So you are sitting in the dark in this space. You are practically engulfed in shadows. That doesn’t really bother you. Because you know nothing but the shadows and darkness. You don’t even know where you are, what type of room this is. That doesn’t seem to matter either. You are just comfortable being in this dark room, just kind of lying there. Then suddenly some sorta light comes out. Your whole view of the room changes. You start seeing things you never knew existed before. You get all excited and want to explore your environment, the room, your surroundings. You have just started exploring the room that a menacing shadow appears on the wall. At first you don’t mind it. You let it be. You go on exploring, carefully avoiding the area that the dark shadow is covering.
You are like its no big deal really. I have lots of room to play with. I am not gonna worry about the damn shadow. I just avoid it at all costs. But things start getting worse. Since the shadow is becoming larger. You think well it isn’t the end of the world I can still play in this other part of the room to avoid the shadow. So what if it’s smaller. It’s better than being covered by the horrible shadow. So you just go on ignoring the shadow. But things take a decidedly worse turn. Pretty soon you feel like you have barely any room to even stretch your feet, let alone be able to frolic around. This lack of space starts to really get to you now. You feel if you don’t do something soon, you will have no room even to breathe. So this thought forms in your mind, why don’t I go find where the source of this shadow is. But that’s crazy your rational part says. I mean are you out of your mind? Don’t you see how scary this shadow is? How menacing? Can’t you just relax in the privacy and comfort of your little corner? And while you are at it, I think you should forget all the space you had to play before, too, you know for your own good.
But your logical part loses out this time. You feel you can’t take this anymore. Just too frustrated, too angry, too desperate for you to listen to your logical mind. So You become really really brave. You muster all your energy, every ounce of your courage, and start moving gingerly towards the source of the shadow. Every step you take, makes you feel a little more free, a little closer to the source. The shadow doesn’t even appear that ominous any more. So you walk on. In your walking you feel the shadow is even getting smaller. So you become bolder, and bolder.
Wow you did it. You are at the source of the shadow! Or are you? Damn, it seems what you thought was the candle you were seeing all along wasn’t the real candle, but a mirror reflection of it. You are so frustrated and angry that you shatter the mirror. You no longer feel that brave. So much for my courage, you think. You go back to your corner. And try to forget the damn shadow, trying to just make yourself happy with the small space left for you. You manage to distract yourself for sometime, you manage to control your frustration. And every time you have the inkling of going and finding the source of the shadow the bitter experience, the deception of the mirror, and the cruel joke this room played on you comes back to you. So you just listen to your logic, become complacent, and just wait for the shadow to magically disappear hopefully.
So you wait and wait and wait. And nothing happens. If anything the shadow appears to be getting even larger, creeping up on your legs! Now you have no choice but to rise up and go try to find the source of the shadow again.
So you get up. Gather all wit around you and get to work. Something dawns on you then! The only way you can find the source of light; which you suddenly seem to crave, having lived in semi darkness all your life; seems to be following the shadow. You think to yourself if it wasn’t for the shadow you would have never found the light, or knew even the light existed. That thought kinda makes you a little more receptive to the shadow, now that you understand its important function, to guide you to the light. But you are nonetheless still very apprehensive of the shadow. However you do have a new hope now, when you get to the source of the shadow, not only would you get rid of the big menacing shadow, but you will also find light. That thought of having all this space to play with, with no shadow there, while having found the source of light brings a smile to your face. It makes you even more determined now to find the source of shadow, as well as the source of light. So you start walking towards the thing that appears to be the source of the shadow again.
You walk and walk and finally reach the candle. Or do you? No it’s yet another mirror image. Tears come to your eyes. You are sad, frustrated, helpless, angry, and powerless. You go back to your little corner and just cower. You let the tears drop on your cheeks. You look at your body, at your little corner. Think what did you do to deserve this? Why does it have to be so hard? Who put you in this situation? Why? Whey did they have to play such a cruel joke on you? Why the mirrors? The most important question in your mind, in your weary, exhausted stupor is how would you know next time you go look for the source of the shadow and light, how would you know that it’s the real object creating the shadow and not just yet another reflection? What tools do you have for that? You get tired, weary, and just try to sleep. A long time passes. You go to through the process we talked about above. You go through the frustration, anger, denial, acknowledgement, determination, and action. You do act, but each time you find the source of the light and shadow, it’s yet another reflection.
You have come to accept it now. You have come to accept your life in this room as a cruel joke played on you. Where you will have to live in this cramped little space, with your only way to light a mere illusion, a deception. You start coming to despise your life. This is no longer fun for you. You lose interest in everything. Every once in a while you make a feeble attempt at finding the source of the shadow which ends in finding yet another mirror image. You start thinking failure is the only thing in store for you. You just get used to it. Without a fight.
You go on doing this over, and over and over and over and over again. The process become kinda routine, the result less than unexpected.
Finally one day, you think to yourself what if you never ever get out of this house of mirrors, this maze of deception. You close your eyes. You think I have used these eyes all my life to find the light, what good are they for? You have pretty much given up on the whole game of hide and seek. So you close your eyes some more.
The moment you close your eyes again. You realize you aren’t worried about the shadow anymore. Wow!! That’s great you think. So you start running around with your eyes closed. Feeling much more free. But desperately yearning for the light. But your logical mind comes and says let us enjoy this new freedom. Let us forget about the shadow and the light. So you do that.
You go on and on and on. Enjoying your newly found freedom. But you start missing the light, the shadow the interplay. You start feeling that you are denying something. That you aren’t being truthful to yourself, and to the game.
In one of the moments you have your eyes closed, you start noticing that some areas of the room are warmer than the rest. At first you just ignore this. But the more it happens, the more you wonder. Finally you think to yourself why is that?
Then it dawns on you! A candle has two qualities, light, and HEAT!! So that’s what the warmth is all about. Places in the room which have more heat are closer to the candle, than the places which aren’t!
You start dancing with joy. You are no longer reluctant to close your eyes. You don’t even have to keep your eyes closed any more. You can still feel the heat with your eyes open or closed. It doesn’t matter. Either way you can feel the heat. The only trick is not to trust what you see with your eyes and follow the heat. That simple.
Of course that simple fact came to you after thousands of failures. All you had to do is close your eyes and feel. Damn how could you not have seen that? You stop beating your head to the wall. It doesn’t matter, now you have found a real tool. A tool which can not deceive you. A tool which has been with you since birth but you never really cared about it much. Of course this was because you believed in what you saw. Well no more. Now you know better.
So you start walking. And then you notice one other thing, the shadow no longer bothers you. It’s because now you understand the light and shadow can all mislead you. The shadow that at first you thought would lead you to the light is no longer important. It doesn’t congest your space either. I mean sometimes when the shadow becomes just too overwhelming, you simply close your eyes and follow the heat. Really no biggy.
So you follow the heat patiently, intently, totally enjoying the process. You are starting to really get this room. It no longer looks like a sick joke to you. More like a place to learn about a very simple thing. You enjoy all the images that you see, all the mirror images. You even pat yourself on the back when you pass by the most realistic of these reflections without ever thinking they were the real object. Sometime it’s even ironic because it appears that the most realistic of these mirror images are in the places with the least heat, so no way would they fool you now. But it makes you wonder, and chuckle. So this is how they designed this room. An image of highest similarity to the real thing was a way to get me as far away from the real candle. You chuckle and move on. Clever. But you are not buying it not any more. Not now that you are following the simple heat.
And you walk and walk this time following the heat. And you are there. It isn’t even a surprise for you. It’s more like it was time for you to find it. And you find the object of the shadow was this toy soldier in front of the candle. But that is not even important. That wasn’t the point of your journey for a long time. You wanted to find the light. The shadow was your first indicator. That was until you learned that both shadow and light can be deceptive. Now you know only thing you really wanted in the candle was the heat the most, and light not so much. Because light can be fabricated and heat can’t.
So now you are at the end of your journey or are you? Well look at that. The candle was right in front of a door you would never find if you didn’t find the candle. It seems you can finally leave the room.
Where do you go after that I can’t tell you. I begin this story, its up to you to bring it to a completion.