September Proverb: The one who knows himself, is kind to others
Do we know our dark side?
'The Legend of King Ape' talks about a Buddhist monk who undertakes a dangerous voyage carrying valuable manuscripts on his back. His fellow travelers were 'a monkey, a pig, and quicksand', symbolizing evil powers, our dark side. Dark is what is described as bad, where there is no light.
It is a tremendous undertaking to carry the burden safely across the mountains. We are continually confronted with dangerous situations. It comes as no surprise that during this adventure the negative forces undergo a change. They lead to new insights, they evolve, and in the end even become positive forces that ultimately save the monk. This is not brought about by the holy scriptures on his back but rather 'the desert the monk crosses'.
Each one of us, sooner or later, are confronted with difficulties that can be severe and lead to despair. Standing on 'quicksand', we call out and shout and discover that our belief alone is not strong enough. What remains is agony of doubt, desperation, a loud scream. Dark times leave their mark, but also lead to insight, because ...
The one who goes through his or her own darkness... ends with something.
He/she no longer 'prescribes' solutions for others, and no longer judges anyone according to their own personal standards. Such persons do not construct walls of 'my values' which divide, they are no longer caught in a bastion of 'my norms, standards, and criteria' that call for defensiveness. In short, they no longer stipulate what the norm is because they have experienced, while going through their own darkness, that they are accepted for what they are unconditionally. Because, notwithstanding their 'fellow-travelers', they were not condemned, but rather sustained, forgiven, and treated with compassion. The person who has experienced this also becomes compassionate and forgiving to others, it cannot be otherwise, because the one who knows himself, is kind to others.
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