Today we’re going to spend another moment with the wise guru.
He’s going to tell us another story about a lion that thought it was a sheep.
Here it is…
Yogananda tells us: “‘Bleat, bleat, bleat! Please don’t kill me. Let me go! I am not a lion, but only a poor meek sheep,’ wailed the silly beast. The other lion, angry now, gave his captive a terrible shake. Under the impact of it, the sheep-lion opened his eyes and was astonished to see in the water a reflection, not of a sheep’s head, as he expected, but a lion’s head, like that of the one who was shaking him with his paw. Then the big creature said in lion language: ‘Look at my face and your face reflected in the water. They are the same; and this voice of mine roars. It does not bleat. You must roar instead of bleating.’”
He continues by saying: “The sheep-lion, convinced, tried to roar, but at first succeeded only in producing bleat-mingled roars. But under the slapping paws and exhortation of his new friend, he at least succeeded in roaring effectively. Then both lions leaped across the fields. . . ."
And, Yogananda wraps it by telling us: “The foregoing story fittingly illustrates how most of us, though made in the all-powerful image of the Divine Lion of the Universe, remember only being born and brought up in the sheepfold of mortal weakness. So we bleat with fear at the predators of sickness, lack, sorrow, and death, instead of roaring with immortality and power and preying on mortal delusion and ignorance.”
Have you seen the documentary Finding Joe yet?
As I’ve mentioned many times, it’s a film about Joseph Campbell and the modern Hero’s journey.
I happen to be in it alongside Deepak Chopra, Laird Hamilton, Tony Hawk and the late Sir Ken Robinson. The work we do together is, essentially, all about operationalizing the wisdom from that movie into our modern lives.
If you have seen it already, you may recall that Robert Walter (the Executive Director of the Joseph Campbell Foundation) tells this same story about a lion who was raised by sheep. This little lion grew up thinking he was a sheep. Alan Cohen tells a story about the Golden Buddha to make the same point. (Here’s a clip on the Lion scene and the clip on the Golden Buddha!)
What’s the point?
That we are courageous, spiritual LIONS at our core, not weak/meek sheep.
Know this: The thing I find most exciting about the Hero’s journey is the fact that when you and I move from being Victims to Heroes by doing the HARD WORK to move from Theory to Practice to Mastery, we have the chance to move from Victim to Hero to GUIDE.
We can become the strong lions showing the confused sheep-lions that we already have all the power we need to be the change we want to see. And THAT, ultimately, is how we will change the world together.
In short: We need YOU to roar.
Then, by our words and by our example (with an emphasis on our example!), we can help others ROAR.
And, together, we can change the world.
One person at a time. Starting with you and me and all of us.