The City of Separation – a journey of transformation

I first read this story some 30 years ago. I am sure I did not understand it but what it contains has stewed within me for these many years. It resonated somehow long ago and now it feels more real than ever.

The City of Separation – A Tale of Transformation by Kabir Helminski 1992

There was once a city under clouds. In it were office buildings, factories, busy streets, shops and schools. Most quickly residents learned its ways and then learned how to fit into to its expectations.  In this city many of the residents limited themselves by the many uninvited thoughts of separation that were offered. I deserve more, I am not good enough, they are smarter, I am scared of that group of people, I like and I don’t like, why was I passed by, why were they hurtful to me, why did they do this to me, why was I not included, why do they not like me?

The city was dark. The thoughts that people grasped onto choked the energy of the city. Their lights had dimmed. People passed one another in shadows and no longer could clearly see one another. To compensate they set upon creating more attractive selves, creating projections of self and coping mechanisms which would counter the uninvited thoughts of separation.

In this place it was typical for many people to live in fear and suspicion of their uninvited thoughts being true. And so they suffered. Even so called friends withheld much from one another to protect the self.

If you asked who was in charge, you would be told. “We are all free here; we follow our own selves. No one controls us. This is just the way things are.”

At first I had found the city interesting. There were so many distractions and attractions that took me away from my uninvited thoughts and my self centeredness. So much to do. I at first wished to become an observer but soon found myself caught in a seemingly inescapable eddy of becoming part of it. Somehow something did not feel right. Eventually I began to wish to find something more meaningful than the constant chasing of distractions which always left me unfulfilled – always left me wanting more.

I once asked someone “Am I the only one who feels that something is not right? Or do others sometimes feel the same way?

“Sure we all complain” he answered. “But this is life. We have to adjust to reality. But there is a neighbourhood of this city where you can find people who feel the way you do.”

So I ventured into a community which was called the suburb of Remorse. People were still enslaving themselves to every uninvited thought about self and others except it was occasionally followed by a regret of what they had thought, said or done. An inkling of awareness had arisen of how their behaviours were affecting self, loved ones and others. They began to sense the harm that they had launched upon self and others and felt remorse and acceptance of their self – a self still identified with uninvited thoughts of separation.

In this community I asked, “ Why don’t people change? Why do they only think about it and never do it? Where does this type of living without changing our selves end?

A few of the people in the suburb of Remorse found their way out of the city to the village of Sharing. They found it either because of trauma, desperation or by chance. A community of peacefulness and sharing. The village was home to the common beliefs which sustained them. The beliefs offered a shared moral and ethical code. The people enjoyed many forms of togetherness. They celebrated, they sang and they danced. Travelers were always welcome. Fears, doubts and anxieties had been largely tamed.

But more than anything, what kept people happy was the total irrational and immeasurable love they felt for their belief. Once people had come to know this belief there was little chance of returning to the City.

Unlike the people of the City who acted solely from self interest, these people of sharing acted irrationally. They gave away the best they had and expected nothing in return. They lived in a mist of love. Veils of separation between people still existed however were soothed in mutual respect. I felt relaxed and at home even joyous. All went well until I began to feel something unsettled in my heart. When I saw an old man whose face was radiant with life and compassion, I asked,” I cannot seem to remember what it is I really want.”

He replied, “What do you deeply love?”

“When in the city I had forgotten about love. When I came to the village, I realized that there was nothing I wanted more than to be here with these people, but now I am not so sure.”

“Beyond this village, my child is a place you might visit,” he said.

I can take you there.

In this place there are four types of people:

First there are the pretenders. You will see them reading and talking about the truth, practicing and refining how to do the various postures and methods of meditation, and the forms of worship, but their minds continue to wander. They are practicing the ways of love as if they really knew love and this will save them in the end. May their imitation one day become reality.

Then there are the warriors. They practice the Greater work, – the struggle with the ego. They are quiet and gentle, thankful and courteous. The activities they love are the simple acts of living, prayer and spontaneous service. They have shed the artificialities of the ego and its many distractions. They see the uninvited thoughts that are offered and let them arise and fall without identifying with them. Their egos have been tamed by love, found submission and learned to serve the Great Self. If you find them, stay with them long enough to learn patience and real contentment.

Third are the People of Remembrance. They remember the One inwardly in all they do. They eat, sleep and speak little least they distract one another’s attention from the presence of the One. They are the easiest people to be with. If you spend many years with them, you might overcome your own forgetfulness, doubt and withholding. But even when you do, you will still have the hidden contradiction of I and He.”

The fourth group are the People of Total Submission. They are speechless. They undertake no unnecessary action of their own, but there is no obstacle to the will of their great Self, no hesitation, no second thoughts. They have reached the most subtle state of themselves and know their own nothingness. These people ask nothing for themselves because they are identified with the creative power itself. You may live among them for many years until you know of their state and your actions appear as theirs, but you will not be inwardly one of them if you still suffer from separation, if you are still yourself, if you still feel lover and beloved. If your experience still comes from the well of your own subconscious, by your own inner faculties – as long as a trace of you remains in you – you have not attained your purpose. Know that there is a knowledge and a certainty that comes through Spirit alone. Spirit plus Nothing: that is your highest destiny.

3 thoughts on “The City of Separation – a journey of transformation

  1. I know of this Nothingness, as once I had been in Sedona Arizona and lost mySelf at the Amithaba Stupa. I went alone. Lost mySelf. Flew back home and gave a short speech to a room of people and instead of saying my name, I shared my Nothingness experience from the Energy of Sedona. You could have heard a pin drop. Later, on my drive home a thought dropped into my mind, “this is why you came here—had you wanted to remain Nothing, you would have stayed in Spirit.”

    Thank you. I haven’t written of this before. ❤️🦋🌀

    Liked by 1 person

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