Symbols of the world's religions



Jean Adriel

One night, just before dinner, I had reached such a zenith of desperation that I left the house and again climbed into the mountains. Some of our family had encountered enormous snakes — which we had been told were poisonous — on their tramps through the wooded section; so into this part I hiked, hoping, praying that an obliging snake would relieve me from any further responsibility to this life.

As it became very dark and I became weary from climbing, I sat down in the woods and played with the thought of how sweet death would taste if it should suddenly come upon me there in the cool dark of night. "To cease upon the mid-night without pain," or even with it, seemed a most desirable fancy that night.

After about two hours of this eerie vigil I was compelled by some inner force to pick myself up and walk back to the house. With no sense of jubilation, but with the realization that a low-water mark had been passed, a new surrender plumbed, I trudged homeward. Life must be lived, not cowardly rejected. In spite of the anguish of soul; in spite of everything, I must go resolutely forward.

With this conviction I found my way home. As I approached our property, I heard the voices of search parties who were scouring the neighborhood for me. Humiliated and ashamed, I slunk in through a back lane without encountering any of the group. Stopping at the kitchen, I made apologies to our housekeeper for being absent from dinner.

The next morning when I saw Baba he never showed by even the flicker of an eye-lash that he knew of my escapade. But I was aware that he had been with me every moment in consciousness and knew even better than I the motivating causes of my reckless behavior.

That afternoon when I saw him again, as I knelt beside his couch, he took my head between his hands and poured upon it such healing balm that most of the anguish dissolved. Again he had proved himself the Master of consciousness who takes one to the breaking-point, but not one hair's breadth beyond that which the mind can, with safety, endure.

During this period he said to me once: "You think I am cruel." Feeling rebellious, I exclaimed: "You are cruel!"

"I must be temporarily cruel," he replied, "in order to be permanently kind." Then looking at me compassionately for a few moments, he added: "The day will come when even the memory of this pain will be completely obliterated by the all-consuming joy which will flood your soul."

When I remonstrated that the 'Night' was so long, he assured me that when daylight came everything I had borne would be seen to have been a thousand times worth while.

Illustrating another aspect of his dealing with souls, he said to me toward the end of the European visit: "I push you away, then I draw you close; again I push you off and draw you even closer; now I push you far away and the next time I draw you back to me it will be to remain one with my Universal Self, forever."


AVATAR, pp. 229-230
1947 © Jean Adriel


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