The Law of Infinite Opportunities

The Old Man, as we affectionately called the oldest monk of the Order, had spoken to me about the unwritten code, a set of universal laws that regulates life in different planes of existence, and that drives the destiny of everyone. The understanding of how these rules work expands awareness, refines the choices and paves the Path. We had already spoken about the Law of Cycles and its importance. I had previously heard about the Law of Evolution, of Affinity, of Action and Reaction, among others. When I had the chance of being alone with him once again, I asked for further explanation about the Law of Infinite Opportunities. The Old Man was by the stove preparing a fresh mushroom soup, which everyone in the monastery enjoyed. He suggested that I help him while he cooked: “Alchemy was born in the kitchen,” he said in a roguish way. Then, he explained: “Perhaps no other law so clearly demonstrates the unfathomable generosity of life and the tremendous wisdom of the universe. It addresses our errors and the love we are treated with.”

 

He asked me to chop some onions and then added: “The Unwritten Code regulates the process of evolution of each one of us, giving the exact lesson we are ready for. The first premise is that the reason for existence in this plane is spiritual evolution. In short, we are here to evolve. Realizing that is a good way to start, as it allows us to understand that the masters are disguised, and give us the appropriate lessons through our relations with others and the way we react in facing the conflicts we are confronted with. This is the method of this university, there is no other.”

 

“However, not always do we behave as good students. Our background is formed by cultural, social and ancestral conditionings that might have been useful way back when, in a previous childhood of the spirit, but are no longer good. To allow concepts, ideas and attitudes to renew is not always easy. We must face others and ourselves. However, we must evolve. To that end, it is mandatory that we visit the dark dungeons of our own soul, strongly guarded by the ego and its army of shadows. Ignorance, fear, selfishness, jealousy, greed, envy, among others, are soldiers of a primitive troop that will try to convince you of the risk and the nonsense of taking flight in search for a new reality, a different way of being and living.”

 

“To illuminate each one of these shadows is the great battle of life. Not the shadows of others, but the ones that are within you.” The monk pointed his finger to his chest and said: “The war is not fought out of, but inside of you.” He made a pause, gave me the garlic to peel off, and continued: “A deep and sincere dive into yourself, to actually know yourself is the second essential step. Only then will you perceive the edges that must be cut so that the light can shine in all its intensity. Understanding who we actually are makes us more tolerant with everyone. After all, how to demand perfection from the world if we do not have it to offer? Then, the walker becomes more demanding of himself at the same time he is more tolerant to others, as he realizes how the school of light operates. He knows that each one can only give what he brings in the sacred baggage, the heart.”

 

“To learn each one of the lessons requires, day by day, a higher dose of love and wisdom. However, it is not enough to know, it is necessary to experience the lesson. We often know more than what we are. Hence the changes. After all, there is no evolution without transformation. To transform yourself means to leave behind part of what is yours, part of what you are, so that a new being is revealed and manifests itself. You are yourself, but not who you were yesterday; and tomorrow you will still be you, but different. Different and better. Caterpillar and butterfly. Are you confused?”

 

I shook my head as if saying no, and the monk continued: “This isn’t easy, and your shadows will try, at all costs, to prevent you from daring to change. In order to survive, they must prevent movement, bar advances. The shadows thrive on stagnation. They will try to trick you by making you believe the safest is to leave things as they are, and that the High Lands are but childish utopia. This is their job. However, the more power they have over you, the slower will be your evolution. Soon, the lessons will become tougher, the Path will become filled with potholes.” He looked at me and asked: “Can you realize, now, when I say that suffering is a choice?”

 

I said it seemed ludicrous to think that someone could choose pain, but I was beginning to understand that suffering stems from mistaken decisions still embedded in the core of being, which, for pride and out of stubbornness, refuses to flow; deep inside, it is afraid to err. The Old Man signaled me to pass him the thyme, and said: “Then we get to the error, this old mate in the journey. Errors are part of the history of each one of us, and they may be an ally or a villain, depending on how you address them. A mistake can be the source of conflicts with serious, lasting consequences, or a good master that indicates ideas and attitudes you must change, pointing to a change in course so that you tread on the sunny side of the road. It will depend on how much love is blooming in your garden. Can you see that at each choice we place in the sacred soil of the heart a seed of shadows or light?”

 

The monk arched his lips in a mild smile, and continued: “But to get here wasn’t easy. Many mistakes and much suffering. Sorrows and disappointments had to be overcome, the flower of forgiveness had to blossom so that the sweet fruit of joy could germinate.” He paused for a while, his gaze got lost beyond the kitchen windows, as if a film of the past was projected on the screen of his mind. Then he said: “We have erred a lot, we all have erred. No exceptions. Each error signals the next lesson; each one with their errors and their lessons.” He paused again and said, as if speaking to himself: “We have erred and erred, we insist on making errors and life does not give up trying to make us better. Hence we understand the unfathomable love of the Universe for not abandoning us. For insisting that we evolve, for providing us with the tools to leave darkness and to know the light of life with all its colors, giving us the wings for the fantastic flight over the gloomy valley of tears. To that end, it provides us infinite opportunities.”

 

“This is the biggest proof and the most valuable love lesson anyone can have.”

 

I disagreed. I said that due to mistaken decisions I had taken in the past, many times I had wasted opportunities in my life. And they never returned. The Old Man furrowed his brow, as he usually did whenever he was more serious, and explained: “Of course you had them, and will have them again, always. Not necessarily in the same way. You must realize that opportunities show themselves in the precise measure of your needs, not of your wishes. Remember that the Universe is generous, and yet fair. The opportunities are always in accordance with the wishes and the capability of the student to understand and transform himself, not in appearance but in the core. Have your forgotten that the lessons become harsher according to the student’s refusal to learn? Making the walker understand that perfect justice is a necessary component to make him a better person. You had better believe this is not as easy as it seems. Everyone sees themselves as fair, but few know the power of love. Thus, how to grasp the true dimension of justice? Just like one does not give up on a child, one does not separate justice from love. This is one of the most precious lessons of the Path.”

 

“The law of infinite opportunities addresses the importance of learning and transformation as tools to leverage evolution. It also teaches us the value of patience, the grandness of tolerance, the beauty of mercy, the magic of forgiveness as the road to truth and justice. Then we realize that love is the boat and also the wharf. Some are fast, others are much slower but all, sooner or later, will complete the journey. No one will be forgotten. No one will be abandoned on the Path.”

 

The Old Man kept quiet for a moment; with the wooden spoon he got a bit of soup which he dripped on the back of his hand, to check if it was well seasoned. He approved of the flavor with a smile and said: “Love is the salt of life.”

 

He paused once again for a moment, blinked an eye as if telling a secret and added: “Love is the language of God, Yoskhaz. There is no other.”

 

Gently translated by Carlos André Oighenstein.

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