The Chicken and the Worm
Seeing Past Your Illusions

If you have gotten this far and are still reading these lines, you may be thinking: 'It all sounds very nice but in the end, these are just stories, aren't they?
As it happened, Shaoni too was wondering. After all, by now 14 weeks had passed and well ... nothing much had happened so far.

"It always sounds so simple, when you tell it," Shaoni said, "but then when I try it out, well ... it just doesn't seem to be that easy anymore."

"What do you mean? What is it exactly that you find difficult?" the wizard asked.

"Well," Shaoni answered, "everything in fact! In real life, things just aren't that easy. You say that I can create whatever I want, if only I believe that it will happen. You say I have a 'wizard within' who can advise me ... and all I have to do is ask for it. But then, when I try these things out, they just don't seem to work! It's not that I don't believe it, it's just that, well ... it just doesn't work!"

"Ah yes, I understand." said Aneola, "Indeed, at first, when people start walking on the 'wizard's path', they often get confused. They aren't sure about the things they hear or see or feel. They aren't sure about the messages they receive.

'Is it just my own imagination ... or is it a message indeed?' they wonder.
'Did this happen for a reason now ... or did it just happen by chance'.


Even if it is pretty clear that there is 'something else' going on, the feeling remains that it might just be 'coincidence'. You shouldn't worry about that too much, my boy. It is a phase that all young wizards go through. Don't forget that you have never been trained to follow the 'wizard's path'. Allow yourself some time to adjust to the 'language'. Very soon you will learn to distinguish between the thoughts that come from your mind and the information coming from within. Think about it for a second. Did you learn to speak ... or learn a foreign language ... or even to count in just a couple of weeks? No, and neither would you expect to. Yet if I tell you, you can learn something a thousand times more powerful, you would expect it to happen just overnight. Still, that doesn't mean it is hard, my boy. The hardest thing to learn is to believe that there is indeed something else ... something else to be seen, something else to be experienced."

Shaoni was trying to grasp what the wizard just said when suddenly, the image of the rabbit flashed back into his head, the rabbit he had tried to make disappear just a couple of weeks before, just 'thinking it away'. It hadn't worked either.

"That reminds me of this joke I recently heard." Aneola said.

"One day, a man who thought he was a worm, went to a psychiatrist and said, Doctor, I think I may have a slight problem. The thing is that I am a worm and nobody seems to believe me." The doctor immediately understood that this was going to be one of his harder cases and that it would take a while for him to help this man get rid of his 'conviction'.

Quite a number of months went by but slowly the man learned to understand that he was just living an illusion and that in fact he wasn't a worm at all.

"Yes, now I know," he said one sunny morning when the doctor declared him 'fully recovered', "not a worm, never been a worm even."

A few days later, whilst walking along a farm with an old friend, the man suddenly panics, jumps of the road and into a ditch. His friend, baffled by this behavior, walks over to the man and asks, "What the heck did you do that for?"

"What?" said the man, "didn't you see that chicken?"
"Yes." said the friend, "So what? Surely by now you know you are not a worm."
"Oh yes!" the man replied. "I do! But does the chicken know?"


The boy looked at the wizard, his eyes wide open in astonishment. For several months, he had been traveling with the wizard, and now, all of a sudden, the man started telling jokes. Not that Shaoni didn't like the joke but what was he to do with it? After spending all this time with the wizard, he knew that it wasn't in the wizard's habit to tell jokes.

For a couple of seconds, all was silent. Then, suddenly, Aneola said, "Well? Did that get you any further?"

The boy jumped up. "Good grief!" he thought. "There we go. I knew it."

Aneola didn't wait for an answer.
"Everybody knows that the chicken wouldn't eat the man but that didn't help the man, did it?"

Shaoni didn't even move a muscle.

"No, the reality didn't matter." the wizard continued, "Only his own thoughts mattered ... and what he thought, prevented him from seeing the world as it really was."

"Yes," said Shaoni who by now considered it safe to move again. "but what has that got to do with me? I don't think I am a worm, so ..."

Aneola got up, preparing himself to walk on as they still had a long way to go before arriving at the next village.

"Remember what you said, before I told you the story of the man who thought he was a worm. In his mind, Shaoni recalled the words he had spoken only just a few minutes before.

"In real life, things just aren't that easy. You say that I can create whatever I want, if only I believe that it will happen. You say I have a 'wizard within' who can advise me ... and all I have to do is ask for it. But then when I try these things out, they just don't seem to work! It's not that I don't believe it, it's just that, well ... it just doesn't work!"

Now, tell me Shaoni. What makes you doubt you have 'a wizard within'? What makes you think you cannot really 'create your own realities'? What makes you say that 'it just doesn't work'? You sound so convinced Shaoni ... but what are these convictions based upon? Have you ever tried it before? I mean, have you ever really given it a chance? You know you didn't!

Could it be then that it is rather just your mind that doesn't want to accept it yet? After all, isn't that how everybody has always told you to react?

It's all just tales, Shaoni ... these things can't be true, Shaoni ... this is not real life, Shaoni ...

and isn't that exactly what you are still repeating to yourself, over and over again?"

"Oops, a worm after all." Shaoni laughed, as he got up too.
Once again the rabbit appeared in Shaoni's mind ... starring him right in the face ... laughing at him. Then Shaoni thought about the exercises ... the little exercises the wizard so often gave him in the evening. How many of them had he ever tried out, really tried out, that is.

Shaoni fell quiet. He tried to remember ... remember the exercises.

Later that evening

Later that evening, when all had gone quiet and a blanket of peace had unfolded over the world, the wizard came up to the boy and said .

"In life, Shaoni, most people are convinced about so many things, convinced to the point of not even wanting to look any further. They are convinced that life is hard, that they have no control, that dreams are illusions, that there is nothing beyond the material world ... convinced to the point of living in an ever-smaller world, locked up in their own minds, limited by their own convictions. Convinced and afraid. They live in a sad world, my boy. Try not to be part of them."

"The way not to fall into this trap," the wizard continued, "is to do these little exercises that I often give you to do in the evening. Do these exercises my boy so that the world remains open to you. Don't forget to do the exercises."

Shaoni didn't answer. In his mind he recalled the exercises. How many of them had he really done? He tried to recall some of them. What were they about again?