You may learn earlier components of Ruby’s story by clicking on this hyperlink:
Ruby stayed close to the oasis, utilizing it as her start line for added excursions into the desert. It supplied her the help she wanted whereas she realized the talents she really wanted to dwell within the desert.
She realized that her wilderness expertise weren’t pretty much as good as she thought they had been. That understanding was jarring. She’d been in loads of wilderness settings, and she or he’s thought she already knew what she wanted and that they’d all work right here.
Some undoubtedly didn’t.
The next months had been a time of retraining herself. She labored on getting higher at foraging, searching, and discovering water. She adjusted when she slept and was lively to cut back the time she spent being uncovered to the harshest components of the day. Progressively, she realized to understand the character of the desert.
Throughout certainly one of her excursions, she discovered herself wandering off the course she thought she’d take. She determined it was her instinct drawing her. Earlier than lengthy, she got here throughout an individual. She had not seen an individual since coming into the desert. Ruby’s coronary heart leapt.
“Hellooooo!” She referred to as out.
“Hellooooo your self!” A person replied.
She quickened her tempo to fulfill this individual. Who was this different courageous soul out within the desert? What had they found? Possibly they knew the trail.
As she neared the person, she obtained an odd feeling. The unusual feeling become confusion. The person wore nothing however a loin fabric and had lots of of feathers tied to his pores and skin with some type of string. He smiled at her by way of a pores and skin of dried blood, which lined most of his face.
“Are you all proper?” Ruby requested, involved. “Do you want assist?”
“Assist? Assist? HELP?!” He cackled gleefully. “My expensive, I’ve completed it!”
“Discovered to fly!” He flapped his feathered arms victoriously.
Ruby took a step again.
“Everybody advised me it could not be completed. Nevertheless it has been completed. It has!” The person straightened his posture. “Permit me to show.”
He walked to a small rock and stepped up on it. He stretched out his arms. Jumped ahead. And landed flat on his face.
“Whoops. Did not account for the wind.”
The had been was no wind.
He jumped once more.
And fell once more.
And jumped once more.
And fell once more.
Recent blood streamed down his face over the dried blood.
“I do not perceive it.” The person stamped his toes and wrung his arms. “It was working simply this morning.” He squinted at Ruby.
“What?” Ruby mentioned, confused.
“You.” His voice carried an accusation.
“It is you! You are messing this up.”
“Git. Git out of right here.” He waved his arms at her. “You are holding me down!”
He moved in direction of her.
Ruby back-peddled. He pursued. Quickly, she was working throughout the desert whereas this man shouted at her about holding him down.
“And do not come again!” His voice echoed from the gap.
She saved working to place as a lot distance between herself and the feathered man. Respiration arduous, she seemed round and realized that she did not know the place she was, and evening had descended upon her.
“Nice. Now the place am I?”
“You’re right here,” a girl’s voice mentioned.
She turned to see a pot over a small fireplace and the shadowy determine of a girl who stirred the contents of a pot.
“Have you ever seen a person lined in feathers anyplace round right here?” Ruby inquired.
“I see you’ve got met Gerald. Did he inform you he can fly?” she responded.
“Is his identify, Gerald?”
The girl nodded. “Poor idiot. Gonna break his loopy outdated neck.”
“Should not we do one thing to assist him?”
The girl shrugged, saved stirring. “He will not hearken to any of us. And no, I have not seen him round right here.” She scooped a few of what she was stirring and tasted it. “Virtually completed.”
“Us? Are there others out right here? I’ve hardly seen a soul.” Ruby sat down reverse to the pot and the lady.
The girl leaned again from the pot and fireplace. “Oh sure. There are all the time numerous souls wandering the desert. I hardly get a second to myself.” She laughed. “Come baby, have some dinner with me.”
Ruby realized how hungry she was. She shortly agreed.
“Did you deliver this pot all the best way out right here. It seems to be heavy.”
“Oh it’s!” The girl laughed once more. “Nevertheless it was needed. It is a part of my therapeutic, and it has been value it.”
“Oh. What are you therapeutic for those who do not thoughts me asking?”
“Why would I thoughts? There aren’t any secrets and techniques within the desert.” She leaned ahead into the sunshine.
Ruby seemed extra intently to see an aged face lined in lesions and sores. She struggled to not react.
“Are you okay?”
“Higher than okay. I am therapeutic proper alongside, and the key is correct on this pot. The most effective type of therapeutic medication there may be. Right here, have some?”
She scooped out among the soup right into a bowl and handed it to Ruby. Ruby seemed down. Her starvation vanished. The girl had been boiling rocks in water.
“Do not wait lengthy. The flavour is greatest when it is scorching.” She slurped the water and began chewing on a rock. “Oh, the place are my manners? I have not served the others.”
The girl did not reply, however went about filling bowls in entrance of a cow cranium to her proper, a sagebrush on her left and what gave the impression to be an empty nest. “Come everybody, do not delay. Eat! Heal! Be renewed!”
“I do not assume I am hungry anymore,” Ruby mentioned, standing up.
“Do not be rude, expensive. Everybody else is digging in, having fun with the drugs.”
Ruby noticed the lady’s outstretched hand, additionally lined in lesions and sores. She additionally observed how emaciated the lady was and realized the reality of what was occurring.
“I am sorry, however I should be on my approach.”
“Aren’t you a impolite one?” The girl snorted. “And do not you get it but? There’s nowhere to go within the desert!”
“Sure, however I am positive I am going to discover my approach,” Ruby replied over her shoulder as she shortly left.
Ruby discovered herself much more confused and misplaced within the desert. She seemed up on the moonless sky for steerage. She realized that she’d not spent sufficient time learning the celebs to seek out her approach. She was used to touring through the day.
She sighed as she realized how rather more she needed to be taught.
Together with that realization, her thoughts felt slippery one way or the other. She felt like she was shedding a way of inside course that when appeared so clear. The longing that introduced her to the desert had disappeared. She felt deserted.
She stopped and held her head in her arms. “Left appears like it’s proper. Up appears like it’s in. Down appears like it’s out….Dammit, what is going on to my thoughts?”
She glanced as much as see a shadow coming close to. Afraid that it was Gerald nonetheless chasing her, she hid behind a bush. A person handed by. He both did not see her or took little interest in her.
She sighed in reduction.
Some time later, one other man handed by. After which once more. And once more.
“What’s going on right here?” Ruby questioned. “I hardly met a soul for months, and now there’s a parade marching by!”
One other man got here close to, and Ruby referred to as out. “Excuse me.”
“Who’s it?” the person requested.
“One other desert traveler.”
“Hi there!” the person mentioned cheerily. “Are you looking for the trail too?”
“Sure.” Ruby felt hope rise once more, however the earlier occasions of the day muted her hope.
“Look no additional. I’ve discovered it.”
Ruby got here nearer and seemed on the floor. She noticed a number of foot prints that had been all about the identical measurement.
“The place does it go?”
He was a moderately giant man with an overgrown beard and wild hair, and his pores and skin had the look of an individual who’d spent a number of time within the desert–weathered, browned, and heavily-lined. He laughed at this query, “To enlightenment!”
Ruby felt momentarily inspired, however as an alternative, she requested one other query. “What does that imply?”
“What does it imply? What does it imply?! It means no extra struggling. It means happiness and bliss on a regular basis. All the things we have ever wished is this manner. Come. Let’s not delay. Please, enable me to steer you.” He bowed extravagantly earlier than her.
Ruby felt a deep want for course amidst a profound sense of lostness. She virtually gave in to it. However she had begun to know the best way to hear extra deeply. She might hear what he was actually saying.
“No thanks. Possibly I am going to be a part of one of many others who’re following this path.”
“As you want.” The massive man bowed once more and left.
Positive sufficient, one other individual quickly got here alongside.
“Hi there desert traveler.” She referred to as out. “Are you on the trail?”
“Sure,” a well-known voice replied.
Ruby’s coronary heart sank.
The massive man got here nearer. “Nicely, would not you realize it! There’s one other girl who seems to be similar to you a methods again.”
“Would not you realize it….Good luck,” Ruby replied.
The person thanked her and continued on.
Some time later, the massive, bearded man re-appeared and once more commented on her resembling two different girls earlier on the trail. Then in a while, how she resembled three different, 4 different, after which 5 different girls.
Lastly, Ruby left the realm nonetheless not understanding the place she was going.
The Desert and Insanity Allegory Interpretation
As this story picks up from the place the final one ended (The Desert and Need), Ruby is staying near an oasis to help her. On the trail to realizing non secular freedom, an oasis is usually a supportive state of affairs, friendship, non secular trainer, or somebody or one thing that permits an individual to interact with their attachments in a wholesome approach.
Ruby has been confronted by the fact that she would not actually perceive the area she is in, i.e. the desert. The primary couple of paragraphs consult with what number of non secular seekers could know a number of non secular instruments and have a number of non secular concepts, however they do not actually perceive how they apply to ego dissolution–which is what the desert is for. So the true non secular individual usually modifications how they use their follow and in lots of conditions provides up instruments and beliefs to be severe about this work.
If they do not surrender their non secular misunderstandings, they will develop into extraordinarily misplaced, which is what begins to occur to Ruby regardless of her greatest efforts to regulate.
Ruby meets 3 sorts of non secular seekers who’re quite common non secular egos to fulfill on this path. All these non secular egos are totally different than those that Ruby met on her journey to the desert (an earlier a part of the story). The Waschbär is not dissolving the ego. He discovered what he thinks he desires and journeys no additional. When issues get severe for the yellow-bellied marmot, he leaves, by no means setting foot within the desert, e.g. by no means actually coping with letting go of attachments. However some individuals do handle to place themselves into that area of ego dissolving–the desert–and but hold onto the mistaken concepts.
First, she meets Gerald, the person attempting to fly. Whom does he represent–the non secular seeker who desires non secular powers. In some Japanese traditions, non secular powers are referred to as the Siddhis. He’s attempting to fly or levitate or no matter. The fact is that he cannot do this stuff. He is fairly insane for considering that is one thing to attain and much more insane for considering that he’d achieved it.
Ruby represents actuality whereas Gerald and the others signify phantasm. The consequence of actuality and phantasm assembly for Gerald is that he tries to assault actuality. So he drives Ruby off as a result of he’d a lot moderately dwell in his delusion.
Subsequent, Ruby meets the aged girl on the therapeutic journey. The therapeutic journey is an important one, however within the desert, that is probably not what’s occurring. It isn’t the correct place for it. The aged girl, nonetheless, has twisted a number of non secular truths, so the state of affairs is much more complicated for Ruby (and possibly for you too). She says issues like:
“You’re right here.”
“There are all the time numerous souls wandering the desert.”
“There’s nowhere to go within the desert.”
It is true. You’re solely ever right here now. Many individuals wander by way of moments of their life when the ego is dissolving (the desert). And there may be nowhere to go on this path, which Ruby is struggling to appreciate.
However these statements aren’t being mentioned for an area of realization. They’re simply concepts the lady repeats to sound sensible. Her lack of knowledge and common insanity is revealed when she talks to a cow cranium and different inanimate objects whereas attempting to eat boiled rocks. Moreover, she has hauled an merchandise that does not make sense to have within the desert–the giant metallic pot. That is one other reference to individuals taking issues (instruments and non secular beliefs) into this work that do not belong right here.
On the earth of therapeutic, there are heaps and many fakes, however there are additionally heaps and many individuals keen to consider the pretend healers. The fact is that this girl just isn’t solely dying of her illness but in addition hunger.
Lastly, Ruby meets the person who’s going in circles. That is one more quite common non secular individual. They assume they know how once they don’t know. Moreover, he holds quite common concepts about enlightenment/non secular freedom/ascension/awakening/whatever-you-want-to-call-it fixing every little thing.
It is engaging. Ruby is feeling so misplaced that part of her desires to consider it. However she correctly would not comply with. By standing nonetheless, she sees the reality. Standing nonetheless is a metaphor for staying as consciousness whereas the ego goes spherical and spherical in its loops.
Once more, Ruby gives a counterpoint of actuality to this different individual, however the giant man is so misplaced that he can not enable himself notice that he is seeing the identical girl over and over. That is so frequent. Irrespective of how usually many individuals are proven to be mistaken about their non secular beliefs and practices, they proceed. That’s insanity.
On the similar time, Ruby goes by way of moments the place she is not positive of what’s actual or phantasm. That may be very a lot part of the trail of ego dissolution. An individual goes by way of occasions of disorientation and re-orientation. It will probably make them really feel loopy.
The large dividing line between madness and re-orientation is that those that are insane find yourself clinging to their beliefs within the face of actuality. They must do every little thing they will to reassure themselves that they’re right–even if it means driving off individuals who query their illusions. You see this time and again with the three individuals on this story. They must ignore all of the information on the contrary that one just isn’t in a position to fly; one other just isn’t therapeutic; and the final is simply moving into circles.
Those that are realizing fact let go of beliefs and attachments. However through the transition, issues really feel actually complicated. That is the place Ruby is.
On the finish of this story, Ruby is misplaced. She’s realized that she has extra to find out about the best way to work within the area than she’d but realized. That is talked about as a reference round studying to make use of the celebs at evening. We’re ignorant to lots of our ego attachments–they are at the hours of darkness. Thus, the darkish locations within us are the place we should go. That is what Ruby goes to must learn–how to work within the dark–the unconscious and unconscious.
We’ll see what she does within the subsequent story.