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The Tao Not Taken (From One Master or Another)
One day, two youths chanced upon each other at a fork in a road, and as they were going in the same direction they walked together for a time. The youths began to converse and soon discovered that they were both devotees, but of different religious leaders. One of the youths was overjoyed to learn that his companion was aware of spiritual matters and quickly took the opportunity to recount his messiah's abilities and accomplishments.
"My Master is the most wonderful being in the universe," he said. "Never before, in all history, has there been one as great as he. He is at cause over all matter, energy, space, time, and life. He is completely free from overwhelm. He can leave his body at will and go wherever he pleases with full perception. He is impervious to radiation and has discovered the means by which his followers can survive even a nuclear war. He alone discovered the cause of all of mankind's problems and has given his followers the means to eliminate this cause. He has total recall of his past lives and has developed the only proven procedure by which others can have such recall. My Master continually opposes the enemies of mankind who threaten earth's future, and he has given his followers the means of detecting such evil beings. He controls an organization of great power and wealth which is bringing his message to mankind and eradicating man's enemies. He gives us knowledge and procedures for keeping marriages together and making families happy and productive. He is a great educator and has developed the most advanced study methods. He is a world traveler and has studied many different races and religions. He is a master horseman, a renowned explorer, a great film maker and writer. He cured his own war wounds and restored his own sight after being blinded. He was twice killed, and both times raised himself from the dead. He continues to research in the hidden recesses of the mind, far beyond what anyone previously even imagined existed. He, and he alone, has provided us at long last with the answers to the questions man has asked since time immemorial. He has discovered the only way by which man can be free, and he now exhorts us to bring his way to all men."
The youth then turned to his fellow traveler, who had been listening quietly, and asked, "And what does your master do?"
The other youth reflected briefly and said, "He eats when he is hungry and sleeps when he is tired."
December 1, 1983
© Gerry Armstrong http://www.gerryarmstrong.org