The San people of the arid Kalahari region in South Africa, who belong to what may be the oldest culture on Earth, say that everything in this world is connected by ropes of light. The story that the tribal elders tell of these ropes of light is that there are many kinds of ropes, but the purpose of life is to find the rope that connects us to God. Once found, they say, one should do everything in one’s power to make that rope strong – so that we will be able to feel when God is tugging on it. According to the San, the secret of life is to be guided by the pulling of the rope.
The elders also say that when we want to learn about Spirit we should find a person who has fallen from the sky, from God’s village in the sky, as they put it. It is rare to find such a one, such a strong healer. “Look for him,” they say. “Find him, and he will teach you to follow the way that will take you home to God.”
How many can say that they have found the rope of light and the one who has fallen from God’s village in the sky? This way that we follow – the path of the Masters – is our rope of light. Maharaj Charan Singh explained this by using the example of a man who has fallen into a well, with no way of getting out. Someone comes along and throws down a rope and says, “Take hold of the rope and I will pull you out”. But instead of grasping the rope the man wants to know how he got there. His would-be saviour says, “Just grab the rope, I’ll explain later! First, let’s get you out”. The man, however, demands to know who made the rope, where it comes from and how long it is.
Are we not doing the same? Instead of asking unnecessary questions, we should pay attention when our would-be rescuer tells us that separation from God is like a well and remembrance of him is the rope.
The San elders say when we start climbing the rope, our life will never be the same. This rope takes over everything we do; we are pulled by it and led to where we need to be; we are guided in whatever we need to say and do. How do we go about climbing the rope? By following the teachings and instructions of our Master. We have been given the very rare opportunity to be guided by a true Master.
Our Master tells us that it is the little things we do that make a difference, that every five minutes more of meditation will make a difference. The more we meditate, the more we will feel the tugging of the rope, the more we will be aware that the Master guides us in all things, even in little ways.
Something else the San elders say is that the oldest truth and the mystery of the human way is summarized in one word: love. They say that we are hunters of love – of God’s love. And that the rope of light connecting us is God’s love, expressed as a song. So they too, like our Masters, speak of love as light and sound. And all Masters continually remind us to attend to our meditation, to seek the light and sound in order to detach ourselves from the world of illusion. As Soami Ji advises us:
Do not get embroiled in the affairs of this world.
Think of it as no more than a night’s dream.
This body is false, as are its relationships,
so why exhaust yourself over an illusion?
Sar Bachan Poetry
There is a Buddhist parable of a monk who is walking home on a narrow path that winds its way high up along the steep slopes of a mountain in Tibet. Dusk falls quickly as the sun slides away, and suddenly in the half-light the monk sees something on the path in front of him. He can’t quite make out what it is so, slowly and carefully, he steps forward. His heart beats faster. Wide-eyed and alert, he takes another step. There it lies, long and thin and coiled. The monk stops dead in his tracks and in his mind he screams “Snake!” He is terrified of snakes. But this is his only path home.
Panic and fear slam into his chest. “I must get home soon, before it gets completely dark. What if the snake is poisonous? What am I going to do?” These are the thoughts that rush through his mind. Quickly he collects some grass and twigs and makes a crude torch. He lights it and cautiously moves forward in the fire light. He then sees that it is a rope someone must have dropped on the trail. With great relief he laughs at himself. Panic turns to peace. As he steps over the rope the monk realizes how he had deceived himself with an illusion.
How often do we see snakes when they are just ropes? We are often deluded by our thoughts, allowing things to scare us and then, when we look back and see the big picture, they become meaningless. Every time we worry we bring down the shutters between us and that higher state of consciousness that we call God or Love. Every time we worry we see the snake and not the rope.
But how to free ourselves from these pointless worries of life? The Masters teach us that only by raising our consciousness through meditation can we begin to see beyond the illusion and overcome our distracting fears. Meditation will make us hunters of love and show us the San people’s rope of light which, in time, will bring us back to God’s village in the sky.