ordinary sense, appear to be quite confusing.
In our relative world of doings and happenings in which mind is king, things appear to be real and so we need 'real' analogies, or at least analogies that bring clarity. In our relative world, there is a 'path' and it is to be 'trodden' by facing and overcoming numerous obstacles and challenges.
The optimist would call these unwanted happenings, challenges while the pessimist would refer to them as obstacles. Whatever the case may be they appear to be holding us back from 'realisation.' From the point of view of absolute reality, these obstacles or challenges simply do not exist in and of themselves.
All realised Masters had to learn how to live in this world while also remaining free from its entanglements and little by little we must do the same. The trick is to not give everything that arises in our mind, total validity.
Learning to see through our thoughts is a process that we can come to understand very effectively by developing an awareness of h the w mind functions. If we become familiar with the way in which thoughts arise we can soon begin to see quite clearly how the whole mechanism of mind plays itself out in all that we do, think and say.
This is the first level of regaining control, as opposed to being the plaything of the mind and its unceasing stream of thoughts. As we learn to understand 'ourselves' in due course we may stumble upon the realisation of who and what we really are.
The rocky mountain way is never anything but a mind made creation and sooner or later each us must find this out through our own direct experience. When we learn to reclaim our awareness through becoming aware of awareness, seeming obstacles and just plain 'life' itself, become the fuel that propels us towards seeing and knowing what is always present yet unnoticed.
The greatest mystery of life and of 'being' itself is always right there in the palm of our hands, yet we go on from day to day like the 'beggar with a golden begging bowl.'
One version of the story runs like this...
Once upon a time there was a beggar who used to sit on the side of the road near the old gate that was the entrance to the town that he had been born in. One day the King of the province came along and noticed the fellow sitting there and a sudden pang of remorse and pity came over him.
Had he not ever known only ease and wealth in his life and yet he had never done much to relieve the burdens of simple folk like these? He reached into his pockets and took out a large lump of gold and handed it over to the fellow.
The beggar was beside himself with delight and joy at this unexpected outpouring of generosity. He thanked the King with tears in his eyes and immediately trotted off to the far side of town where he ordered a goldsmith to make him a beautiful golden bowl.
The next day he could be seen sitting at the entrance to the gate, yet again, with his new bowl proudly displayed, his hands once more outstretched...
In a way we are quite like this. We are in possession of the most glorious treasure, but if we don't know that we have this treasure within us or understand its value, of what use can it possibly be?
Even if we hear and read the words; without it 'we' could not exist! Yet still, we go on like beggars crying outside the gate.
However, once this is pointed out it becomes imperative that we take action to acknowledge what was always ours. If we do not, then yet another life is wasted and we become just like the fellow who went back to his seat by the gate with his new golden bowl.
No wiser, no happier and no better off than before...