“There is no coming to consciousness without pain.”
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.””
Today I’m loitering about, preparing for a large journey elsewhere. I’ve returned to a hometown of mine recently after 40-or-so-years and in doing so I’ve come to be aware that there were looming elements of my past deeply still in existence wrapped up and rooted here. It wasn’t until today, finally, that I began to understood why I still have any connection to this town, and why all of my flights (3 separate flights to 3 separate time zones mind you) to depart have somehow managed to synchronistically fall through in the last 3 days.
As the day had gone on, I found myself sitting on a porch wistfully contemplating into
a private and whispy park-side. Despite the sense that I’d been engulfed a wandering Berumuda Triangle, my heart had been telling me something I just barely managed to notice as the sound of the leaves rustling in the mid-day breeze were so cathartic… A very old Proverb, in the 13th chapter to be exact, that I hadn’t heard since my youth, and since the beginning of the Path I now walk… Well, this proverb continued to replay in my Within, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick”. Over and over again it played… It was almost as though someone was gently whispering into my ears. The ears of my soul more accurately. After each recitation, this mantra would continue echoing…
Earlier this day:
Sometime around the afternoon, I received a call from my childhood sweetheart for the first time in a long time. Since I’d been back, we had met to catch up, but it wasn’t particularly… transparent by nature. Well, she heard that I would be leaving very soon and asked to speak to me once more over the phone. This woman explained to me that she had been in love with me still (and still un-married but often very close to being so), since she 11 and I 16.
It was the most amazing and peaceful death of an extremely long and overdue life… the life of an imaginary possibility: “The One”. The fact that her and I were not “The One’s” for each-other is not the source of imagination, quite the opposite actually. The source of imagination and over-due death was her own clung, emotional fantasy. It was something that survived only off of illusion, because the one she was still in love with was the one she thought I was before I left life as I once knew it and followed the path. The Tao.
Despite this woman’s charming and timeless allure, it was an immense relief. It was to fulfill a conversation I had never realized I had always needed and that we had never had. In some way I felt a huge freedom from a trap that was not my own, and for my friend I think she found the same, and in doing so released us both…
As I pondered this day these experiences my lady-friend had embodied early in the day echoed throughout my thoughts again, along with this proverbial saying I once knew and learned in this very town probably around the time I was once with her. Well, I meditated on these things and their relevance and as fortune would have it, out of nowhere I heard a loud “Crack! SNAP!!!”. One of the main trees at this park just let go of a very large and seemingly alive branch. At this point the implications were clear.
Symbolism of Cracked Tree Branches:
“The only time a branch falls off a tree on its own is when it is dead. No more life to keep it attached to the tree. No sap. No nothing. The tree feels no pain when the dead branch falls away. It might even feel relieved that the dead weight is finally gone. That the dead branch has finally fallen off.”
To see a tree branch signifies good luck, growth and new life. Because trees represent life and branches represent relationships, a branch breaking often means the death of a relationship connected to either family.
Additionally, My Master once said:
“He [the divine father] cuts off every branch in Me [the christic son] that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful.”
See below for the connections…
Since I’ve been back, I’ve felt like many deaths, divorces and broken branches have evidently made themselves apparent. It’s strange though, because all along, I couldn’t help but shake this feeling as though I was being reborn again in some way. This town and the last months of my life have brought about closure for me in a very old, and ancient chapter of my Genesis; and it’s now as I think about it that I remember: “for any new life to be made manifest new death must occur just as well.” This truth is a universal one which can be seen so poignantly seen throughout all life, including the glorious sign of a broken and fallen branch.
I can safely say that if this form of closure has been a “chapter”, than I am certainly nearing the final pages.
It’s through this process of revisiting others that I’ve remembered more and more that when we ourselves move on in life, somehow the perceptions loved ones have on us can withhold our own development and process if they’re not actually ready for us to move on. I love that this is the case, I love that I can trust my guides, and I love that the universe cares for me and my friends just as I would. Tenderly and in due-time. Such as this is the Creator whom I ineffably love. Oh, yeah, and I love his little whispers… My Master’s wondrous whispers… ❤
“Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but,
when that desire cometh, it 𝑖𝑠 that tree of life.”
-The book of Proverbs; Chapter 13, verse 12.