The Big Test
Camps of "We"
Not long ago a group of young men and women became friends during the exciting beginnings of their individual quests for higher awareness. They enjoyed fellowship with one another very much and their heads swam delightedly in the new possibilities dawning in their lives.
Months passed. Some of the group began to be critical and unappreciative of their leaders and teachers who seemed to be much too calm and unexcited about the realities the young men and women were learning. The students took the apparent lack of enthusiasm on the part of their teachers and leaders to be a lack of vision. Several students in the group became very sarcastic and skeptical of their leaders' qualifications.
However, a few remained particularly appreciative and delighted with the quest. They also appreciated the maturity and great depth of knowledge they found in their teachers and leaders.
As time passed, the regular gatherings of the students degenerated into negative conversations in which many of the group intensely, or jeeringly, verbalized criticisms against their teachers. A number who had been on "The Path" only for a few months implied their personal enlightenment was already far superior to what they beheld in these "so-called" teachers and adepts.
On the night of the third explosive meeting, a number of students said, "These get-togethers are no longer pleasant or productive. We won't be back next week."
Arguments and denunciations flashed into the stormy atmosphere. Loyalties to the ideals of the Path were questioned. Some students stood accused of ignoring their consciences.
As offense and defense clashed, one aspirant who had been a seeker longer than the others, reached into his chest pocket for a small wallet which contained some pressed rose petals. The rose petals symbolized the vow of love he'd made during his initiation into specific techniques for attaining higher consciousness. He clutched the little wallet with intensity. His fingers turned white from the pressure of his grip. He smiled and gazed at each person in the group with concern and love. Unlike some of the persuasive critics, he was not an extroverted talker. He took a deep breath and spoke up. He had to repeat the name of the main dissenter several times to get his attention. When all the students turned to him in surprise, he smiled at them and said, "Well, we've talked about the faults of others. Now let us talk about our faults."
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