Wren Wrumination: The Coin Of Truth
Article ID: 2221
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 6,725
Times Read: 9,135
Posted: October 26th. 1998
Times Viewed: 9,135
There is a temple high in the mountains of a faraway land. Whether this temple really exists or not, we cannot say. Some think that it is only a legend. But some believe that the temple is real and that the Old One can still be found sitting there-sitting and waiting. This is the legend as it was told to me. The reader can make up his or her own mind about the rest.
In the temple at the top of the world lives a very, very old man. He is known only as the Ancient. It is said that once he was a man like any other. As a young priest he climbed to the temple and has remained there ever since. By some accounts he has been there for thousands of years. Who was there before him is not recorded.
Words of his deeds and his wisdom spread out over the entire land. The temples in the valley would petition him to accept one of their most promising students in order that they may learn and grow wise as well. The world has always been in need of wisdom, it seems.
In one particular year, the Ancient accepted two students at his temple. They would stay for one year and he would train them in the ways of wisdom. They would be free to continue their own temple's practices and rituals when they were not engaged in training with the Ancient.
So they came. One all in white, as was the ritual color of his temple; the other in black, as was his tradition. They studied and prayed and meditated for a year with the Ancient. What the lessons were has been kept secret, but they freely incorporated what they learned into their own traditional ways. The Ancient said very little, only nodding in agreement when things went well and holding silent at all other times. He seemed to hear and see what the students could not, but after their initial wonder at this, they fell into an easy rhythm at the temple.
And so the year passed and the two students DID learn and DID grow very wise indeed. Neither spoke to the other very much as they were intent on acquiring the wisdom most needed by their particular people. And since their traditions were very different, each kept his own counsel. But, as they did respect each other and the Ancient, the time passed pleasantly enough.
On the day before the students were to return to their own temples, the Ancient called them both into the garden. "One last thing remains for you here," he said, " But there are a few conditions to be agreed on first."
"You must not talk to each other from this moment on and never reveal what will happen next." The students nodded in silent agreement- though puzzlement could be seen in their eyes. At this, the Ancient went on to say, " Stand one foot apart and face each other. Look into each other eyes and remember what you see there."
As they stood looking at each other, the Ancient held his hand between them. Cradled between his thumb and fingers was a large gold coin. The sun glinted off of it and it seemed to glow as from a fire within.
"This is your final test. Whatever you may see, or not see, feel or not feel must remain between you and I alone. The final test is that of the Coin of Truth."
"Those who have indeed learned wisdom here will understand. Those who have not learned wisdom will never understand."
"One of you will see the Truth for what it is. What is here is "The Truth"-there is no other in the world. What happens will determine the fate of your peoples and what path that they will follow."
"I will come to each of you later today and you will tell these things to me then. Now look and remember..."
The black robed student looked at the coin. He saw a large dragon embossed in the gold which writhed and twisted and breathed fire. This was the symbol of his temple, so he understood that he was being blessed in some way. The eyes of the dragon seemed to look deep within him with a message.
The white robed student looked at the coin. He saw a great lion embossed in the gold. It reared and roared and its great paws seem to come out of the coin towards him. This was the symbol of his temple and he knew it meant something wonderful was happening to him.
Then the Ancient flipped the coin back into his pocket.
"Remember not to talk about this with anyone and I will meet with you later. Now go sit on the bench under that tree and I will come for you. I have realized that I have forgotten to give you a chance to say good-by to each other-I am getting so old!- so you may do this as long as you remember my other words."
So the two students sat on the bench under the tree. And as they talked, each could not help but feel a little sorry for the other. For did not the Ancient say, "ONE of you will see the Truth"?
Each believed that he alone had seen the Truth- for remember, dear reader, each had indeed seen something-and so each thought that the other must have failed the test.
" How can he look so happy when he has lost the prize?", each thought to himself. "He must just not want me to be upset and does not want to spoil my big day."
Finally out of compassion, the white robed student said," I am sorry that things did not work out in your favor. You must be very disappointed".
The black robed one looked up in surprise. "Why would I be disappointed? I am the one who feels badly for you because you did not see the Truth."
And so, of course, they each told what they had seen and what it meant to them and pretty soon the discussion became very heated indeed....
Finally the black robed student said thoughtfully, "Well I do know what I saw and I saw a dragon. This is the symbol of my temple and so this is the truth that I believe. However, I am willing to consider-since I know you to be a man of honor- that perhaps you saw what you saw as well. I do not understand it, but perhaps it also can be true."
The white robed student could not believe his ears. "How can two different things be the one Truth? I know what I saw and that is all that I will believe in."
The Ancient chose that moment to arrive. First he took the white robed student aside and asked him what he had seen. After the student had told his vision of the lion, and confessed to the talk in the garden, the Ancient nodded his head.
Looking up he said, "You have seen the Coin of Truth. You will be a great leader of your people. You are sure and steady in your belief and will not be easily lead aside. You will keep your people on the path of your ways and they will grow strong. You will not allow doubt to come in and they will grow to be confident and steadfast in their faith. Nothing will ever sway them and they will seek to overpower all that they believe opposes them. Now go..."
The black robed student now told his vision and also confessed to the talk in the garden. Nodding the Ancient said to him, "You have seen the Coin of Truth.. You will be a great leader of your people. You are open minded enough to see when another way may be possible. You will teach your people that wisdom lies in knowing that you cannot know everything.. .but everything should be considered. Then they can choose for themselves. They will become a strong and free people. Nothing will ever oppose them that they will not find a way to overcome. Now, go..."
And so the two students left the high mountain and returned to their temples. The Ancient's words came to pass and they both grew to be great leaders and their people turned out as the old man had said that they would.
As for the Ancient? He is still in his temple on the mountain at the top of the world. And there he still shares his wisdom with those who come to look for it. He holds the Coin of Truth and he waits. He has been waiting a very long time now.
The Ancient sits in the temple garden and listens for the footsteps of the ones he knows will come. The ones who will come and understand The Lesson of the Coin of Truth.
For these are the ones who will understand that there are not really two sides to the Coin of Truth. It is all One Truth being seen through different eyes.
There may even be a few who come that will understand something more. For to this very day, he always says, "One of you shall see...."
But never once, in all of his thousands of years, has he ever said that it will be ONLY one of you that will see it
Walk in Light and Love,
October 25th., 1998
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