This is a story about becoming lost on the journey from Gethsemane to Calvary. It is not about anyone in particular, but about mankind in general, represented by a man who once left the safe House of his Father to find the pearl that was given along with life, during the act of creation by the Father.
That man descended into the world of matter. He then forgot his divine origin, the pearl hidden deep within his being, which, if found, could reconnect him to the Father, freeing him from his ever-repetitive mistakes and sufferings.
Man as a created being, could not comprehend the Father, could not grasp the weight, power and complexity of the work of creation. In order to gain this awareness, he had to experience all aspects of the Plan. Therefore, he went away to experience and comprehend and… then fell in love with the ephemeral forms of the world of matter. Instead of searching within, he plunged into contemplation of the fleeting beauty and apparent knowledge of finite and temporal things. Admiring individual shapes, he forgot the grandeur, strength, harmony and completeness of the world of unity, where the binder is Love, flowing from everywhere to everything and everyone, thus nullifying divisions, limitations and all impossibilities.
Let us look at the painting, created at the turn of the 20th century, by English painter John William Waterhouse, which is an illustration of the Greek myth of Narcissus and Echo.
In it we can see the situation of man, represented by Narcissus. A man who lost his way because he was stopped by his worship of the material body, things limited by shape and impermanence. This man fails to see the nymph Echo, an allegory of divine Love, waiting for his gaze and ready to sacrifice herself to free him from his limitations and oblivion.
And although we know the sad end of the mythical story, in which Narcissus, blinded by his madness, falls into the water and drowns, still we are left with hope. We see this hope in the figure of the immortal nymph who offers help, who waits until the Narcissistic-man turns his eyes from material things upwards to see the true, eternal world, the World of the Spirit.
This is how Love, which has little to do with limited earthly love, came down with man in the beginning and waits patiently, until he awakens from his blindness and comprehends where he has come from, and why he is here.
So, it is also a story of limitless, perfect Love, which is everywhere and in everything. This Love is a force that transcends boundaries, including, and perhaps above all, the boundaries of the world of death.
The world of existence of a being who has bidden farewell to eternity, in exchange for the reality of appearances and illusions. Because of the impulses flowing from the hidden pearl in the heart – the pre-remembrance from the world of the Spirit, perfect and unlimited in its essence, he does not perceive, or does not want to perceive, the limits of his existence. Therefore, man lives as if he were immortal, as if he could do anything, and most often awakens from his blindness just before his end, when it is too late to change.
The Love that waits however, offers itself actively, and that is why fate seems so cruel. That is why there are diseases and wars. All this is so that man awakens in time to realize that he has forgotten his true home, instead of accepting the shadows as real, that is, as if they were eternally permanent. He confuses temporary existence with eternal life in the Light of Love that is in unity with everything.
To make man open his eyes and see his limitations, Love is present and awakening. It knocks at the gates of our minds. It shows! It gives signs! It wants to lead back…
But man sleeps, lulled by the illusory hope of happiness; he does not want to toil. Instead, he desires goodness, justice, beauty and peace, obtained without effort. He desires to sleep in pleasure and amusement, but still, if it were only for the imperfection of matter. Perhaps it could even be transformed, fixed, freed from death?
Then the world of transience, created through our transgression of eternal Love, becomes an impassable wall. Man is hit by misfortune, illness, loss, pain, and suffering, which give him the opportunity to finally awaken from his oblivion, to mature to a recognition of the true nature of the material world.
For awakening requires, at the same time, an extreme weakening of our ‘ego’. For it continues to create illusory, unreal images – like reflections in a mirror of water – that obscure the true nature of the world of matter, whose signature is disintegration in time. Only when the ‘ego’ sufficiently weakens, so that it stops creating appearances and illusions, can one remember and even experience the touch of another life. A life that is unlimited by anything, and therefore imperceptible. One can finally understand that true life is born from the eternally burning fire, from the Spirit, and not from the decaying, temporal matter of this world.
This is how suffering becomes a blessing, because by pulling man out of the illusions in which he has locked himself through love of what is mortal, it leads him back to his place of origin. ‘Space’, where there are no limitations, but only free growth in the Light.
So, suffering has its important role in the plan of human salvation, for it is the gateway that leads to freedom and fulfilment of the world of spiritual souls. Paradoxically, it is not pleasure and happiness that lead to awakening, but inner suffering, the suffering of the soul.
And paradoxically, from this point of view, humanitarian pursuits can contribute to more harm than good. Because the effects of such activities are, without exception, impermanent, and at the same time they can deprive a person of the chance to awaken and develop, that is, to enter a higher spiral of consciousness.
In the end, it is a story about Divine Love, for the goodness of this world is always tied to evil, and cannot rise above it. As Mephistopheles notes in Goethe’s “Faust” (Part I): “I am part of that power which eternally wills evil and eternally works good”.
Without the suffering caused by everything we commonly consider bad in life, we would not be able to recognize the ‘Good’. To understand that the Good is Life, Eternal existence, and that our ‘good’ condition depends on the well-being of every living being. For at this invisible, spiritual level, everything is interconnected.
However, it is often difficult for mankind to accept its own evil. As long as, like Narcissus, we see only ourselves in all material forms, as long as we want them to make us happy, so that we are the ones who individually benefit from them, we cannot accept everything that fate brings in its duality of good and evil.
Help always comes from Divine Love; man only needs to exhaust himself in his individual ‘wanting’ and attachment to the material world. Consciousness must return to Oneness, it must begin to perceive in the happiness of everyone and everything its own good. Consciousness must become like water that has no boundaries, in which everything flows unhindered everywhere and from everywhere. Like water that cannot be overcome, because it flows around everything and nothing can permanently stop it. For eternity is the Life of uninterruptedly flowing energy of All-Consciousness, Love and Oneness.
Finally, let us consider one more difficulty, namely, how to achieve unity with a despised and condemned being – the abuser? Is it possible to accept unconditionally the monstrosity of evil? We can accomplish this by forgiving. But how do we forgive?
This is made possible by the realization that none of us is truly the master of our fate. That we are not free beings, but conditioned by accumulated karma, our unconscious life. Would anyone want to become a despised outcast if they could choose? It helps to truly know one’s own nature. Finding within oneself also the condemned inclinations that, fortunately for us, can be suppressed without consequence. And finally understanding that without this suffering caused by the executioner, the memory of another life, another perfect world, would not have awakened.
In the end, all that is left is the power of True Love – a Love that embraces everything, including what is weak and imperfect. If, for this powerful force, we turn away from what is transient and dual, we become part of this powerful force of Love, which is still waiting for us to open up and long for a total transformation.
Narcissus, see Echo, and you will live forever.
Man will finally take the right path from Gethsemane to Golgotha to connect with the Spirit.