Once upon a time there was a little soul. It looked like a precious crystal, all clear and shiny. When touched with gentleness, it would reverberate with the most harmonious sound. It was pure and beautiful to look at. But it was fragile. When the light hit it in the right way it would sparkle and radiate light back. But should darkness cross its way, the little crystal would lose its glow and develop shadows inside. When it bumped against other souls that had a lot of shadows inside, it would get bruised. Sometimes the bruises would get so bad that they set off a veritable storm. Then the little soul had to repair its crystal. That always required much time and effort.
To protect itself the little soul avoided the shadows. It also tried to avoid contact with dull crystals because it was so easily bruised and the bruises hurt so much. The soul preferred to just sparkle and radiate light. From a distance it could see the dull crystals bumping into each other and bruising each other. But our little soul tried to keep its distance while watching from the sidelines.
There were other crystals around beside the dull ones. Some were much bigger and brighter. They seemed to be older and wiser than our little soul. One day our little soul, we shall call it Peter, found itself next to one of those big bright crystals. He had been watching the big crystal for a while. It never seemed to change color, and it never got chipped, even when one of the dull crystals bumped into it. Peter couldn’t refrain from asking, “How come you are so big and bright?”
The big one answered: “I’ve been around for a long time and I have learned a lot of things.”
Peter too wanted to be bigger and radiate more light. He had more questions. “You never seem to get dull, even when you pass through shadows, and you never seem to get chipped, even when you are bumped by the dull crystals. I don’t like to get bruised. I bruise easily. And it hurts too much when they bump into me or even when they cast their shadow on me. What can I do?”
A ray of light from the big crystal touched Peter. That felt good. “There are a few things you have yet to learn,” came the reply. Peter was puzzled. What could that be, he wondered, and what would he have to do to be always bright and shiny like the big crystal?
“The first thing is to get rid of your fear. The darker ones sense your fear. That’s why they like to bump into you. I can see that you already have the courage to look at them. The next step is to no longer fear them.”
“How can I do that,” asked Peter.
“Remember the light that radiates out from you? It is very powerful. See yourself in that light. Remember what a wise old soul said a long time ago: ‘the soul is pure.’ That’s true even for the dark crystals. If you keep reminding yourself of that, you won’t have those storms inside either. Just practice.” With that, the big old soul receded into the distance, leaving Peter alone with his thoughts.
As much as he would have liked to linger on what the big crystal had told him, Peter had certain tasks to do that meant he had to go back among all the crystals, both light and dark ones. He managed to remain focused on his radiating light. Sure enough, a darker crystal shot some shadows across Peter. But lo and behold, they did not penetrate. By holding on to his light the shadows were deflected. "This is great," thought Peter, "it’s easier than I thought." Nor could the darker crystals get close to him. It’s as if an invisible force kept them at bay. “Now I don’t have to be afraid of them any more. They can’t get to me," Peter thought cheerfully. For the first time Peter felt safe.
He did not always remember to hold the thought of the light. Then the shadows would come, the bruises, and even the storms. It took effort and constant vigilance. Gradually he got better at this game. At some point he realized that there were more and more bright, shiny crystals around him. They all reflected his light back to him. That felt very good. The dark ones were still there, but not near him.
When he met the big crystal again, he heard it say, "My, how you have grown! I can see that you have been practicing.” The little soul looked at itself and indeed, it had grown. It was now almost as big as its mentor, and just as radiant.
As the little soul continued to practice, more and more bright crystals could be seen around him. Among them Peter noticed one that seemed to be more playful than the others. We shall call her Elise. She would race around among the bright crystals, carefully avoiding the dark ones. Or she would do somersaults, or twirls and pirouettes while throwing off glistening rays in all directions. Sometimes her rays would catch his. Together they would create brightly colored rainbows.
“How come you are so adept at avoiding the dark crystals?” Peter asked.
“Oh," she replied, "I’ve been around them for a long time. I’ve learned how to avoid them. It took me a while to learn that. But now, when they come too close, I just leave. I don’t want to have anything to do with them.”
“You are lucky," replied Peter. "I can’t always do that. I have certain tasks that require me to be among them.”
“Yes, that makes it more difficult,” Elise agreed. Then she added, “Even though I stay away from them, I still don’t understand them. Why do we need them? Why can’t they all be bright and shiny and full of fun like the ones around you?”
“I don’t know," said Peter. "Some people say that the bright and the dark ones are all the same. They say that there is no duality, that it’s all one. How can that possibly be? I can’t see that. It makes no sense to me.”
His question left her perplexed. Both of them were pensive now. After a while Peter jumped up as if he had found the answer: “You know what? There is this big old soul. It’s helped me before. Maybe it has answers to our questions. Let’s see if we can find it.”
Elise agreed. Together they walked in silence in search of the big old soul. It wasn’t long before they found it. It was sitting there, surrounded by lots of smaller, but very bright crystals. As soon as they approached, the old soul greeted Peter:
“Nice to see you again! I see you brought a friend. My hunch is that you have more questions.”
Peter nodded. To his surprise the big crystal seemed to know what was on his mind.
“You want to know how the bright crystals and the dark ones can possibly be all one. Think of it this way. Everything is energy. The souls are sparks from the same divine vessel. They come from the same source. The sparks can use the energy for good or for evil. When they were released from the vessel, they were given the freedom to choose. Some chose to turn toward the light, while others chose to turn away from it. They use the energy that is available to them to create this darkness. But it is the same energy. Only the polarity is different.”
“But I am not one with those dark crystals. I have nothing in common with them. We can’t possibly be the same. I don’t want to have anything to do with them,” protested Peter.
“You are quite right,” replied the old soul with much gentleness. “You are not the same. Let’s try and look at it another way. With energy everything is vibration. You are not on the same wave length with the dark ones. You are poles apart. Just look around you at the bright crystals that you have attracted. You resonate with them as they resonate with you precisely because you are on the same wave length. Does this make sense to you?”
While Peter pondered the question, Elise broke in, “I understand that. What does not make sense to me is why they choose the darkness? It is painful to everyone, including themselves. Why would they choose to inflict pain, or to create more darkness?”
A gentle ray of light from the big crystal touched Elise. She felt its warmth. “It may be difficult for you to understand, but that’s what some souls need in order to learn and grow. Just look at yourself. Would you be where you are today if it were not for the pain you experienced in the past? ”
“That’s indeed a question I have often asked myself,” replied Elise with candor. “Without it I probably would have learned fewer lessons, but I would not have gone out of my way to hurt others.” After a pause Elise continued, "The darker souls don’t just hurt each other, they also hurt the rest of us. They are able to inflict massive blows on all of us.”
“That’s true," replied the big one. "That’s why your goal is to stay as far away from them as you can. Keep surrounding yourself with bright crystals, just as you are doing now. You have learned how to grow without hurting others. Not everyone has learned that. You can help the others, but don’t allow them to drag you down. Make sure you stay focused on the light, and be persistent.”
Just then Peter and Elise heard a lovely bird song. To them it seemed like a signal that it was time to leave. Although neither had fully digested the comments of the big, old soul, they somehow felt lighter. On the way back they played with their rays of light emulating each other to make bigger and better rainbows.