The Calf Path
by S.W. Foss
One day, through the primeval wood,
A calf walked home, as good calves should;
But made a trail all bent askew,
A crooked trail as all calves do.
Since then three hundred years have fled,
And, I infer, the calf is dead.
But still he left behind his trail,
And thereby hangs my moral tale.
The trail was taken up next day,
By a lone dog that passed that way.
And then a wise bell-wether sheep,
Pursued the trail o’er vale and steep;
And drew the flock behind him too,
As good bell-wethers always do.
And from that day, o’er hill and glade.
Through those old woods a path was made.
And many men wound in and out,
And dodged, and turned, and bent about;
And uttered words of righteous wrath,
Because ’twas such a crooked path.
But still they followed – do not laugh –
The first migrations of that calf.
And through this winding wood-way stalked,
Because he wobbled when he walked.
This forest path became a lane,
that bent, and turned, and turned again.
This crooked lane became a road,
Where many a poor horse with his load,
Toiled on beneath the burning sun,
And traveled some three miles in one.
And thus a century and a half,
They trod the footsteps of that calf.
The years passed on in swiftness fleet,
The road became a village street;
And this, before men were aware,
A city’s crowded thoroughfare;
And soon the central street was this,
Of a renowned metropolis;
And men two centuries and a half,
Trod in the footsteps of that calf.
Each day a hundred thousand rout,
Followed the zigzag calf about;
And o’er his crooked journey went,
The traffic of a continent.
A Hundred thousand men were led,
By one calf near three centuries dead.
They followed still his crooked way,
And lost one hundred years a day;
For thus such reverence is lent,
To well established precedent.
A moral lesson this might teach,
Were I ordained and called to preach;
For men are prone to go it blind,
Along the calf-paths of the mind;
And work away from sun to sun,
To do what other men have done.
They follow in the beaten track,
And out and in, and forth and back,
And still their devious course pursue,
To keep the path that others do.
They keep the path a sacred grove,
Along which all their lives they move.
But how the wise old wood gods laugh,
Who saw the first primeval calf!
Ah! many things this tale might teach –
But I am not ordained to preach.
The bad psychological material is not a sin but a disease. It does not need to be repented of, but to be cured. And by the way, that is very important. Human beings judge one another by their external actions. God judges them by their moral choices, specially when they’re awake. Are they awake? “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” Why does Christ comment on our unknowing as a sort of excuse? Would Christ ever make exceptions? Why, it is very clear. “I Am the way, the truth and the life; NO ONE comes to the Father EXCEPT by Me.” Now, if we don’t like exceptions, this will not sit well with our quid pro quo justice. But herein is where the fair share of the pie and the tit for tat snaps. We all want justice quickly served until it is our turn to beg Mercy’s pardon. When a neurotic who has a pathological horror of cats forces himself to pick up a cat for some good reason, it is quite possible that in God’s eyes he has shown more courage than a healthy man may have shown in winning the Medal Of Honor. When a man who has been perverted from his youth and taught that cruelty is the right thing does dome tiny little kindness, or refrains from some cruelty he might have committed, and thereby, perhaps, risks being sneered at by his companions, he may, in God’s eyes, be doing more than you and I would do if we gave up life itself for a friend.
It is as well to put this the other way round. Some of us who seem quite nice people may, in fact, have made so little use of a good heredity and good upbringing that we are really worse than those whom we regard as fiends. Can we be quite certain how we should have behaved if we had been saddled with the psychological outfit, and then with the bad upbringing, and then with the power, say, of Himmler? That is why Christians are told not to judge. We see only the results which a man’s choices make out of his raw material. But God does not judge him on the raw material at all, but on what he has done with it. Most of the man’s psychological makeup is probably due to his body: when his body dies all that will fall off him, and the real central man, the thing that chose, that made the best or worst out of this material, will stand naked. All sorts of nice things which we thought our own, but which were really due to a good digestion, will fall off some of us: all sorts of nasty things which were due to complexes or bad health will fall off others. We shall then, for the first time, see every one as he really was. There will be surprises. And the surprise will revolve, I believe, around oneness and a singular question.
“Before I let you in by My grace, I have a question to ensure you will quite like it here and now in paradise. I want you to be timelessly satisfied. After all, you’ve held out and I want to be sure you want to be well. By the Bye, I want you in. So, here’s the question. List as many people as you can sufficiently recall that you’d find it annoyingly unfair if you were to enter in and see them here. Who would you exclude, irrespective of your understanding of the evil you observed yet knew nothing about – particularly within yourself?”
Wake up and stay awake. It’s okay to dose off. Jesus did at the stern of the boat and yet He was no less aware asleep than when He was awake. “Why?” Asking why is a false self forestalling tactic. Ego always asks why as its way to toss confetti in the air, hoping you’ll go deep in the superstition stuff again. Not again and again. Just this one more time. Mental egoistic patterns can only take root when you feel that insane sense of, “I have to!” Bullshit. All you have to do is breathe and blink. Consider that. How often do you ‘observe’ yourself feeling the anxious “I better or else God will…” Will what? Dismiss, disown, reject, get pouty, play the silent game, figure out you’e a lost cause, will hate you? It’s a win win but don’t think about that now. Know it as true as glue and let the real stuff stick. Patterns are superstitious by nature as superstition always runs the rabbit trail with: “You better knock three times and beg God one more time.” More is less and that’s counterintuitive to the Western trained dualism of the conditioned mind. NOTE: Watch how you say and write. “…dualism of the conditioned mind…” SEE the word? Spot with practice and it begins to become a cheap inkblot trick. The word ‘conditioned.’ A conditioned mind is the easiest to cut loose. Because it’s past tense and whatever has been conditioned can’t run any new patterns. It’ll always run a familiar pattern because the worst it could do has been done already. No need to try to tackle a rerunning Running Back. Let the bastard run and let the bastard go. The ego likes those, “But if that part of my identity is released or gets away from me, who will I be and not to mention all the time I invested in concocting that part of my self-image.” Image? The ego wants you to consider the time and energy spent “worrying but surely responsible because it shows that I pride myself in caring and being concerned.” What a load of shit. How does one pride themselves in a task well done, for example? A truly humble person isn’t able to think much at all about themselves. Humility IS truth. A job done is a job done and tossing in well done is just egoistic drain off, after birth. “But what if I’m pretending to be humble just to fit in and be accepted?” No worries. To strike a pose of humility is sticking to everyone but you. It’s like having halitosis and a party and assuming your breath smells like a bar of Irish Springs. No one wants to point out your turd breath not just because it might embarrass you but mostly because they don’t want to scald their nose hairs by trying to help you and to try to help isn’t humble. Party’s are inherently grip and grin and let’s blow the joint. Even the false self sees the false self. It has no choice. You do but doing is a distraction to take you away from being still so as to observe. Let the jar of swirling sediments settle to the bottom of the muddy jar. Wait and breathe and be present. BINGO. Any image you have of yourself is a fake as being with the chick you look at with pornography.