Being able to Choose
by Athos A. Altomonte
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Q : Athos, from today I feel less lonely, your words encouraged and urged me to continue my journey...I would like to ask you another question: what do you mean by expert guide to point out the ‘goodness' of our thoughts...or rather, where can we find a suitable person? ...I have just approached esotericism but I have already realized that there are people who don't even know its true meaning, actual ‘charlatans' or frauds...and I really wouldn't like to meet ‘one' of them....Love, S.
A : Dear Friend, this is quite an issue and yours is a very good question! Just these days someone was talking about ‘Labyrinth'. The ‘Labyrinth' is the symbol that best represents the ‘trials' that we all have to face during all our life. The meaning commonly given to the word ‘trial' is to face a difficult or hostile event. Therefore the semantic interpretation should be the world: overcoming! But it is not exactly so.
Very few people believe that in esotericism nothing is what it looks like , whilst most people trust appearances with the result of confusing their own ideas.
This small but great rule is systematically ignored, giving far too much importance to form (language) and appearance (meaning). It is true that the trial must be overcome; but it must be identified first. And it is not always clear and strong, dramatically hostile or terrible. It is almost never so. Therefore we often fail! The trial sometimes slips away from us and we ignore it or underestimate its features because we are too busy in other matters. Therefore it goes behind our backs, scores a goal and…done! Damn!
Afterwards, we'll say that we didn't even notice. Therefore we need to give another meaning to ‘Labyrinth' too. Indeed its priority is not facing but choosing . Choosing is a light, sometimes unperceivable action, whose consequences are often ignored; therefore many errors of judgment are made. This is the core of your question. How can I choose if I don't understand? But believe me; the trial consists of the choice!
Many people look but they don't always see. They look up and down, in front and behind them but never at themselves. Perhaps they are able to look far away but then they fall in the ditch under their feet. The choice is the present, the direction is the future and they are both important; not one first and the other later but at the same time (synchronicity between will and action, some Masters say). Many people start but just as many get lost because of the wrong choice. These are the people who consider themselves Travelers but they keep going round and round, wandering in the fog of astral swamps together with other victims. Victims of ‘sirens'? This alibi is too easy: the flesh is weak, man is weak!
No, there's no room for easy self-pity. We are the makers of our condition and if we become sacrificial victims it's all due to ourselves, our decisions, our choices. Does it depend on chance or incapacity? Often it depends on the lack of humbleness. I call it cunning modesty , to steal from more capable people by using eyes and ears. A little experience is sufficient to distinguish a fraud from a competent person. Look carefully: the former always tries to sell himself and his own merits, whilst the latter doesn't try to sell anything. Indeed, for him stopping to help you is a dutiful but hard act, to be performed well but quickly, so that he can continue his journey that appears to be long and difficult and you can see the tiredness in his eyes. The fraud, on the contrary, is chatty, has lots of time to spare, he doesn't go anywhere. He is still and permanent. He frequents dives of stale devotionalism, he wears the clothes of the initiate; he doesn't smell of spirit but rather of alcohol.
Therefore be able to choose; give yourself time. Wait, look, evaluate and consider carefully. Compare what you are told (or imposed, as it has already happened to you) with the historical fragments that you can treasure. Overlap the present (said or done) with the continuum of knowledge of the humankind, because any level of humankind, from the most vulgar to the most spiritual, leave behind a trace of their passage. It is an unmistakable trail, like that of snails. The main thing is not to confuse them; find the right one and follow it.
If you are not able to do so, ‘choose' your guide and follow it with discipline, even when you don't understand, because trust helps the willing. Then, if what you see or feel finds an answer in your heart (the feeling that it tightens or opens up) accelerate and never turn left or right.
Focus on the goal and don't ever stop to listen to the chat of the timewasters lounging on the side of the road. Those are the sirens of ‘trouble shared is trouble halved'. Therefore, as Dante says: ‘Let us not speak of them, but look and pass'.