Timelines. . .
Once upon a time Brahmadatta, the King of Benares, had four sons. One day they sent for the charioteer and said to him, “We want to see a Judas tree. Show us one!” “Very well, I will,” the charioteer replied.
But he did not show it to them all together. He took the eldest at once to the forest in the chariot, and showed him the tree at the time when the buds were just sprouting from the stem. To the second he showed it when the leaves were green. To the third at the time of blossoming. And to the fourth when it was bearing fruit.
After this it happened that the four brothers were sitting together and someone asked, “What sort of a tree is the Judas tree?”
Then the first brother answered, “Like a burnt stump!”
And the second cried, “Like a banyan tree!”
And the third, “Like a piece of meat!”
And the fourth said, “Like the acacia!”
They were vexed at each other’s answers, and ran to find their father. “My Lord,” they asked, “what sort of a tree is the Judas tree?”
Said the king — “All four of you have seen the tree. Only when the charioteer showed you the tree, you did not ask him, ‘What is the tree like at such a time, or at such another time?’ You made no distinctions, and that is the reason of your mistake.”
The world is always changing. One mistake we make is to assume situations to be constant. But none of them are.Your body is always replacing its cells. Your mind develops into new psychological states as you age. Your relationships are slowly evolving or degrading. The people you know are changing.
Whatever you can see or think of has a timeline;
- a: What it was in the past
- b: What it is now
- c: What it will be in future
Most people don’t think in such timelines. If they are in debt now, they don’t know what caused it (a) and don’t know what it will become (c ). Same is with their happiness, relationship, work or habits. They assume that what’s present now, will always be present. But, regardless of that, your life will morph according to these abc’s. If you don’t ask questions, you’ll be like those 4 confused sons and differentiate what is the same.
Your present situation stems from something in the past. And what you do today will cause a situation in the future. So, you better map your actions out. Whatever you perceive, get in the habit of seeing it three-fold — What led to this?, What is it now? and Where it it going?.
This helps you get a clear picture of reality. As a wise old man once said, — “Change the is the only constant”.
Peace and Love, Jim