The “Quo Vadis?” Mandala. [An extract about the importance of choices from the book “The Milk Is White”]
It is said that we should love our neighbour as we would love ourselves, and that we should not do to others what we would not like done to us. That these two standards of conduct are the main teachings of all major ‘religions’ is fact but, to us, it is what others such as Jesus, the Buddha, Muhammad, Krishna, Baha’u’llah and numerous others said, and we take little or notice. This attitude conveniently distances us from responsibility in this regard and we can, therefore, go on our merry way. However, if we pay heed to what our conscience tells us so often; if we stop to listen when we hear it speak, we will realise that what it is telling us is precisely what is said in the paragraph above.
In other words, we have it in us but we just do not want to hear. When Jesus was asked why he spoke in parables he said, ” ….. because they listen but do not hear.” Not hearing, or not wishing to hear, is so true of most of us and is due to our evolutionary state. When our individual time is right we will hear and resume, or quicken, our progress.
In physics every action has a reaction and, similarly, every action has a reaction in what we think or do. Every moment of our waking life we think or act, the act being the result of thought or instinctive, in a way that affects us and others. We have, therefore, the capacity within us to live up to these fundamental precepts of life – a plurality that can be defined in the singular as Love but there is no one to steer our boat but ourselves. It is we who must choose.
Some of us, due to our upbringing, personality, or simple lack of thought, are not aware of good or bad acts, but we can learn by noticing our own responses to the acts of others and their effect on us or others.
We all have a conscience, be it a small suppressed one, a large one in a thoughtful mind or one somewhere in between; and we all have the capacity to free ourselves from the fetters that bind us and prevent us from being better people.
This mandala symbolises:
- By the candle flames at the bottom and top, the inherent good that we have in us and that which we can attain.
- By the south/north line, the spiritual path we will complete sooner or later.
- By the chain, the previous lives we have lived in the quest for full enlightenment.
- By the central light, the light we possess within us to decide in which way to act in every situation, in thought, word or deed.
- By the radiating lines, the direction we choose each time.
It is, therefore, a reminder to us that it is we, and only we, who steer our course. Unused it is worthless; used, it is worth the extent of its use.
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