There once was a king who ruled his country with love and compassion. He had a beautiful and loving queen, elaborate palaces, dedicated servants, loyal friends, happy subjects, and devoted sons and daughters. People were happy with him as their king, and he was pleased with his lifelong accomplishments. His entire life had been devoted to the discovery of how to find happiness and make others happy as well. Yet with every accomplishment, every building Project completed, and every new discovery he realized that there was still a lack of complete fulfillment. So he continued pushing on with more projects, and searching for new discoveries. Yes, there was peace in his kingdom. He had a loving family, and more possessions than he could ever use, and yet he felt there was something missing.

On day as he was contemplating his feeling of emptiness inside, he called all of his advisors and consultants together and asked them for their help. Each proposed ideas to help their king, yet none could identify what the king felt was lacking. Not knowing where else to turn for his answers, the king remembered he had heard of a sage who lived in the mountains surrounding his village, and so he decided to make the journey to find this man of mystery he had only heard about. He traveled all day with his companions to the remote dwelling where this wise man lived, and entered the humble hermitage of the sage and told the sage his story. He related how he had accomplished so much in life for himself and so many others. He explained how his health was good and he was content except for one thing. He felt a nagging pull in his heart that there was something missing, but he didn't know what it was. So he asked the sage if there was any way possible to find what was missing and feel complete satisfaction and attain understanding of all things.

The sage said, "You are a good man. Your compassion and dedication have brought you the rewards this life can hold, but to know of what is missing, you must understand something of knowledge you have not yet discovered. There are two types of knowledge. One is the accumulation of many facts and details of many subjects. After lifetimes of study one becomes erudite and perhaps wise." The king replied, "I have learned much from many teachers my whole life, and yet I feel there is something missing."

The sage then said, "The knowledge you feel is missing is only an outer reflection of a much deeper kind of knowledge. Let me show you what I mean. Go find a seed from a banyan tree." The king went out under a large sprawling tree and found the seed the sage had requested. He brought the seed to the sage and the sage told him to open the seed and tell him what was inside. The king said, "Why there is nothing inside." To which the Sage replied, "Nothing? And yet the seed of nothing produces the giant banyan tree which then produces more seeds of nothing which produces more trees. How is this possible? The seed inside, which you say you cannot see, is like the underlying nature f all existence. It is the energy and consciousness out of which everything comes. This is the knowledge which by knowing you shall know everything. There will be no more feeling of something missing."

But the King inquired, "How can something come out of nothing." "Indeed," said the Sage, "something must come from something, and that something is consciousness itself, which is pure Being, awareness, intelligence, and love that pervades all people and things. Just as by knowing a lump of clay, you understand everything that is made of clay, and by knowing a piece of gold, you know and understand things made of gold, and by knowing a drop of water, you understand all water, similarly, when you know God as the all pervading essence of everything and the Divine intelligence behind all there is, then you will know all."

"You will come to know God by inquiring deeper and deeper into the core essence of reality and your mind. As in peeling an onion, going deeper and deeper into the layers of the onion you feel, see, smell, and sense a deeper understanding of the onion. Layer after layer you go beneath the surface appearances and come to understand what makes up the onion. So too, as you go beneath the surface of your mind will you discover your needs, reactions, attachments, aversions, wants, pains, successes and pleasures. As you continually explore deeper and deeper you will come to know the fundamental forces composing your being. You will understand what makes you the way you are. You will understand what is real and what has been created out of needs. You continue the process until you come to a place of deep stillness...perfect peace... and unfathomable love. You will discover your consciousness and come in touch with your essential nature. That is your spirit...your soul, and you will come to know that you are one with every other consciousness there is, and all are one together. Your sense of separateness will vanish!"

The King then said, "I want this knowledge. I realize this is something none of my teachers ever told me, and yet I feel that deep inside of me it is what I am seeking? Can you teach it to me?" The Sage continued. "There are many ways and means to this discovery. Complex systems and practice have been formulated over the millennia to assist one who seeks in this discovery, but they all reduce down to each person asking the fundamental questions, "Who is it that is feeling this, thinking this, judging this? Who am I?" When you ask those questions, you will find the answers will surprise you. You are not who or what you think. There are aspects of yourself yet to be discovered, and no one can answer these questions for you. You must discover the answers yourself, but you are not alone in your quest. It is not necessary to live a life of austerity, renunciation, or isolation. You do not need to repetitively reiterate sounds, prayers or pleas. You have only to discover the depths of your true nature...exploring the core of your mind and being. Your discovery of your Self is all that is necessary."

"But no one has ever told me how to do this. I don't know where to begin. How do I find what you are telling me?" The King said. The Sage replied, "There are only a few things you must know. First, be aware that there are obstacles in your path of inquiry and self discovery. Your own mind is beset with distractions, reactions, and worries. You will find yourself groping like a person in the dark for answers that seem to be elusive, when, in fact, they are right before you. You are like a person whose eyes are closed who complains of the darkness, when all that is necessary is to relax and gently open your inner eyes to what has always been with you and right before you...your own truth. It is really very simple, and yet, at first, it does not seem easy."

"Also, you must be patient as this may take you some time. How much depends on how strongly you defend your positions and pains. What you seek is peace of mind, peace for the body, and peace in the spirit. Within that peace is everything...all the knowledge you seek, all the answers to your questions, and all the solutions to your suffering."

"As you search within for the answers to the essential questions, many feelings and thoughts will come to mind. No matter what you experience, say, 'Thank you,' I am neither this, nor that. I bless you, and release you.' You will find yourself shedding the many attachments and illusions you have held. Your points of view, judgments, perceptions, emotions, and questions will gradually diminish. They are all phantoms of your mind anyway. In time, the mind will become quiet, and that is when the true discovery begins."

"And here is a wonderful secret. Remember earlier I said you are not alone on your journey?" "The King said, "Yes, but so far I have felt alone. None of my teachers or advisors have been able to help me in this." "And all your searching throughout your life have led you to my door, where your real discoveries begin," said the Sage. "For I have traveled the road before you and I know the way.

Together I can help take you higher faster than you could alone. When we join in consciousness I can help you release what you cling to that holds you in darkness and pain. I can help you open to the wonders of life. I have waited long for you to come to me, for I have known we would explore together. You do not need to forsake your kingdom, for you will be able to share your discoveries with many, and bring a light to where there has been none. Your kingdom shall flourish as never before. Only come and spend some time with me and a universe of wonder will open before you. I am always here for you, and all who seek."

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