Upon a bench Yama and I sat quietly watching the coy swimming in the man-made pond. An ankh and a purple sphere overlooked the small waterfall trickling into the pool. We were sitting in a sanctuary dedicated to Isis, a temple to the Egyptian goddess stood behind us.
DISCIPLE: Yama, I find it ironic that we have come here to talk about the Commandments Moses was given after escaping Egypt.
|Akhenaton. Janaka Stagnaro|
YAMA: What applies to outside Egypt applies as well to inside. Sometimes it takes one to get out of civilization, to go into the wilderness, to come to right understanding.
DISCIPLE: True. However, what I was referring to specifically was the vehemence that Moses had had towards the goddess. After all, he did come down the mountain and soon ordered thousands of her worshippers slaughtered!
YAMA: I was indeed busy guiding away souls then. Yet be careful, nothing is ever as it seems to our senses. Great forces were present there, stirring up pools of energy that had become stagnant. Just as this pond here that we sit next to would quickly become covered with scum, choking the fish within eventually, if the waterfall ceased; so too does this happen to civilizations, religions, movements and individuals when new impulses are not allowed to stream in. When this stifling occurs it sometimes takes an unleashing of a dam that can appear very violent.
I looked at the waters trickling in the pond and visualized the stream stopping and the growing of the algae, and the sad plight of the fish. And while the algae is as much part of life as the fish, for this time and in this place, the living slime is a symbol of stagnation and decay, while the fish and their potency is the symbol of dynamic life; and that it would be right action to destroy the algae by whatever action to save the fish.
My being shuddered at the truth of this vision, for how many megalomaniacs with their armies would love to claim that they were doing God’s Will as they slaughtered millions?
For a while we sat in the joyful tinkling of the waterfall, until two workers on the grounds began yelling at each other. My immediate thought was one of judgment—for should they not be following the Ideals of Ma’at, to keep their emotions balanced?
YAMA: So, what is the Ninth Commandment, for I believe that is where we’re at?
DISCIPLE: Thou shall not falsely accuse thy neighbor.
YAMA: Are you not falsely accusing your neighbors right now?
DISCIPLE: I am accusing them of falling short of the precepts of their order. However, am I really falsely accusing them?
YAMA: Do you even know that they are of this order or are you assuming?
DISCIPLE: I must admit that I am assuming.
YAMA: With that accusation, that assumption, you have cut your mind off from God. You were sitting here in the Peace of Existence until your mind took charge, and wielding its sword of condemnation, you turned into these people’s finger-wagging parent. And what happened to your peace?
DISCIPLE: I lost awareness of it.
YAMA: The same goes with your accusation of Moses committing genocide, that is based on only what the senses experience and then the mind extrapolating a moral judgment. This, like with most accusations, does not constitute right understanding.
DISCIPLE: Surely there exist proper accusations against those who are dong ill to others, such as with tyrannical leaders or criminals to name only a few? Without accusation many of our social reforms, such as women’s rights or the civil rights movement, would never have come to pass.
YAMA: Indeed there is proper action to stand up against harmful actions and stagnant energy; but to judge your neighbor by those actions brings only suffering to you and your neighbor. You can never know all the reasons, the circumstances that have led any person to act as heinously as they do. Priests and psychoanalysts may give some reason or two as to the cause, but do they really have that all-knowing wisdom? Only those with utmost arrogance could claim so. To see the whys of the way of people one would have to see with purest of eyes, unblemished by any faults. That is why Jesus challenged anyone to cast the first stone at the prostitute if they were free of error. And what human has not erred?
|Relationship, Janaka Stagnaro|
Most people accuse because they are desperately trying to end their own suffering by finding causes of suffering out there, by finding fault with others instead of seeing their own. By making the world free of those bad people out there, by the eradication of all the world’s wrongs, then peace and happiness will come. Or so they think.
But it can never happen that way. The cause of suffering and happiness both lie within. Thus, accusing your neighbor, finding fault in him, keeps you from the Truth of seeing the Whole picture, and thus keeps your awareness from God.
If you really want to help your neighbor and make your world an amazing neighborhood, love him as he is, seeing beyond all his frail actions; so you and he can stand in the Truth of your Infinite Being where I cannot touch you as death.
And like the waterfall pouring oxygenated waters into the pond, so too did Yama’s words fill my soul. I sent the two arguing people the thought that they were perfect as they were and that they were loved. And with that thought I felt again the Oneness I was part of and was; and did not notice when the argument had stopped.
-- The Teachings of Yama: A Conversation with Death, Addendum I