Gold – Trust No One
In grade school, we played the telephone game where the teacher would whisper a sentence in a child’s ear. By the time it reached the last student, we’d find out how much the sentence had changed.
As a child, this was a fun activity revealing how difficult it really is to trust others. Some may have repeated the sentence word for word, but somewhere along the way, a few words were left out or changed, which gave a completely different meaning from the teacher’s original sentence.
This was an important lesson for me, one which I had to learn repeatedly. The more spiritually inclined, the more difficult it is to be suspicious of others, even when suspicion is due.
Biologists say when a tiger hunts for its preferred prey, deer and other hoofed animals can’t see its full range of colors. To their eyes, the tiger’s fur isn’t bright orange: it’s green and matches the background.
The tendency of the sattvic is to see another’s motives through rose-colored glasses. Yet a tiger is still a tiger, whether the stripes are pink or brown and black.
This analogy reminds me of an incident of a young girl who finished high school and went to college. During her freshman year, she met a fellow in his early thirties, and they became friends.
She had deeper spiritual values than most about living morally, often conversing with him about her church and religious beliefs.
One day, a close friend called, and she answered the phone laughing. Her friend inquired about her happy demeanor. She said, “Oh, James and I are having a pillow fight.”
The tiger was orange to her close friend, though she never warned her. Many would think it odd that a man in his thirties would spend so much time with a naïve, much younger girl, with the mere intention of having a friendly pillow fight.
Her close friend discounted the incident, though the Atman’s signal was that her friend was in danger.
One morning, though studious and responsible, the young girl never made it to class that day. The predator gained her trust and at an opportune time, took her virginity and her life.
This is an extreme case, showing real evil exists in the world, regardless of the color of the stripes. In her innocence and goodness, why didn’t God save her from this terrible fate? We shall get to the answer briefly.
Oftentimes, we may find excuses for someone’s behavior. “Oh, they’re just different,” or “They didn’t really mean it like that.” If her close friend had warned her, she might have responded, “Oh, James is harmless. We were just having fun like friends do.”
We should be friendly towards anyone who approaches with friendship but guard ourselves toward those we choose to make our companions. Those we let into our inner circle are the ones we trust the most in our life.
The wisest choice is to listen to the inner voice that says, “Something’s not right, here.” It may be a bad feeling inside that comes and goes at odd moments. These feelings are meant for protection and should never be shrugged off as unimportant.
It’s especially true for those we invite into our homes. We should never invite anyone inside we couldn’t trust with our person or possessions. Objects may be easy to part with, but life is precious and should be protected.
In most cases, the Atman alerts a person when someone’s intentions are evil. The Atman threw a life preserver, but the girl never heeded the warning. She was likely warned more than once, and the result was unfortunate.
We might look at the situation with the worst suspicion and wonder what terrible karma she must have accumulated over her lives or if God was just, why would He let this happen?
Sadhana is about learning to walk with our own wisdom and God expects us to listen to the Voice of Reason inside. This is not to say an actual voice, but a sense, intuition, or impression, especially when danger is near. In this instance, she trusted God to protect her, ignored her Atman, and suffered for it.
The truth is, sometimes God lets bad things happen to good people. God’s Wisdom is based over the Vastness of Eternity and not a single lifetime.
There are two instances where trusting God is our only option. We can only trust God to sustain the soul. What this means for sadhana is that our progress is secure from life to life.
Through lifetimes, the soul grows through the chakras as joyful spiritual practices are initiated, and this is our own growth sustained through Brahman.
The second is the trust that God will allow us to resume and complete our sadhana or that we will be born again. The spirit doesn’t magically attach to the body through our own will or some process of automation.
Rebirth requires a tremendous amount of Power that is impossible for anyone other than the Creator to accomplish. My earliest memory was of entering my mother’s womb and “hooking” onto the body that was provided.
The Force was Sudden, Powerful, Exhilarating, and Purposeful! It felt like an Explosion inside my spirit of the Awesome Powers of Kali, over life and death, and Terrible indeed!
In matters pertaining to preserving our life and well-being, God expects us to use reason and good judgment in our decisions. If God intervenes, we should consider ourselves fortunate, but don’t expect it for, like mine and many others, the day may not arrive.
There are also others with whom we may trust with our person, but not our more intimate concerns. If we have a friend who tends to gossip, it wouldn’t be wise to divulge certain things that we wouldn’t want others to know. Like the telephone game, by the time it returns full circle, it may be a completely different story.
One of my brothers had a tendency to tell tall tales. It was never at anyone’s expense, except his own. As a young adult, he had an accident one evening and his car ended up in the creek. This is how the conversation transpired:
Bummed out Brother: I had an accident and had to get the car towed. The windshield is cracked, and I think the car is probably totaled.
Concerned Me: How did it happen?
Mad Brother: Dang bird hit the windshield, and I lost control and ran into the creek!
Suspicious Me: What kind of bird was it? A pterodactyl?
The distance from the creek to the road was much further than a sneeze or a bird hitting the windshield, so the story of how he ended up there was false.
Can I trust him with my life or person? Sure, to a rational point, but if he said it was raining outside, I might still have to look out the window to verify it.
The “devil lies in the details,” and if we keep ourselves aware, we can avoid the tiger in the grass or situations that lead to needless suffering and a negative outcome.
Little white lies are not that difficult to overlook if the intentions aren’t evil, but sometimes lies can lead to more serious implications and cause suffering for everyone.
During my early twenties, I despaired over my marriage due to the man’s ugly behavior and violent temper. My mother invited me to a church camp women’s retreat for the weekend.
We were not particularly close, but I thought it might give me some peace and distance from my tumultuous situation while visiting with her church friends.
The day before we left, I decided to dye my hair and the lighting in the old trailer was poor, so the color was questionable.
The next morning, she arrived to pick me up. I asked, “Mom, does this color look okay?” She said, “Yes, it looks fine.” Now, Inner Lady knew differently and so did my mother.
We arrived at the camp and were assigned a room for the weekend and as we were settling in, I went to the restroom. The mirror was large, and the lighting was bright and upon washing my hands, I stood there aghast at the result of my handiwork.
Now, I had dyed my hair many times, but this color was completely different than my original and it looked, well, like a clownish orange. Nowadays, I might have fit in okay since people wear purple, pink, and blue, but not at that time.
I exited the bathroom and said, “Mom, I wish you would have told me how bad this color really was. This looks terrible.” In the same situation, my response would have been, “I’m sorry about that. I didn’t want to hurt your feelings.”
If it was my child, I would have hugged her after apologizing and admitting to the fib and offered to drive to the store for a different color, case closed.
Instead, my mother ran out of the building crying in a childish rage. The situation turned from bad to worse and the peace I so desperately needed was not to be.
Lunch was being served as she ran into the dining hall creating a terrible commotion in fits of rageful tears to the pastor’s wife, who was sitting at a table. They had counseling sessions every week for a few years, so they were close.
I can’t vouch for what my mother said, but I feel quite certain she bore false witness, by blowing up the situation far worse than what it was. This made the pastor’s wife angry, along with her church friends.
Before I knew what happened, I was confronted by a bunch of angry women and who can state their case in a situation like that?
There I was, standing there with clown hair while they demanded I apologize to my mother for some terrible behavior that never happened, and a situation where I didn’t even understand what I was being accused of!
I refused to admit any wrongdoing, packed my travel bag (and this mother), and drove home. The incident left me shaken and stunned for days, added to the abuse I was already receiving, and I despaired that I ever agreed to go.
This enmity between myself and the pastor’s wife, along with her church friends, lasted for years. Bigger lies have worse consequences and trying to ruin someone’s character, whether consciously or not, creates suffering for the liar, as well as the person defamed.
It was cruel punishment from her ego for pointing out a little white lie, which then led to many more down the road. It becomes even more complicated when it’s a family member. After enough of these instances, a person grows suspicious of any kindnesses they may show later.
Protecting our life should also extend to those who may have good intentions but lack the wisdom to give good advice, as in this case. The pastor’s wife and friends should have calmed her down and if need be, approached me calmly and rationally.
If I was angry all the time (which I did have a long period of this through the healing process), I wouldn’t listen to the advice of someone who is typically quarrelsome. Neither would I listen to the advice of someone who sounded like Mary Poppins.
It’s difficult getting one’s anger under control, depending on the circumstances, and “giving it to God,” or “let go and let God,” is “Mary Poppins” advice, irrational, and doesn’t work.
Religion should teach principles more useful to help a person through difficulties. My whole life would have been filled with ecstatic living if Christianity had taught me a fraction of what I’m writing about.
Instead, I spent forty years in the wilderness, averting peril when the tiger didn’t appear too green or the stripes too pink, and other times, well, I wasn’t so fortunate since I wasn’t aware enough to see it coming.
The Black Lady Doctrines are meant for those who don’t want to “fly by the seat of their pants” through life and desire a set of principles that will aid them to live happy and fulfilled lives. It really is possible to be happy throughout life and every life!
Wise individuals would rather learn from those who have cleared the path ahead of them. Competent spiritual guides trod an arduous path through experience, with the awareness of ever-present danger, leading the way with love and wisdom to the goal.
Our first and foremost goal is happiness and fulfillment. Everyone seeks it, whether by positive or negative means. God made the soul in such a way that it isn’t possible to find lasting fulfillment in life, except through spiritual effort.
We can acquire all the objects that we desire, but when the objects disappear, so does happiness. This reliance on the external world for internal joy creates sadness and despair.
A person may suffer despondency when the person or object is no longer available and then search for someone or something else to fill the void. These attachments bring sorrow and suffering, pain and misery.
What we really want is The Great Escape where life is effortless and joyful! We can reach this place inside through wisdom in our daily actions. Each moment is a new beginning and the more we learn to navigate it well, the happier we become.
Through daily spiritual practices, our hearts become filled with joy and happiness with simple things we may never have valued before.
Our power of perception becomes more pronounced and increases our delight in the Intangible. Nature awakens the vibrancy of life within us with an overwhelming sense of awe and wonder!
Work doesn’t feel like an overwhelming load to carry and instead, time rolls by joyously.
Even the sound of thunder and the pitter-patter of rain brings delight to the heart, with the awareness of God’s Magnificent Power!
Everyone has the ability to experience these powers of perception and joy in ecstatic living. Let’s explore these abilities together as we delve deeper into the Black Lady Doctrines and discover the way of The Great Escape!