Β24. The non-essentials and their essence.
During the cultivation of this feeling of shaking off the ballast, the mind receives great help by the mental attitude taught to him by his Master many years ago, that everything is non-essential, that is to say devoid of true essence. At that time, he had prompted him to take a blank notebook and fill it with the word “non-essential”, in order to realize that none of the things that had been grieving him was worth all this grief.
That exercise was a lifeline for the mind. He grasped it firmly with both hands, and for one week he was writing and writing and writing ceaselessly. The longer he was writing, the more his breast filled with joy. He was excited with the solution which had been given to him and which finally proved to be unexpectedly simple.
At the beginning, he was writing only the word “non-essential”, as his Master had told him to do. However, he soon felt the inner need to also write down his stress-causing thoughts which were visiting him while he was writing, thus recognizing that all his problems were, in fact, non-essential. For example, he wrote: “it is non-essential what such and such person is going to think as he sees me now writing like crazy in the presence of so many people”; “it is non-essential whether I will find the courage to talk to that beautiful girl”; “it is non-essential to be anxious that I might be considered egotistic and arrogant because I am now thinking that the others do not know how to liberate themselves as effectively as I know by doing such a clever and simple exercise like the one I am doing right now”.
In this way, the mind took a good portion of the joy which is inherent in the mere confession of anxieties and weaknesses, which automatically and unforcingly begets their immediate relinquishment. By this intervention, my Master then gave my mind a first taste of how beautiful it is to surrender his thoughts to where they really belong to, to wit to God, to stop
I harbor deep gratitude for my Master for that opening he made to my mind that day. He certainly knew that what he offered me was not only an exercise which would merely make me feel better. In fact, by this simple exercise a window was opened for me, which I had not even imagined to exist before, a spiritual window to freedom, that is to say to the liberation from the mind’s boundaries. My Master, I thank you.
The mind does the same exercise often ever since, whenever he sees that he got lost again and took things too seriously.
One week after that meet with his Master he visited him again and read out to him a part of what he had written. At some time, the Master interrupted him and said: “Well done! Now that you have understood that everything is non-essential and that nothing is worth to grieve about it, you may start writing which is the real essence of things and come again after one week”.
The mind did not like this at all, and for this reason he did not go to his Master for a long time, for months. The goofball slipped away. No sooner had he been relieved from a burden than he was asked to carry it again; this is what he thought.
Many years have now passed and he has learned that all difficulties in life, both outer and inner, arise for him for one and only reason: to learn how to overcome them, thus becoming increasingly free and strong. The same also applies for all pleasures and conveniences: they are given to him to learn that they are not eternal and that, if he wants to obtain freedom and permanent joy, he will need to carve them out within himself, methodically, with love and forbearance.
“Perhaps the essence of all is this very lesson, perhaps not; maybe the essence changes from time to time, depending on the evolution stage at which I happen to be each time. Hence, let me not persist to find the essence here and now; instead, let me rather do what will do good to me, to wit what will make me feel better and more free”, thinks the mind now.