Excerpted from Dharma Path, March 5, 2019 (not yet published)
Aaron: You came into the incarnation to learn, so everything is a teacher. If you are caught in a habitual pattern that’s repeated over and over through this and even many lifetimes, then there’s no way to learn. You’re just repeating the same path over and over and over again.
Imagine a man who lives on one side of a swamp. It’s a big swamp. To go around it could take days. There’s no access to his car; his car is on the other side of the swamp, just 100 yards away. But to get to his car, he has to walk through the swamp.
In places, the paths are just below the surface. If he has rubber boots on he can walk through.
In places, there is deep mud and even quicksand.
The clear path is not straight across, but has to wrap around.
He has it fixed in his head, “I want to get there fast. I’m going that way.”
So he starts on the clear path, and then where it deviates he doesn’t curve with it. He’s suddenly up to his waist and up to his chest in mud.
He pulls himself out somehow. He gets himself over to his car. He goes off to work. He has a shower there—he showers, he dresses. He gets home; he says, “I’m not going to get caught in the deep mud again.”
But he’s impatient. He starts across, and he says, “No, I don’t want to go a few hundred yards out of my way and wander. I’m just going straight through. The mud won’t be there this time.”
And he keeps getting caught in mud. He’s living in denial.
Eventually, he’s going to have to accept the truth that in order to get from Point A to Point B, he’s going to have to go a little bit out of his way or he’s going to end up in deep mud.
The old, “I want it my way!” is a very challenging habit energy for him, because it keeps getting him caught in deep mud.
Take this literally or figuratively. How many of you keep getting caught in deep mud because you want it your way? And you’re not willing to walk around a bit, but you keep holding the delusion, “This time I’m going to be able to walk across.”
So we say, “Thank you, teacher,” up to our chest in mud.
We get ourselves out, we shower off, and we note: The path that I need to take goes this way around, and that will keep me dry and safe. I hold the intention to be dry and safe. I don’t have the ability to dry up the deep mud, but I do have the ability to see where the path is, just that much below the water and marked with little flags. I can follow that or not. I can choose wisely and with a loving heart, or I can choose according to my old habitual patterns, which are often self-destructive and lead to suffering.
How many times do you have to drown in the mud?
Going around the long way may be very safe, and then where is the learning?
I think the learning here will be, after you’ve gone around the long way a number of times, the idea comes in, “I’m going to fill in the swamp. There’s this pile of dirt from construction, and with my wheelbarrow I can carry it out and begin to fill in and create a dry path that goes straight across. I do it with love, not with fear.”
So, you’re not a slave to conditions. You respond in a wholesome way—in a loving way— to conditions and use your intelligence and your heart. This is where all the greatest discoveries of humankind have come from.
Think of something like the use of the wheel. People carting things and carting things, and somebody who saw something round and said, “Oh, that could roll. Oh, I know—I can attach this to a barrow and roll it! I don’t have to carry it.”
But can you see how that insight comes from a place of love? An openhearted, “I choose. I choose to make life more pleasant for myself and all beings, more wholesome. I choose joy. I choose ease. I choose spaciousness.”
Why not choose those things, when the choice comes from a loving place and not a place of fear and limitation?