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The Power Of The Mind

Running Lama, by Nicolas Roerich.

The mind is a powerful tool indeed. The most powerful one we have. I'd like to recount a tale told by the intrepid lady traveler Alexander David-Neel. She heard it whilst on pilgrimage in Tibet. I found a copy of this small volume of travelers tales in the Oxford Book Shop at Darjeeling's Chowrasta Mall way back in the 1980s and one story struck me very deeply. I can only retell this tale from memory as i no longer have the booklet to hand, but in any case a gist of the story clearly portrays the point i am trying to make. During the eighteenth century, when many caravans plied the ancient routes of the Silk Road, which passed through the Gobi Desert, travelers faced many troubles of which the extreme climatic conditions were not least. During one journey a merchant had acquired a very handsome hat. It was fur lined and had flaps that could be unfolded in cold weather to cover the ears. However one day during a particularly strong wind, this hat was suddenly snatched from his head by the icy fingers of the Gobi desert winds. This was a great misfortune indeed, to be without one's hat in such conditions was like parting with a dear friend. However during those days superstition often prevented the hapless traveler from trying to retrieve it. It was therefore tossed into the air like a leaf and caught up in the briers of some thorn bushes a short distance from the trail and yet still within view of it. There it remained through the coming days and weeks and months. Its appearance quickly diminished by the punishing combinations of wind, rain and sun. Each time a caravan went by, the travelers would notice it flapping oddly in the briers, like some strange devil that was lurking there and they would quicken their pace and hurry on, glancing back at the misshapen 'thing' nervously. Rumors began to circulate and spread through the various caravans moving back and forth along that route. Tales were told at night around crackling fires in the vast steeps of the Gobi desert. Tales of a wild 'thing' in the desert that was waiting to attach itself to the unwary traveler. One evening as the shadows of dusk were closing in, a caravan passed by that place, and it was said, that an unmindful traveler, who strayed a little near to the bushes where the 'thing' was lurking, suddenly shrieked with fright when he noticed a movement in the bushes. Where upon he took flight with the 'thing' following closely at his heels!

If one invests enough thought and energy towards something, even a seemingly inert object. That thought energy will invest it with a certain 'power'. Everything that we 'know' exists within our mind. Therefore it can also be seen that the key to 'happiness' is right there in the mind. Understanding the mind is a crucial stepping stone to understanding one's true nature.