Tolstoy, Leo - Confessions - Destiny, The Great Work and the parable of the Master and the Beggar
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Leo Tolstoy – Confessions
In the universe everything happens by the will of “something" which uses our lives in the realization of a goal that is unknown to us. For us to hope to understand the meaning of this commitment, we must first just run with it, do what is required of us. If I refuse what is expected of me, I will never understand what is asked of me, let alone what we want to achieve for each and everyone.
Let us imagine we take a naked and hungry beggar, and lead him to a place where a magnificent building stands.
After being fed and clothed, he is made to move a wooden rod up and down that is designated to him. Before understanding why he was collected, fed, and clothed; before he is able to examine whether the building is beautiful and well built, the beggar must shake this stick. He is led to understand that this movement pumps water which then spreads on the gardens and refreshes the flowerbeds.
Another occupation follows this: he will be responsible for harvesting the fruit and he will be able to share in the joy of his Master, if the harvest is good.
And passing from menial work to another higher, gradually his circumstances will change and become better. But it is not for him to wonder why it is happening and neither should any idea come to send a reproach to his Master. Thus those who do the will of their Master criticize nothing, and those are the simple people, workers, apparently ignorant, the ones the egotistical and the ‘learned’ place on a par with cattle.
But we, we as ‘scientists’, we first eat everything that belongs to the Master; and as to his will, far from doing what he expects of us, we sit around and we deliberate on each proposal:
--Why So shake the pump arm?
-- That is Stupid.
And that is all our reasoning found. We end up deciding that the Master has no reason or it does not exist and that we alone possess intelligence.
And then to round it off, we feel that we are good for nothing, that life has no meaning and that we must in one way or another get rid of ourselves.