by Jason Remfrey
A woman’s journey to enlightenment.
At a point in the young woman’s life, things started to go rather badly. All that she tried to do went amiss, and no-one seemed to want to talk to her anymore. It was as if the world had turned against her. After a while though, people began to speak to her again. She knew not of what had happened, and did not know why for some time she seemingly did not have any kind of meaningful contact with anything or anyone else in the outside world.
More time passed. She began to think more on why she had spent many years alone, isolated, and withdrawn. Then she began to realise that now, her life was not only back to how she had once remembered it, but in fact seemed to have more richness to it, and more joy, and things were flowing and happening with much more ease than she could have ever imagined. What had taken place to her? She wondered. Why had things gone from a time of stability to a period of uncertainty and insecurity to now, where things seem to have magically become so much better?
Through moments of contemplation, the answer came to her. She was sitting on a park bench in a glade, not far from where she lived, looking at a small stream which was surrounded by beautiful willow trees. She began to understand something she had read many years earlier while she was a teenager, in a magazine she had picked up in a restaurant that had served delicious food and played enchanting music. The passage came back to her vividly, and she saw it in front of her as clearly as the day she had first read it.
The passage read:
“Know that when one turns within, the outer world may seem to lack lustre and radiance. As the attention moves to the troubles on the inside so that these can be dealt with, the outer world is temporarily left behind.”
Recalling this, she began to understand that her many years alone had allowed her to go on a journey, a pilgrimage into her own heart. The pain and apparent suffering she had experienced was nothing more than a discovery of the troubles she once had within her, and now her state of well-being was a result of these troubles no longer residing within.
From that point on, everyone she passed, everyone she met, and everyone she saw, she understood as being the same as herself. There was no bad, and there was no good, there was only what people had within them that stopped them from being truly happy and free from worry.
Upon this recognition, people who approached her started to ask her how it was that she was so carefree and content. Did she have a new boyfriend? They wondered. Had she just had some financial or business success? Had she just been given a promotion at her place of work?
The woman would then speak and would briefly share of her own story, and how that for many years she had experienced troubled times, and as if there was someone watching over her, taking care of her, she passed through what she now described as a tunnel of darkness into a much better place, a much happier way of being.
People would then ask her, “So what technique did you use to begin this? What book did you read? Which course did you attend?” Her reply to them was simple, and yet powerful at the same time. Her words to everyone who asked her of this were as follows:
“When my soul turned within, the outer world seemed to lack lustre and radiance to me. But now I understand that the outside world had never lost its beauty, but instead my attention had moved to the troubles I held within me, and without my even knowing it, these troubles were gradually being left behind.
Even though I did not understand what was going on inside of me, even though there was no-one who could tell me what was truly taking place, I had not made any effort to do this, it simply happened, and I understand that there was something or someone guiding me, without my even knowing.”
There would be many then that would ask of her if she knew of how this could then happen to themselves, as they felt that they would too be prepared to go through some suffering in order to become happier people just as the woman seemed to be, as they could see that she was a picture of everything they themselves would like to become.
To this the woman’s reply came from within her, seemingly from outside of her own conscious mind, and she spoke.
“A heart that has sadness cannot see all that surrounds it, and is only a heart full of love that is preoccupied with its own suffering. To know that sometimes with a little suffering comes much joy and happiness, is enough to allow you to recognise God moving within your heart.”
As the woman moved from place to place, she touched many people’s lives. Through a spiritual choice to undergo a process of self-transformation, she was then able to teach others of what she felt self-transformation was truly all about.