THE GUEST HOUSE

“This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”

White-Wolf Black-Wolf: An ancient Cherokee tale

An elder shared this story with me once as a young boy (both Cherokees no doubt), but he was never able finish it with me. Unfortunately he passed on before doing so, but the pieces that he did leave with me dwelt deep within my heart through this ancient parable. Growing up as a young boy amidst vast varieties of adversity, this white wolf was often on my heart and at the back of my mind’s forefront, but what I had not realized until this wonderful re-discovery was that it had only been “half told” to me…

By coincidence, I stumbled upon this very story moments ago after a quick google search of “White Wolf Native American”. I wasn’t fully conscious of why, exactly, but I had just spent a moment looking within prior to the search and saw a great white wolf with bold eyes staring right back at me with deep trust and reverence. Unsure of the full meaning, I went to the search engine and the rest is synchronistic history. Here is the story that follows my experiences as a Cherokee from boyhood to manhood; an amazing tale for any person walking along the Path, the Tao & The Way:

“There is an old Cherokee story, that of the white and black wolf, that has become popular in the white world, but is only half told.

In it, the grandfather is talking to his grandson about how inside of each of us lives a white wolf and a black wolf. The white wolf is all that is good about us, and the black wolf is all that is bad. The white wolf thrives on justice and peace and the black wolf thrives on anger, fear and hatred.

What the white world has adopted of this tale is this:

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.

“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

In the white world, the story ends like this:

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

In the Cherokee world, the story ends this way:

The old Cherokee simply replied, “They both win.”

and the story goes on,

“You see, if I only choose to feed the white wolf, the black one will be hiding around every corner waiting for me to become distracted or weak and jump to get the attention he craves. He will always be angry and always fighting the white wolf.

But if I acknowledge him, he is happy and the white wolf is happy and we all win. For the black wolf has many qualities – tenacity, courage, fearlessness, strong-willed and great strategic thinking – that I have need of at times and that the white wolf lacks. But the white wolf has compassion, caring, strength and the ability to recognize what is in the best interest of all. You see son, the white wolf needs the black wolf at his side. To feed only one would starve the other and they will become uncontrollable. To feed and care for both means they will serve you well and do nothing that is not a part of something greater, something good, something of life. Feed them both and there will be no more internal struggle for your attention. And when there is no battle inside, you can listen to the voices of deeper knowing that will guide you in choosing what is right in every circumstance.

Peace, my son, is the Cherokee mission in life. A man who has peace inside has everything. A man who is pulled apart by the war inside him has nothing. How you choose to interact with the opposing forces within you will determine your life. Starve one or the other or guide them both.””

Cassandra Tribe

Desiderata

“Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.”

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata

I Saw Goodness Getting Drunk

“I am gone,
lost any sense of wanting the wine
of the nowhereness ask me,
I don’t know where I am.
At times I plunge
to the bottom of the sea,
at times, rise up

like the Sun.

At times, the universe is pregnant by me,
at times I give birth to it.
The milestone in my life
is the nowhereness,
I don’t fit anywhere else.
This is me:
a rogue and a drunkard,
easy to spot
in the tavern of Lovers.

I am the one shouting hey ha.
 •

They ask me why I don’t
behave myself.
I say, when you
reveal your true nature,

then I will act my age.
 •

Last night, I saw Goodness getting drunk.
He growled and said,
I am a nuisance, a nuisance.
A hundred souls cried out, but
we are yours, we are yours, we are yours.
 •
You are the light
that spoke to Moses and said
I am God, I am God, I am God.
I said Shams-e Tabrizi, who are you?

He said, I am you, I am you, I am you.”

•••

O Beloved, thou hast searched me…


“O Beloved, thou hast searched me, and known me.
Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Shekinah, thou knowest it altogether.

Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it.
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.
If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me.
Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”

•••

rumi in the day-light

“LOVE desires that this secret should be revealed,
For if a mirror reflects not, of what use is it?
Knowest thou why thy mirror reflects not?

Because the rust has not been scoured from its face.

If it were purified from all rust and defilement,
It would reflect the shining of the SUN Of GOD.
O friends, ye have now heard this tale,
Which sets forth the very essence of my case.”