Once upon a time a king had an only son a Prince who was young, courageous, skillful and intelligent. So the king sent his son away to see a Wise Old man to open his mind to
He sent the Prince to meet the Wise Old man. As he met the old man he pleaded “Enlighten me as to the path in life I should take.” The Wise man replied, “My words will only vanish like footsteps in the sand” However, the Wise man said I will give you some instructions on your path; you will come across three Gates. Read the sayings on each of the Gates. Follow the pathway to discovery. You will be overwhelmed during the journey. But do not seek to turn back, for you will be condemned to live again and again that which you had run away from all your life. I can not say any more. It is time you must follow the road, right ahead of you. As the Wise elder departed, and the Prince started walking on his journey on the Path of Life. The Prince soon came across the first large gate on which he read:
“CHANGE THE WORLD”
This is precisely what I intended to do, thought the Prince. But, he started its first struggle. Driven by ideal, his passion and his strength pushed him to be confronted with the world, he undertook, conquered, replicated reality to his desire. He experienced the pleasure and the exhilaration of the conqueror, but his heart was not at rest. He managed to change certain things but others would not give way. Long years went by.
One day, he met the Wise Old Man who asked him: "What did you learn on the path?"
The Prince replied. I learned what was in my power and what was beyond my power. Thus I now see what things I had influence in and things beyond my control. Well done, said the Old Man. Use your strength to act upon on what you can. Forget about what is beyond you. And the old man vanished. As the Prince continued on his journey. Sometime later, the Prince came across a second gate. One could read on it:
This is precisely what I intend to do, thought the Prince. And he rose against all that could upset or displease him in his fellow being. But he struggled to alter their minds, and correct their faults. Many more years went by. One day, as he was meditating on the failures of his attempts to change others, he came across the Wise Old man and he asked him: "What did you learn on the path?" The Prince replied. That other people are not the source of my joys or sorrows, my achievements or failures. They are only there to make me aware. "You are right, said the Wise Man.” Though what they awaken in you, they made you aware of yourself. Be grateful towards those who make you feel joy and pleasure. But be also grateful to these who hurt and frustrate you for through them Life Teaches you. And the Old Man vanished. A little time after, the Prince came across a Third Gate. One can read on it:
The Prince paused a moment to himself and said…. “If I am myself the cause of my problems, this is that I have to do." And he started his third struggle. He tried to inflect his character, to fight his imperfections, to remove his defects, and change every thing which didn't correspond to his ideal. After many years of struggle during which he was at times successful at times defeated, the Prince met the Wise man again. The old man asked the Prince "What did you learn on the path?"
The Prince replied. That there are some things that can be improved, others which resist and can't be changed.""Well done," said the Wise man. The Prince replied “I'm getting weary of fighting against myself. Won’t this ever end? When will I be at rest? I wish to stop fighting and give up and let go."The wise old man said. “This happens to be your next lesson.”
But before going any further, turn around and look back at the way you have already walked And the Old Man vanished. As he looked back, the Prince saw in the distance the 3rd gate and realized that one could read a different message on the back of the gate and it read:
The Prince wondered why he hadn't noticed this inscription when it had crossed the gate the first time, in the opposite direction."When one is fighting, one becomes blind, he said to himself." He also saw, spread on the ground around him, every thing he had rejected and fought within himself: his faults, his dark side, his fears, his limits, and all his old demons. He then learnt how to recognize them, accept them and love them. He learnt how to love himself without comparing himself, judging himself, blaming himself. He came across the Wise Old man who asked him: What did you learn along the path? The Prince replied " That to hate or refuse part of myself was to condemn myself never to be at peace within myself. I learned how to accept myself, completely and unconditionally." Well done, said the wise Old Man, it is the first stage of Wisdom. Now you go through the 3rd gate again." Just as he had reached the other side of the gate, the Prince saw the back face of the second gate and it read:
All around him he recognized the people he had met in his life; those he had loved, those he had hated, those he had helped, those he had fought. But to his surprise, he was now unable to see their faults, which had disturbed him so much, and against which he had fought so much He came across the Wise Old man who asked him. "What did you learn on your path?" The Prince replied. That if I were in peace with myself, I would have nothing to blame others for, nothing to fear of them I have learned to accept others totally and unconditionally." "Well done, said the Wise Old man, It is the second stage of Wisdom. Now you can go through the 2nd gate again
Just as he had reached the other side of the gate, the Prince saw the back of the first gate and it read:
"ACCEPT THE WORLD."
That is strange, he thought, "Why didn't I see the inscription the first time?“ He looked around him
and recognized the world he had tried to conquer, transform, and change. He was hit by an awe the brightness and the beauty of all things. And yet it was the same world as it used to be. Had the world changed, or his perception of it changed? He came across the Wise Old man and asked him.
"What did you learn on your path?" The Prince replied….. “That the world is the mirror of my soul. That my soul, my heart does not see the world, but sees itself in the world. “…. “…When it is cheerful, the world seems merry. When it is gloomy, the world seems sad. The world is neither merry nor sad. It just is; that is all.” … It was not the world that was troubling me, but the IDEA I had of it. I accepted to accept it without judging it, to reckon, unconditionally This is the 3rd Wisdom, said the Old Man. “You are now at grace within yourself & others in the World." A deep feeling of peace, serenity and fulfillment overwhelmed the Prince. Silence was within him.