Q. If enlightenment is the top of a flight of stairs, and every step that we take up the staircase is a level of awakening, can we mistakenly think that we are already awakened because we have made some progress and now see things differently?
A. That is very likely. Let’s suppose that you go to London from Manchester on foot. You have little information about London and the way to it because you have never been there. You make your trip with a few maps through a lot of trial and error since you don’t know how to read the maps correctly. During your trip, you come to face new circumstances and scenery as you move towards your destination, or sometimes away from it.
Once in a while, you may encounter unexpected terrible and apparently difficult obstacles and sometimes breath-taking scenery. Whatever strange or dangerous looking situations you may be faced with, you should not be scared of them or shy away from your journey. However beautiful and attractive the situations that you may come across seem, you should not be lured into wasting time enjoying them.
Especially when you come across a city that looks very large to you, you are very likely to be tempted to conclude that you have finally reached your final destination because you don’t know exactly what London is like and how huge it is, even though you have heard a lot about London. In fact, there are many people who fail to reach the goal because they don’t surmount this situation.
Ancient masters would compare this situation to serving a thief as one’s father.
When you think that you have reached the destination, you had better ask the people who already live there whether you have arrived at the right place. Therefore, you need to have an interview with masters who are already there so that you can get your practice checked when you think you have made some progress.
All writing ©Boo Ahm. All images ©Simon Hathaway http://ow.ly/i/x4Sg8