An ancient teaching tale from the oneirion world created by ageless sentient creatures. NB The website was lost by godaddy and I have not had time to redo..
After breakfast, the group was magically taken to the flat top hill with its circular arrangement of granite seating. From the top of this hill, one had a spectacular view of the lush countryside and the Atlantic Ocean in the background. The sky was without clouds and the sun lite-up the greenery below. A small breeze was blowing out toward the ocean. Everyone chose a chair and Tristan began to speak.
“Last night, I promised to tell you a teaching tale about duty and obligation. I first heard, this tale many, many lives ago from my essence friend and benefactor, Gabriel Baaleyt. I have not mentioned him to you for a number of reasons, but I will tell you that he is a full Elf from the central universe of universes. Yes, Anne, elves really do exist. Here goes.
“A very long time ago, parents often brought their firstborn children to the Great Temple so to offer them to the Hierophants so to prepare them as scribes, physicians, counselors, and priests. Many came, but only a few boys and girls were accepted after knocking upon the pylon doors and presenting the child. It was a great honor if the Hierophants chose to take a child into Temple Service.
In order to be allowed to knock upon the pylon doors, children must be presented on their ninth birthday. The Hierophants would speak with the child in private and ask them simple questions and give simple tests. Afterward, they would vote, as to accepting them for a one year probation period. In order to qualify, all three Hierophants had to agree. This process had been conducted without interruption for untold centuries.
After the probation period concluded, every child who did not want to stay was allowed to return to his or her parents. Those desiring to remain must commit to Temple Service for another eight years. After the second atrium period concluded, every man or woman, who did not want to stay was allowed to leave. Those who desired to stay must commit himself or herself, by a solemn oath, to serve the Temple for the remainder of his or her natural life. Each understood that his or her future was now totally in the hands of the Hierophants. Only those chosen by all three senior Hierophants were allowed into the higher Work.
So the Hierophants voted as to whom they would accept unanimously. However, one young man was declined by two of the Hierophants and accepted by the most senior Hierophant. They discussed the pros and cons as to his qualifications. The senior Hierophant agreed that he was not the brightest student of the current lot, in fact, he was not so very bright at all. After much discussion, as to why the young man should not be rejected, the senior Hierophant exercised his personal privilege of accepting one student by fiat every five years–and the five-year period was ending in a few days and the Hierophant accepted the young man.
The senior Hierophant assigned the young man to the maintenance of the Temple and caring for the vineyard. The young man was happy to serve the Temple and performed his simple job very well. He did not care that he was not permitted into the higher studies for he was content to serve the Temple and its Hierophants. He was permitted to the Sunday lectures and he listened and thought about the messages most carefully. He asked simple questions and was given simple answers for everyone in the Temple liked their simple and unpretentious friend.
Many years passed and the young man was no longer young. His hair was grey and he used a staff to balance himself when he walked to tend his beloved vineyard. He had learned how to make fine wine which was sold and brought monies into the Temple coffers.
One summer day, the old priest saw that a large palm leaf had fallen upon the vineyard’s eldest and most productive grapevine. The grapevine has bent over and its trunk would soon break if something was not done. The old priest removed the palm leaf, scolding its parent for hurting the queen of all the grape vines. The old priest wrapped the trunk with wet clay and cloth. He tied a small rope to the trunk so to begin to straighten it.
The old priest walked to the vineyard two or three times a day so to keep the clay-cloth wet and adjust the rope. Eventually, the queen stood upright and regally greeted the sky above. The old priest was happy and glad he did what needed to be done.
That very night, the old priest passed through transition in his sleep. As his kesdjan body left his physical body, he was met by the old Hierophant who had passed many, many years previously.
The old priest was delighted to see his old friend saying, “Master, why have you come to guide me ?”
The old Hierophant replied, “Child, I am taking you directly to the Field of Reeds for your heart does not require to be weighed on the Divine Scales. Come, take my hand and we shall depart and board the Bark of the Dead and sail into the West.”
The old priest did not understand, “Master, I know I was never very wise and I know that I would have been denied service to my beloved Temple, if not for you. I am not a great and wise man as you, Master. I am just a simple and unimportant priest.”
The old Master just laughed, saying, “Child, our brethren know of a faraway Temple possessing much wisdom. They declare, Sreyan svadharma vigunah panadharmat svanustitat. In our tongue, it reads ‘ it is better to follow ones own destiny, even without merit, than to follow the destiny of another.’”
“Allow me to explain. Your destiny was to a simple one, to save the grapevine which has been with the Temple since its beginning. This grapevine was given as a present from the Sky-goddess to the Earth god so to symbolize their marriage for the benefit of all. If the grapevine had died so too would the Sky-goddess and Earth god and all would have been lost in our world. This is why you came to be, dear friend. It was your choice to save the grapevine or let it die. As you saved its life, the universe shall continue. This was your destiny. All who find and fulfill his or her destiny are above judgment. This is the Law for our destiny cannot be accomplished unless one places himself or herself under the Law of Love, Love directed by Wisdom. Come, Child, let us depart.”
And the old priest and the old Hierophant left for the Field of Reeds. And the old priest discovered he was not so simple anymore and was happy.”
Tristan stopped and wiped some tears from his eyes. He saw that everyone had shed some tears hearing the story and so knew that the message was clear to all. “Merlin, take us back home, please.”And home they went, each now possessing a more complete understanding of what is truly meant by ‘unselfish service to what is Higher.’