Once there was a young man named Phillip who considered himself to be a gallant and noble gentleman. He loved to attend gala events and to promote himself as a knowledgeable and important person. He fancied himself to be quite a ladies’ man and a gentleman even though he had no noble lineage to speak of. He actually came from an impoverished background where he determined, at a very young age, to rise out of those meager circumstances and travel in the company of nobility.
Phillip had no idea at the time he began his excursions into high society that he was giving up his Soul. The values that sustained him and kept him grounded as a child were being set aside to meet his goal of circulating in society’s upper strata. He found he had to cheat and lie, and misrepresent himself constantly, in order to gain acceptance and approval from those whom he so ardently admired. For their part, these members of the so-called “elite” had little interest in Phillip, only to the extent that he might be useful in some surreptitious fashion, or that he might provide some distracting amusement. More often though, he was considered a pest, a simple irritant who had gained some measure of notoriety that could occasionally be useful.
Phillip had no idea that he was held in such low regard. His vision of himself had his so-called status quite elevated. In his mind, he saw himself as well received by the nobility and as having achieved his goal of recognition and acceptance in this world of the elite where he aspired to reside.
One day, when Phillip was again trying to impress another group from the upper class, he came upon a woman who immediately captivated him and drew his attention. Phillip did not notice at the time, but at the very moment of this encounter, all about him had come to a standstill. The people he had been talking to were now frozen in time, while he, unaware, was fixated on this lovely creature who had just stepped up to him. While he stood there, transfixed, the woman looked him in the eye and began to speak.
“You, sir, are a thief. You are a scoundrel and ne’er-do-well. You do not belong in this society. And you do not merit the recognition that you are seeking from these people. You are simply a phony. Not because you were born into lesser circumstances, but because you misrepresent who you actually are. You are not true to your “Self.” Therefore, you cannot be a noble person.”
Phillip was dumbfounded. He could not speak. He could only stare in stunned silence. This woman saw right through him. Who was she to be so blunt? How did she happen to be here on this day? And why had she chosen to challenge him in front of these individuals he was again trying to impress?
The woman looked at him with an eerie smile. “Look closely at me, Phillip. Do you not recognize me? I AM YOUR SOUL! I am here to remind you of who you are. I have come to you today to disarm you and to alert you to the dangers of the path you have embarked upon. You are at great risk of losing your Self altogether. These external circumstances are not you. They are simply a distraction, a trick of mirrors designed to lead you astray. You have only one task in life and that is to find your True Self. There is no other purpose. You wander around this plane getting yourself into all kinds of trouble, believing that your purpose is here or there, believing that you need this or that, hoping to be so special as to be excluded from the normal fate of man.”
“You are deluded, my friend. Does anybody really know you? Has anyone seen that deepest Self of yours that lies within? Have you looked inward lately to review your life and your place in it? Then you cannot be truly satisfied, no matter how hard you try, because you are living a lie. Where is your truth, Phillip? Is it in these games you play? Is it in these little deceptions you designed to help you gain access to these so-called noble realms? Where are your close ties? Who loves you, Phillip, other than me? Who indeed knows you well enough to love you? No, my friend, you have wandered down a blind alley, where there is no love and no salvation. In pursuing these goals you have in fact moved away from your “True Self.” You are instead prisoner to some unmet need from your past and you are trying to fill it externally. You believe that these special people and their privileged circumstances have something to offer you that you need. Has this in fact happened? Has your gnawing inner desire been met by these outward pursuits?”
Phillip had to turn away and avert her eyes. He could no longer stare at this woman who had completely unmasked him. She posed so many questions that went straight to the core of his Being. She was challenging him. He felt undressed and awash in shame. He had indeed abandoned his “True Self.”
“You are a fallen angel,” she went on to say “and you have lost your way. Come with me now and let’s see if we can restore your life to a healthier state. Forget everything you have taught yourself to this point, for you have deluded yourself with all manner of false beliefs. First of all, there is no outer world to speak of, other than what acts as a mirror to your inner experience. So who are you trying to impress? If you feel lost in the outer world it is because you are disconnected from your Self on the inside. Secondly, there is no other purpose to life than to learn about your inner Self as you interact with the world around you. External circumstances are there to cast light on this inner dwelling Self and help you restore it to its proper place, at the center of your being.”
“This Self speaks directly to who you are. Everything around you is just window dressing, props for the great drama of life. How easily does one become blind to this? Not so long ago, when you were a child, you reveled in the glory and wonder of nature. Your Self was who you were then, plain and simple. As the outer world began to take up more of your energy and attention you lost sight of that primal reality. You soon began to pursue what you thought were worthy goals in the outer world and set your Self aside in the process. Now, here you are, alone, living in the circumstances that you most admired, trying to believe you are happy. Yet you have no companion with whom to share this so-called happiness. Your only lover is this illusion that you cling to and which requires daily reinforcement lest it crumble before your eyes, much as it did today when I confronted you. Do you see how fragile an illusion can be?”
“Your Self now, well that’s another matter. Your Self is your inner light and is unshakable because it knows only one truth which is derived from the Eternal and your Divine center. It is from this special place, located at the core of your being, that you can truly say - I AM – and be accurate in the most fundamental sense.”
“There you have it, my dear Phillip, your essential Self is here returned to you. Get to know who you truly are. You may go on with your illusion, if you wish, or, you may take this Self that is your Divine birthright and express it to the best of your ability. Know this now, and forever. There can be no substitute for the truth of whom you are, no distraction and no replacement. This Self is who you are and is your direct link to your Soul. Let me repeat that – the direct link to your sacred Soul. Do you understand me, my dear friend? Can you see how important this is? Then go forward and honor the True You at your core. You have no other task in this life. The time has come for you to get focused.”
With those last words echoing in Phillip’s head, the woman vanished, and he was left to ponder what had been said and what this meant for him. A call had been issued, a powerful but loving admonishment. Phillip had been challenged to awaken and be true. He knew it was up to him. He had two paths before him. One he knew well and had taken him to this crisis. Another now beckoned, suggesting other worldly experiences, opportunities to grow and discover more about his true Self.