NOTE: I joined the Rosicrucian Order in 1971 and shortly afterwards began to attend Boston Lodge. In 1974, I returned to California and so was able to visit the Park frequently. I eventually became acquainted with many of the persons at the Park, including, the Supreme Grand Lodge officers.
I was in the Park one day enjoying the Rose Garden and Mr. Lewis saw me and came over to chat. After asking how the Studies were coming along, he told me an interesting teaching tale. I would like to share it with you as I think everyone with open eyes and ears will find it useful on his or her spiritual journey. Mr. Lewis began,
“A long time ago, a famous Monk lived alone in the forests of a particular mountain. He did not require much for he grew some millet and gathered berries and roots from the generous forest lands about his little home. He was so kind that around his home lived many animals and birds.
One day two young boys arrived in front of his home, one coming from the North and one from the South. The two lads did not know each other, but had heard of the wisdom and powers of the Monk.
Both begged to be allowed to stay and learn about all of Creation from the Monk. The Monk looked into each boys eyes, smiled and said, “As you wish so shall it be.”
As the years went by, the Monk saw that both young men were diligent in studying the Scriptures, tending the garden, and meditating.
However, the two boys were different in one important quality. The boy from the North was always arguing with the boy from the South and the Monk that such and such Scripture cannot be correct and such and such hypothesis arising from contemplation could not be correct. The boy from the North was most rigid in this thinking and behaviors.
Now, the boy from the South seemed to change his mind as to what the Scriptures meant and what meditation had showed him. One day, he spoke of Ishava, another day of pure Brahman, and sometimes he just made up new ideas all day.
The boy from the North use to tease him mercilessly about changing his mind so much. After many years, the boy from the South stopped responding to the boy from the North.
Then one beautiful day, the Monk took both young men to the forest to smell the flowers and chat. After everyone was sitted comfortably, he began to speak, “Dear Ones, I am leaving this world in a moment and both of you shall be alone. So now is the time for me to explain why I took both of you as students many years ago. For when we first met outside our little home, I saw a great difference between the two of you and I wanted to see what would happen if you were together.”
The two young men wanted to say something, but the Monk shook his head No. “So I have one last lesson to teach and I do hope it sinks into the boy who came from the North so long ago. But, I do have my doubts.
“For you see Dear Ones, you were both ignorant when you came first to me. Both of you studied diligently, but only one of you have any true understanding of the Eternal Teachings.
“For you see, I can teach an ignorant person, who wants to gain knowledge so to understand this Creation. If he or she studies, contemplates, and tests what I teach and what is in the Scriptures he or she has hope of enlightenment. But, to understand one must think and contemplate from many different points of view without worrying about whether any are the final truth. For in the end, no one seems to have the final answer.
In other words, enlightenment requires giving up much so you can gain just a little. Knowing just a little very well is actually knowing very much indeed.
“Boy from the South, you were once ignorant and now you are almost enlightened. Here is my sash as I want you to give that which has been passed from one teacher to another for as long as Creation has been.”
The Monk handed over the sash and the boy from the North started arguing. The Monk replied, “Boy, I can show a person how to overcome his honest ignorance, but it is impossible for me to show a stupid person the errors of his or her ways.”
And in a flash of light, the wise Monk vanished.
Mr. Lewis asked me what I thought of this story? I replied, “I am glad you told me this story, Mr. Lewis. Now, I know that I am only ignorant so I can work studiously to become a Rose-Croix.”
Mr. Lewis smiled.