Elia is a modern philosopher and man of wisdom who travels the world with his disciples and offers his views on both ancient and current issues. He is the latest stage in the evolution of men of wisdom; he speaks freely and fallibly, is not a saint or prophet, and is not out to set up a religion. At every stage of his travels his stresses this point: that he is but a man, but that human wisdom is of sepreme and sublime value. As always, his enjoins his listeners to self-awareness and critical thinking, and bids them to start their inner journey and to find themselves before they seek externally.
A young man had failed to take the train to a very important meeting because he had fallen ill with a cold. He was very upset, because this meeting could have meant an advance in his career, and he cursed his luck.
But later news emerged that this same train was involved in an accident in which several passengers were killed, including the one who had taken the young man’s seat. The disciples were wondering and reflecting on his good fortune. Upon hearing this discussion, Elia said,
“Some of you would have it that there are no coincidences, and all is preordered and planned. Such persons will lap up so-called signs as surely as the cat will lap up stale milk. And they will read everything as a sign and seek between and beyond the lines even when nothing is there.
Yet I ask you: have you glimpsed that plan? If the plan is basically unknowable, how do you know it? Are you luring yourself into a self-satisfying illusion?
The enlightened man should not seek the signs of the forest in the desert, nor should he presume to master the language of a foreign country. And in this age of speed, all eggs want to mature overnight and all palms want to wrestle with heaven.
And how exactly do you manage your belief? For belief is a fickle creature, my friends. Do you believe in your plan on the hundredth, and reject it on the first? With how many selves do you believe and reject?
I would have you know: not all scribbles are letters and not all lost coins are omens.
Others will speak of random events and chaos. And they will go on and assign statistical probabilities to events. They will reduce even the most significant events to happenstance.
Yet how can something be a coincidence when it has already happened to me? And when a probability has crystallized into reality, how can it be regarded as random? I call what happens to me Life, and not coincidence.
You babble on about signs, but oftentimes the most potent signs pass by you unheeded. For how can a blind man separate the chaff from the wheat? And I have yet to meet the falconer can recognize the fiercest bird among the hatchlings.
True signs are as rare as those who can understand them.
I offer these words to the star-struck: do not wait on heavenly signs, but make your own signs. And even though the foreign alphabet is injurious and alien to your eyes, your own alphabet will be immediately decipherable to you.
Keep yourself decent with life, and be more conscious than its solitary events. When events thrust themselves upon you, envelop them with the greater eye. And when you stricken with an accident, strike back with your will, and be greater than the accident.
But when sweetness strikes, and love moulds your soul, accept with modesty and thank your God. If well-being produces thankfulness I would not be embarrassed to embrace thankfulness, but welcome it with all my heart.
But always remember: keep feet moored to the earth.
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