A man has a cart that he has taken to the market for many years. The wheels are worn but well greased. The cart is cumbersome yet almost impressive for size alone.
One day the man feels his own weariness along his traveled road and turns around to look behind and there he sees that his donkey has collapsed and died and is lying in his cart.
He finds that he himself has been pulling this cart, along with the weight of the dead animal. The man thus finds that he is bridled to that of his former self and is now so exhausted of it that he can go no further in this effort.
The donkey has long come to represent our most blessed personality's characteristic, for within our personality we come to lean upon such habits and obstinacies in every day to day negotiation. Our responses become far from responsive, and also quite distant from being representative of our true self, for it is both the strength and the comfort of the personality to live in the past and to keep it perpetuated.
This serves a man up and to a point, for it is by the rhythm of repetition that the incarnating process becomes established within the world. We are enabled to bring reality into being by repetitive practice. There is a fundamental consequence to rehearsed and repetitive behavior, for the etheric forces may congeal into a form and establish a memory thereby resounding within the physical world accordingly.
The patterns as laid down by ritualistic/repetitive action bring into incarnation that which we seek to invoke, therefore we can see the great importance of our humble donkey in his service to mankind. Here too becomes the picture image of our Christ straddling the beast, quite clearly depicting fantastically, the process of the Incarnation. From the very highest through to the lowliest of routine (as routine it is), the World and its members all understand the service value of the donkey.
We are obstinate, powerfully obstinate, to forces which would compel us every which way; we are servants at the same time yet, to higher and harder forces of repetition and cycle as well. We are given to the seasons of the year and similarly the over-seasons of our earthly life. We are drawn into the pools of 'habit', the Pneu, as instincts are born from the indelible habits as set down to reference of being ... Then, in minor art-form to this, we go about our lives maintaining our habits - those of our own choosing.
Now from this the student can see that there is to be no mean attitude therefore to that of our beloved donkey; yet nor should there be outstanding reverence offered either, for donkey is simply donkey, not man.
In our problem (c), our donkey has deceased and ceased its usefulness. It has now become so burdensome that the man can no longer advance whilst he is tied to it. Even with the principle of life making its entry into being through the process of deliberate repetition there comes a time when all cycles must eventually exhaust themselves and end. This becomes then the greater principle in relation to the lesser - that cycles are engaged with yet larger cycles of pause and repetitive action and so forth.
It can be to this conclusion that medicines which have formerly been known to hold a remedial action upon a constitution, simply cease their effectiveness unreasonably after a time. (Remembering also that a medicine is not self earned or even necessarily tolerated, its efficacy upon the system comes from outer and other means, unlike with the self-established disciplines where it is that a man adjusts himself.)
Any pattern of being can quit when its term has completed, coming to its natural resolution and end. From this we are therefore compelled to seek new life and new cycles elsewhere rather than try to perpetuate a corpse of activity.
In our relationships with others we may come to depend upon the set sequences of behavior; the cues and routines which enable a measure of compatibility. This form of interaction will be helpful for only as long as there is new life generated (i.e. new thought/ interest/ understanding/ experience etc.), and that the term itself has not yet been fulfilled.
Upon review there can be found certain friendships and associations from which we have departed, and although the signature will always remain shared, the need or desire for communion with these individuals has subsided or gone from our consciousness. This does not indicate any ill-feeling or loss of love necessarily, but is rather a cycle fulfilled which is not caused to perpetuate in a future time known.
There are many faces we have not seen for a very long time to whom we once scanned importantly for their approval or disapproval of us, which brings us to:
Problem d: The Weight of Others' Opinions