We All Have A Piece Of The Divine Inside
There's an old story about a group of nuns living with a wise leader in a nunnery.
Their lives were disciplined and dedicated, and the atmosphere in which they lived harmonious and peaceful.
People from villages far and wide flocked to the nunnery to bask in the warmth of such a loving spiritual environment.
Then one day the wise leader nun departed her earthly form. At first the nuns continued on as they had in the past, but after a time, the discipline and devotion that had been hallmarks of their daily routine slackened.
The number of villagers coming through the doors each day began to drop, and little by little, the nunnery fell into a state of disrepair.
Soon the nuns were bickering among themselves, some pointing fingers of blame, others filled with guilt. The energy within the nunnery walls crackled with animosity.
Finally, the senior nun could take it no longer. Hearing that a sage woman lived as a hermit two days walk away, the nun wasted no time in seeking her out. Finding the wise woman in her forest hermitage, the nun told her of the sad state the nunnery had fallen into and asked her advice.
The sage smiled. "There is one living among you who is the incarnation of the Goddess. Because she is being disrespected by those around her, she will not show herself, and the nunnery will remain in disrepair." With those words spoken, the wise woman fell silent and would say no more.
All the way back to the nunnery, the nun wondered which of her sisters might be the Incarnated Goddess.
"Perhaps it is Sister Mary who does our cooking," the nun said aloud. But then a second later thought, "No, it can't be her. She is sloppy and ill tempered and the food she prepares is tasteless."
"Perhaps our gardener, Sister Sangita, is the one," she then thought. This consideration, too, was quickly followed by denial. "Of course not" she said aloud. "The Goddess is not lazy and would never let weeds take over a lettuce patch the way Sister Sangita has."
Finally, after dismissing each and every one of her sisters for this fault or that, the senior nun realized there were none left. Knowing it had to be one of the sisters because the wise woman had said it was, she worried over it a bit before a new thought dawned.
"Could it be that the Holy One has chosen to display a fault in order to disguise herself?" she wondered. "Of course it could! That must be it!"
Reaching the nunnery, she immediately told her sisters what the wise woman had said and all were just as astonished as she had been to learn the Divine was living among them. Since each knew it was not herself who was the Goddess Incarnate, each began to study her sisters carefully, all trying to determine who among them was the Holy One.
But all any of them could see were the faults and failings of the others. If the Goddess was in their midst, she was doing a fine job of hiding herself. Finding the Incarnated One among such rubble would be difficult, indeed.
After much discussion, it was finally decided that they would all make an effort to be kind and loving toward each another, treating all with the respect and honor one would naturally give to the Incarnated One. If the Goddess insisted on remaining hidden, then they had no recourse but to treat each nun as if she were the Holy One.
Each so concentrated on seeing the Goddess in the other that soon their hearts filled with such love for one another that the chains of negativity that held them bound fell away.
As time passed, they began seeing the divine not just in each other, but in every one and everything. Days were spent in joyful reverence, rejoicing in holiness. The nunnery radiated this joy like a beacon and soon the villagers returned, streaming through the doors as they had before, seeking to be touched by the love and devotion present there.
It was some time later that the senior nun decided to pay the wise woman another visit to thank her for the secret she had revealed.
"Did you discover the identity of the Goddess?" the wise woman asked.
"We did," the senior nun replied. "We found her residing in all of us."