Welcome to the archived web site of
Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. Psychologist (1950-2013)
California License No. PSY 10092
Specializing in Presence-Centered Therapy
balancing mind and heart, body and spirit
Now in memoriam - This website is no longer being updated
Articles by Dr. Friedman (except where noted otherwise)
MayaAdapted from Krishna Carmen
A Sufi Healing Tale by Krishna Carmen
Adapted by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D.
An excerpt from
his forthcoming book
Once upon a time, long ago, God decided to give a special gift to the human beings, for they were very dear to Him. He decided to make a dwelling place in each human heart where He would live forever. In this special place God's children would know Him as He truly is and be one with Him. Here they would be completely free to turn toward Him. Here they would have all that was essential to be happy and filled with peace. It was surely the most precious gift ever given.
But God thought, "What is a gift without some beautiful wrapping?" So he veiled His wonderful gift with a most enchanting and attractive covering called Maya. Just a glimpse of this paper was enough to make the human race aware of their freedom of choice, aware of their individual uniqueness, aware of their senses so that they could touch and be touched by the world around them.
This wrapping was laced with clear mountain streams, beautiful green valleys, lifelong friendships and wonderful romances. It bore the fragrance of exotic fruits, secret forests and delicate flowers. It appeared to be so magnificent that it almost seemed like life itself. Truly, any wrapping less beautiful wouldn't have done justice to God's precious gift.
With great joy He carefully folded and secured the paper of Maya around each gift and gave one to each of His children. Needless to say, they were all very pleased with the gifts-they cherished and loved them. To receive a gift is wonderful, but to receive one from God is more than thatit is divine!
But. . . the story doesn't end here. The humans were so excited to receive such beautifully wrapped presents, they didn't think to look inside. In fact, they didn't know there was anything, except the enchanting wrapping. They believed they actually were the wonderful wrapping. For a long time, they just gently sat, gazing at the wrapping, reveling in it.
God smiled and waited. But, all sat looking at their presents, feeling the paper. A few people did lift their heads for a few seconds and thanked God, but quickly looked down again. Most were so engrossed that they didn't realize anyone else was even around-nor did they care! What more could there be?
God gave those who thanked Him a little nudge. "Please look inside," He said. "There's much more." But they didn't understand what He was saying. "Look inside? Inside of what? I'm confused. I don't understand."
God chuckled, "Here, let me show you," and He very gently tore at a few people's presents. When they saw the rips and the shreds of wrapping paper they were broken-hearted. In between sobs and wailing they ranted, "God, you Monster! You ruined my whole life," and, "You're supposed to be kind and loving! Why did you rip up my gift?"
The deafening sound of the wailing seemed sort of silly to God. Here they were crying over the wrapping paper. How could they expect to find the true gift without removing the wrapping? Still, God felt great compassion; they were so young and inexperienced. He knew the crying would stop when they discovered their true gifts. But how long would that take?
After awhile, God noticed a small child who wasn't crying like everyone else. "You don't seem so upset; why not?"
"Well," she answered, "I don't understand why you ripped my package, but I figure you gave it to me, so you must know what you're doing."
God smiled, "I'll show you the real gift." He picked up her package and gently tore it open. It was painful for the child to see her beautiful wrapping fall to the floor, but when she looked up, a smile came to her face and her eyes filled with a warm golden glow. Tears of joy rolled down her cheeks as she tried to thank God for the inner gift. Who knows how much time passed in this infinite space of eternity, this boundless timeless place?
And as she looked down at herself, she saw herself transformed from a young child into a radiant woman-a mature being who shone with the pure light of love. Her light was so bright that a few humans looked up from their Maya-covered gifts and knew something miraculous had taken place. Although some couldn't understand how she could possibly be happy without the wrapping paper, others shouted, "Mother, come teach us what you know! Give us what you have!"
She looked at them and smiled. "You call me Mother, but I am no different from you. I have merely uncovered the gift we all have." A small group gathered around her. "How can we also find this gift? Must we travel far?"
"No," she replied. "You don't need to go a step further. Just don't be afraid when troubles beset you and your life seems to unravel. This is only the outer layer falling away-don't cling or try to wrap the tattered remains around you. Instead, give yourself wholly and completely over to God so He may hasten the unwrapping of your gift. For once the paper is gone, you will see that God is your very own. The Divine is within you and you are within the Divine."
On that day she helped many souls realize their precious inner gift, and they naturally felt inspired to share their experience with others. The ones who have uncovered God's gift still remain with us, eager and willing to help us find our way through the Maya paper to that place where we are all joined with God.
© Copyright 2013 by Will Joel Friedman, Ph.D. and Krishna Carmen.
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