The Great Master Teaches." Be sure to check out Part 1 so you can understand the conclusion, and stay tuned for an upcoming interpretation of the allegory. Enjoy!
As the brown-robed Believer left town, the first lesson came upon the man in the yellow robe who had taken up living in the great house that was meant for the great master. He had spurned her direction to tear it down and donate the proceeds and anything of value back to the Village. He lay slumbering one night when thieves broke into the house. The continued poverty in the area had made many increasingly desperate, and even though this was to be a house dedicated to God, they could no longer resist all the fine furnishings.
So a group of six thieves crept in and using a spell, put the Believer into a deep sleep while they pillaged the house. This went on for several nights, and each morning, the Believer was too muddled in his mind from the spell to notice all the things gone missing.
One day, a friend passing by pointed out that all the stained glass windows were gone. At which point, the man in the yellow robe knew something was up. He decided to stay up all night to catch the thieves. On this last night, he heard the thieves and ran out to confront them. But they knocked him senseless to the ground. He was carted far away outside the town and stripped naked of his clothes. By the time he made it back, the whole house had been torn down.
Penniless, he cursed his luck, cursed the thieves, and wept in repentance. He found a few rags to wear and decided to leave the Village and his ill-luck behind. Upon the ground, he found one of the original candles from the house. He lit it and walked off into the country.
The woman in the red robe heard of these news and sent word to the Great Master about these ill-tidings. Too big too move, she asked the master to come to her to counsel about these things, but the master told her that she must come to her. Deeply concerned to see a long-time friend lose everything, she tried, but despite trying, she could not move to go see the master.
At last, she realized how much her weight had inhibited her, and she began to fast. She had her servants give away much of the remaining food, and she began to pray and meditate regularly. But things were already afoot, and her lesson soon found her despite her decision to fast and to lose weight. A heart attack seized her, and she barely survived. All the doctors came by to help her mend, but she was in a very sorry condition for some time.
Finally, she prayed to God and said, "I promise to never over-eat or take more than my fair share ever again. Please help me to heal."
The next day, she was miraculously healthy. As the weeks went by, she was able to walk again. She decided to leave the Village and to use travel as a form of exercise to let go of all the weight she had put on. Just as she was leaving, she found one of the candles from the great house being sold in a shop. She picked it up, and she lit it to illuminate her way on her journey.
The purple-robed Believer heard these goings on, but she assumed it had nothing to do with her. It just added to her idle gossip topics. She had no intention of moving on to do anything. Then one day, lightning struck her home. A fire sprung up, and everything began burning. She tried to put things out, but she was so slow and out of breath that she could not stop it from spreading. She tried to run to the next home, but she had hardly any stamina to make it down the lane to get help. By the time she got back, everything was burnt to a cinder.
Angry and sad, she cursed her luck, but instead of moving on, she decided that this was a trick by the Devil or a test by God.
She said, "I'll just sit here until you show me the way."
But she knew the way, and she refused to follow it because it seemed like too much work. Then one day, a bird flew by, and it pooped on her head. She said to herself, "Is this what I deserve? To be pooped on? If God can't protect me from such things, then I no longer believe in him."
So the woman in the purple robe gave up the path, married a rich man, and lived with him in comfort, ease, and spiritual ignorance to the end of her days.
The man in the blue robe had long been watching everything from afar, and his desire for the great master had grown yet stronger. He'd begun to get bolder by sending her flowers, cards, and candies, which she promptly gave away or destroyed. So he decided to take more visible action to show that he could be her peer and protector. He stood up for her against the man in the orange robe and the woman in the green robe. But in standing up for her and being noticed, he began to attract the desires of many of the Village women. Some of them were in committed relationships, but they desired him nonetheless. They sent him suggestive notes and winks. They stole pinches if he was nearby.
One night, one of the woman following him lured him into her bedroom saying that the great master had sent for him and had finally succumbed to his advances. But the next morning, he saw that he had not been with the great master and found out that the woman was married. Soon he heard the husband was looking for him to "settle a few things."
Fearful of the reprisal he'd called upon himself, he fled the Village and did not return.
The man in the orange robe had also been paying attention to these events, so he'd created an armed guard around him. Everywhere he went raising the alarm and stirring up anger, the armed guard went with him. He said to himself, "No trickery from this charlatan speaking for God will get to me. I'll always be protected."
But he was not always protected. Even he had to take off his clothes and go to the bathhouse at some point. Sitting in these waters, he happened to make eye contact with a beautiful raven-haired woman. The woman batted her eyes at him and cajoled him to come sit by her. He dutifully went like a hawk called to the perch, and she filled his mind with sweet fantasies that brought him to great excitement. Then suddenly a noise sounded--a very small noise and a pinprick of pain. He realized that the woman had stabbed him with a small needle. At first he did not understand, but quickly the poison spread. He got woozy and slipped underneath the waters before he could call out or run away from his assassin.
The woman slipped away unknown. Her motives remained a mystery, and most of the Village that he somehow drowned in the bathhouse.
Upon hearing this latest news, the last Believer in Village ran to the Great Master.
"Please, please, Great Master. Call off your tricks. Call off your lessons. Spare me. Spare me," the woman in the green robe sobbed.
The master looked at the woman, but saw the coldness still in her heart.
"I have done nothing. I was warning you. I was showing you the way to your heart's bliss in service, but the hard road of the spiritual path frightened you. You turned away. You turned away from God, and therefore you turned away from me. You have called in these lessons into your own lives by your actions and negligence. This is not my doing. It was your own."
Then the jealousy in the Believer's heart flared up, and she shouted, "You think you're so much better than everyone. But I'll show you." She ripped off her clothing, put on rags, and went out into the desert. She was dead of dehydration after three days.
Then the Village had none of the Believers left--none of those who were supposed to guard them and lead them on their soul paths. But the master remained, and she taught and counselled many. She said to them, "The light of your own guidance is already within you. Follow that, and you will not need the guidance of another. But from time to time, it may still serve you to follow those whose vocation is in service to the light."
In particular she taught the children, and in many of the coming days, the upsets and difficulties of the Village began to subside.
Then one day, a man in rags with little more than the candle in his hand came into town. The Villagers wondered who this poor man was, but the Great Master knew.
"Welcome home," she said to the Believer who used to wear a yellow robe.
"Hello good master. Is this my home?"
"You tell me."
"No, my home is in my heart. It is not in things. It is not in a place, and it is not in comfort. I have learned these lessons on my travels, and I thank you." He began to weep and bow to her, but she lifted him up.
"There is only one to whom we bow, dear friend. Stay awhile before you journey on. I can tell that you are finally on your path, so I will not delay you long. But tell me what you have seen."
So he did. And he shared the wonders he'd seen in his travels, and he shared the stories he'd heard. He shared the new names of God he'd heard and the new practices he'd found. Just before he left, she kissed him on the forehead, "May you see and hear even more on this next leg of your journey."
Then he set out to continue to deepen his spiritual path.
The fortune of the Village continued to improve, and where the old great house had once been, a great community center was built instead. Plays, town meetings, weddings, and gatherings of all sorts were now held there, and the from time to time, the Great Master would join in, not to teach, but to play. Because in divine play, God also is revealed. One night as the festivities were going on and much food and drink was available, a frail, thin woman approached the master, who was watching after dancing for awhile.
"Dear sister! Welcome home." She embraced the woman who used to wear a red robe.
"Thank you, sister."
"Come, have some food and drink."
"Thank you sister, but only a little please. I do not need much, and there are others that need much more."
"It will be as you say, but tell me what you have seen."
And the woman who used to wear a red robe spoke of the many foods and bounties in other lands as well as the poverty and famines in other parts. She spoke of the disproportionate distribution of such things, and she spoke of her work to help bring balance to these systems so that all would have enough to eat and to live.
"Then continue on now, dear sister," the Great Master said. "And continue to teach others the importance of balance, taking no more than you need, and finding a greater harmony for all the communities of the world."
Then the woman left to continue her journey.
Now, the Village had grown into new health, and sickness was rare. Hunger and poverty were few. A renaissance had come upon the region, and life was beautiful and peaceful. The Great Master could see her work was coming to a close. She knew it was now time for a new shepherd to come and light the way.
One day, a man in golden robes with a strong, clear demeanor came to town. His eyes were like the clear sky, and his heart like the ocean. The master knew this one as well. It was the Believer who used to wear a brown robe.
"I see you have come back at last," the Great Master says.
"Yes. Thanks to you. You showed me the path, and it has been hard. It has been gentle too, and it has freed me of my pride. It did not stop there. It freed me of many other things, so now I can see what needs to be done, what needs to be left alone, and what needs only God. Quite simply, I can see now."
The master bows to him. "Wonderful. I had been waiting for you. My time to leave has come. Please look after those here. I have done my work. It is your time now dear Teacher. It is my sincere hope that you can better teach those that are here and those who are to come to be free of the vices that have soured this community before and to embrace the love that is already around them."
"Oh dear master, please don't go. I would be sad to lose your company."
She smiles. In her smile, he sees the infinite space of love--the space where nothing can ever be lost. Pressing her hand to his chest, something else begins to open in him, and the path of his heart widens so that he can begin the next phase of his spiritual journey as a Teacher to the Village.
With that, she leaves.
You can read the interpretation of this spiritual allegory on this link.