Digging Out the Roots of Prejudice

sage brush, desert,
This spiritual allegory continues to follow the conversations and experiences of ClearSky and the Rancher. You can find more of their stories and other spiritual allegories on this link:

Spiritual Allegories and Stories

For several days, ClearSky and the Rancher had been digging out an old, massive stump in the northwest corner of ClearSky's fields. He had decided to create an apricot grove there, but the stump and its extensive root system required him to hack away at this sizable blockage to his plans.

Covered in sweat from exertion and the midday sun, the two men leaned on their tools--a pick axe for the Rancher and a shovel for ClearSky. The pause in exertion led the Rancher back to his favorite past time--gossiping.

"So I hear some dude came to town telling all kinds of crazy stories."

"Sounds like your type of person," ClearSky remarked.

The Rancher ignored the response and continued. "They called him the Wanderer. No name. Just the Wanderer. Weird, right?"

"Some people's names get forgotten, Tom. Sometimes they're no longer necessary."

"Well, he said that there is someone called the Great Master, and that person was the reason so many good things happened in that one town, I can't remember it's name. But the town was in big trouble, and somehow the master turned around everything. That's what he said anyway."

ClearSky turned back to digging around the massive stump.

"He also said the Great Master came from the Outerlands and was some kind of refugee from one of the wars that had gone on out there. Whole family--parents and brother--killed in front of their own eyes." The Rancher held his head. "How can anyone deal with that? I'd be so upset."

"She probably was," ClearSky replied.

"She? I thought the Great Master was a man. How do you know the master is a she."

But ClearSky didn't say anything and tossed another clump of dirt over his shoulder.

Now in his usual groove, the Rancher moved to the next story. "I met this guy Melvin wandering on the road...seriously, what is up with all these people wandering on the road? That woman who got in an argument with me awhile ago. Melvin. The Wanderer?"

"There are many forces that drive people to do things."

"Anyway, Melvin just kept telling me he can't sleep, he can't sleep. He wants to go back to sleep, but he can't." The Rancher shook his head. "I pointed him to Phyllis's apothecary shop. Maybe she would have something to help with his insomnia."

"I very much doubt it," ClearSky said and launched another pile of dirt over his shoulder.

The Rancher was about to ask about ClearSky's comment when he noticed someone coming out of the wilderness up the road.

"Looks like we've got another one," the Rancher said. "Brace yourself."

ClearSky sighed heavily and looked up. After a time, a young woman appeared. Dressed in simple, loose gray and blue traveler's clothes and wearing a cloak over a shoulder and a pack over the other, she moved easily along the road. Each step seemed purposeful and unhurried. She smiled and waved when she saw the two men.

"Hello and welcome!" ClearSky called out.

"Hello and thank you!" the young woman replied.

As she neared, ClearSky spoke again. "Where are you headed? How may we be of service?"

"I am headed for the Outerlands. I've heard there are people there who train spiritual teachers, and I want to become one."

The Rancher frowned at that, but before he replied, ClearSky responded.

"That's quite a vocation."

"Yes. It is, but it is calling me. As for how to be of service, I guess I was wondering if you knew if that was true. Do they train teachers in the Outerlands? I haven't been able to find anyone around here or in my home town of Isekus who does that."

"Hang on," the Rancher injected. "What's your name? Aren't you a little too young for something like this?" 

ClearSky rolled his eyes, and the young woman's face became stern. "My name is Mikayla. And what difference does my age have to do with anything?"

"Well, of course, age matters. Just look at you."

ClearSky looked hard at the Rancher instead.

"I can't. I can only look at you," Mikayla replied.

ClearSky laughed.

The Rancher got more agitated. "Well, there are better things for you to do first."

"Such as?" Mikayla questioned.

"Well, I don't know. Find a husband. Have a family. Something like that. That's what...."

"That's what women are supposed to do," Mikayla finished the sentence. "Thank you for the reminder."

The silence of ClearSky and Mikayla weighed on him. He was about to object more, but he came back to himself. The heat of shame rose into a full crimson bloom in his face.

"I'm sorry. I...I'm sorry."

ClearSky put a hand on his friend's shoulder. "In answer to your question, yes, there are people who train spiritual teachers in the Outerlands, but there are also some closer about. I would encourage you to head north instead of east. Near the Erleuchtenden Mountains there is a spiritual order that may be able to help point you in the right direction. They likely know of the kind of teacher who teaches other teachers and would best help you, my friend."

Mikayla smiled broadly. She thanked ClearSky deeply and was about to leave when she turned back to the Rancher.

"Thank you for the apology. I encourage you to see past a person's appearances. You might start to see more of who of someone really is like your friend does." Then she continued her journey taking the fork in the road leading into the distant north.


Spiritual Story Interpretation

Returning to the conversations of ClearSky and the Rancher, you get to watch the interactions between someone further along on the spiritual path and someone much earlier on. They are busy working on a big project. In this instance, the big tree stump and all its roots are metaphor for a large core issue with its many different levels of attachments. This is a quiet statement that ClearSky isn't fully realized, and he's still chipping away at some of his core issues.

Of course the issue that we really dig into is the Rancher's as we discover his prejudice about young women and what they should do and who they should be.

If you've read many of my stories, you'll notice I am often creating women and specifically young women as the speakers of wisdom and truth. I do this precisely because of the ageism and sexism in many beliefs about women. Generally speaking, the prejudice is that old men have wisdom. Age and sex have little to do with wisdom, however. On this path, we learn to see wisdom in other places, which is part of what the Rancher is learning by the end of this short allegory and which ClearSky can already see.

You'll learn more about Mikayla, Melvin (someone who has spontaneously awoken and wants to "go back to sleep), and the Wanderer in future stories.

To understand more of the allusions to the Great Master, you can find her first story here:

The Coming of the Great Master Part 1

The Coming of the Great Master Part 2

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