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Welcome to my Blog!

Wednesday 15 May 2013

The Blind Novice

The young novice, full of unhappy sentiments, asked his master, 'Why do you say I am unfree! Just because I criticise brother Amius for taking more food than he needs! He was ashamed of it himself for I saw him scurry away with it to eat alone!'

The two, the older master and his novice were on their daily walk. Every afternoon they set off to collect medicinal herbs from the woods neighbouring the monastery for the herbaria. This day was chilly and the blueness of the sky signalled the onset of Autumn. The master walked with purpose, his old limbs accustomed to these walks kept a rigorous pace while the novice was cold and found it hard to keep up with his master.

'Every criticism is a judgement of the intellect in your soul and your soul is subject to error, to lies,' he said, pausing to stroke a flower that pleased him.

'But master, I saw it with my own eyes! He took more food than he needed.' The boy hugged himself to keep warm. 'Nearly twice as much, at a guess!'

The master straightened and looked at his charge. 'And your eyes are your measure, this what you are telling me, you believe only what you see? Well, your eyes only see half the truth and half a truth is merely a lie.'

The body frowned indignantly. 'Why is it a lie?'

'Look at the world around you my son! Do you believe that this which you see only with your eyes is all there is?'

'Is there more?'

'This is only one half of it, the dead part.'

'What do you mean? These herbs we have been picking are living and because they are living they heal!'

'Yes, but that is only half a truth. They are only alive because the wisdom of God, the spirit of Christ, the will of Christ, penetrates them and weaves about them. That is why they heal, not because they are alive, but because of what lives in them. Christ lives in us too...in the warmth of our blood and this gives us the possibility for rising above the errors in our thinking.'

'I must confess I do not see His spirit.'

'Perhaps not, but are you so arrogant as to think that just because you can't see something it doesn't exist? Consciousness is not reality. For instance, have you ever visited the Notre Dame in Paris?' his master asked, as he bent to inspect a fern.

'No, but I have heard tell it is beautiful.'

'The Notre Dame does not require your consciousness for its existence and thank God the spirit does not rely on you likewise! The subtle error of the intellect is that it judges only what it sees and binds the soul to all that is dead and this is what makes the soul unfree.'

'So, you say we should never speak the truth?' the boy said defiantly.

The old monk straightened again and sighed. 'Oh you are a silly, silly boy! We speak only when we see the 'real' objective truth, we withhold our imperfect judgement because the truth comes from a living understanding that is higher than the intellect since it is born not out of death but out of the living spirit. Only when we can move freely and objectively out of ourselves to SEE a thing can we know it is true and in so doing we overcome ourselves and we are freed from the power that binds all earthly beings...death.”

'What does this have to do with brother Amius, after all?'

'You say he took more than he needed?'

'Yes, far more, and I would say further that the abbot is foolish for allowing it!'

'And yet you do not take account of what you do not see. This herb I have just picked, it is a poison and yet you and I know that it also heals. The truth is often the opposite of what the ordinary intellect can know. The truth is that Brother Amius was not taking more than he needed at all. He was, in fact, taking less.'

The boy remonstrated, 'I am not blind I saw it myself!'

'But you are blind, blind because you do not see the spirit of Christ in this herb and blind because you do not know that the food Amius took this morning was not for him, it was for our ailing brother Gabriel, for whom we seek these herbs. Amius has asked that his portion be added to Gabriel's portion until he is well.'

The boy felt a sudden emotion rise to his throat. 'Oh Lord! I was wrong!'

'Yes yes!' The old man said enthusiastically. 'You were!'

'How can you be so glad of my error!'

'Because at this moment you are truly free!'

'What do you mean!' the boy let go of his basket and fell to his knees, his head in his hands. 'I am damned! I am damned!' he lamented.

'No my boy, you are not damned! There there,' The master soothed. 'It is only through error that we can learn to know who we are, and it is only by learning who we are that we can be free of ourselves to become who we are meant to be!'

He helped the boy up and together they collected the basket and herbs that had scattered about, and thus they continued their walk in silence.

But now the boy was no longer cold...a warmth had entered into his heart and a new enthusiasm fired up his limbs.

He wondered if this could be the spirit of Christ.


  1. There are times, moments in life, when just the right thought, or story -- comes before the Soul in a way too special to describe in words.

    Please know Adriana - you've just made such an experience happen in my life - today.

    This story is one I needed to hear right now, right this moment.

    And dear god, I so love you for finding a way to do that with those around the world who admire your work and magnicent lectures dealing with Dr. Steiner's teachings and his illimitable treasures of thought.

    Thank you Adriana.

    Thank for just being SO YOU!


  2. I am so glad!! And believe it or not dear Daniel, your words were also just what I needed to hear today too. That is why we need one another and we cannot do without community!

    Much love and gratitude to you,

    Adriana XXX

  3. I live a recluse life. Because you are available to me on the Internet...I can be part of a treasured communityof those studying theirselves and RS work. Thank you.

    Every word you write and share in my part of this community resonates with Christ. Thank you.

    It is scary how many times in a day I judge. Therefore closing myself off from higher learning in the most obscure places. This story reminds me that clear perception is a rare thing indeed!

    Thank you again

  4. Thank you for your kind words Pamela! I'm so glad we can meet this way. I also have to remind myself about judging and also to remind myself to be gentle with myself also because we come to higher knowledge through the faculty of judgement. It is because we can err that we have an inner life and it is through this faculty of judgement that we can come to know our errors so that we can begin to think differently. Thinking differently is what gives wings to our souls and enables us to truly see and truly know.

    All the best


  5. What a charming little story.
    The spirit in it it recalls the little flowers of Father Francis.
    I just discovered your gem of a site.
    I am a Steiner reader, 58, who is Lebanese by nationality.
    will go through more of the site when I can and get back to you.
    God bless.

  6. God bless you too Tony. I'm warmed by your words.

    All the best