By Reinhard Hopperger
The land I come from has mountains that touch the sky, and people who seek God. There are monasteries teaching, what we call, ‘the golden paths of truth’.
There is one monastery located at the foot of our sacred mountain. Many a young man dreams about entering it as an acolyte. We dream about it because, once admitted, we know this is the last life we will have to spend on earth. then we will enter the world beyond this world.
Though many are called, very few are chosen. The abbott turns most away and asks them to live a good life. He may ask them find their paths in one of the other monasteries in the valleys below.
Of those who are not turned away, there are two kinds.
Those, whom he allows to join, because of their character, purity of soul and wisdom. This has made them ready for the final teachings on the golden paths.
Then there are those with great potential. They have much wisdom, and an ability to talk to the ocean underneath the visible world. They have yet to learn, to develop and to deepen their purity so they can enter.
I am one of those. I am not ready yet.
I received three years of training. I learned to listen to the silence in the smoke. I received the spark that may light the sacred fire in me, one day. I received the wisdom written on the covers of the holy books, but I was not given the teachings of those books yet.
I am blessed that I am among that group. It means my soul is close. I may not be ready yet, but I am close, and this alone is good!
After my three years of learning, he asked me to leave the monastery, and go out into the world to wander until I am ready.
This path, we call it the long walk, can last months or years, sometimes it lasts lifetimes. It all depends on who we meet, what we learn, what wisdom we gain, and what good we do in the world. The goal of those on the long walk is to become ready, so we can come back to the monastery. They will admit us to receive the teachings. This may end our many wanderings through the lives of mortal men.
On our wanderings through the world, every so often we can ask our spirit guides to weigh us. They will decide if we are ready yet, or if we have to keep wandering this world. The way we do this is by burning incense, or holy sage, and sitting in its presence. During those times of deep reflection, the spirit guides may talk to us. They may tell us what is still missing, what we may still need to learn.
Many of those spirit guides have spent lives as monks and abbots in our monastery. They have finished their lives on the floating ice above the ocean. They are now doing their work on the other side, helping those on the long walk to find our way home to the monastery.
This is why the sacred smoke, be it incense or sage, is so important to us on the path. The silence in the smoke will one day tell us when we are ready to come home.
I have been on the long walk for many years now. I have been in many lands and spent many a cold night at the fires of men, elves and dwarfs. I have fought many battles and prayed in the sacred forests. I have made friends, and weaker souls have made me their enemy. I have failed to grow when I should have, and have grown when nobody expected. I have done wrong and I have done some good in this world.
But I am not ready yet.
Though I have gained much wisdom, my heart is still not deemed ready. There is too much darkness still, not enough balance. I am still to get the patience of the holy egret. I am still to get the mindfulness of the white eagle and the purity of the sage brush. I still need the humbleness of the healing moss, that grows on the banks of our holy river. There are many more qualities, too many to count, that my wanderings are yet to develop.
I am wise enough to be on the long walk but I am not ready yet.
My walk has been long, but they have not called me home yet. I have gained wisdom, but I am not ready yet, and I may never be in this lifetime.
The depth of my soul has reached roots deep enough to bless me with some abilities. I have learned that the world of man is like ice floating on the ocean. If your soul becomes blessed on your long walk, then you learn to talk to the ocean. If your soul is pure, and your mind is strong, then you can ask the ocean for a wave, or a current. The ice, that floats on the surface, will move. This is what men call magic.
Over the course of my long walk, I have learned to talk to the ocean. My voice is not clear enough, yet, my mind is not strong enough and my heart is not pure enough. So not every prayer is heard, not every request for change is granted, and not every spell is answered. My soul has purified enough to have a voice, but I cannot yet talk to the ocean all the time. When I am ready to go home, I will learn to talk to the ocean. I will learn to become the ocean. This is where the many-lives journey of my soul will end. This is where I want to go.
So, until the blessed day when the silence in the smoke tells me to go home, I have to wander the paths of earth. I have to encounter what I must, to get my soul ready.
Pray for me, friend. Help me to shorten my wanderings. At least, ask your spirit guides to help me make wise decisions. Ask them to help me do the good I am called to do, as I walk side by side with the high elves. The elves whom I can call brothers and sisters.
Pray for me, that I may do good to the mortal men entrusted to me, many of them are on their long walk too. Pray that I may keep them safe, and show them, through my actions, that golden paths to the ocean await them too.
Ask your spirit guides to help me find the right words when I talk to my brothers, the hot-blooded dwarfs. Lest I find a quick end to this wandering life at the blade of one of their fierce battle axes. Then I will have to listen to the call again, in my next life on the long walk.
I am close, brother, but not close enough for the silence in the smoke to call me home yet.
Until the blessed day, when the voice in the silence speaks to me, until then, I walk the paths of this earth. I walk side by side with my brothers and sisters, doing the work prepared for me before this world was sung into existence.
Now you know friend, why my name is Nra, because I am not ready yet, and I have been asked to wander until I am.
My name is Nra, and my name is my story.
You can contact the author, Reinhard Hopperger by clicking Here
Originally published on Good Men Project