I knew about the book entitled The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari by Robin Sharma months ago but only recently did I decide to read it. I suppose it was driven by a sudden thread of curiosity to know the contents of such an attractive title, and also the fact that my one-month free membership on Scribd is soon expiring so I might as well make the most out of it.
And my, oh my, was I surprised and delighted to realise, by the end of the second chapter, that this book relates to my own spiritual journey very similarly, but with much more eloquence than I could have explained.
The narrator begins by giving a background story on his close friend and colleague, a lawyer named Julian, who was very successful in his field and was rich enough to own a Ferrari. But as years went by, living a very demanding life took a gradual but severe toll on him and in the middle of a court hearing, he collapsed.
He survived the cardiac arrest, but only barely. For him, that was a brutal wake up call and he realised that his life needed to change for the better. He could not continue living the way he had and so he immediately quit his job, sold his Ferrari and went into exile in India.
Years later, the narrator named John, who had become quite an established lawyer, was visited by a young-looking, beaming man. That man turned out to be Julian the ex-lawyer. John was obviously bewildered as he did not recognise his old friend at all. And thus began Julian’s sharing of his experiences and knowledge whilst in a remote but inhabited mountain in India.
So this book informs the narrator, and thus the reader, of the steps to an enlightened life as experienced by Julian. The values and lessons were told in a structured manner, focusing on the 7 Essential Virtues to an Enlightened Life. Each virtue is associated by a symbol for easy remembrance. Julian weaves the virtues together in a symbolic scene that goes like this:
You are sitting in the middle of a magnificent, lush green garden. This garden is filled with the most spectacular flowers you have ever seen. The environment is supremely tranquil and silent. Savour the sensual delights of this garden and feel as if you have all the time in the world to enjoy this natural oasis.
As you look around you see that in the centre of this magical garden stands a towering, red lighthouse, six stories high. Suddenly, the silence of the garden is disturbed by a loud creaking as the door at the base of the lighthouse opens.
Out stumbles a nine-foot-tall, nine-hundred-pound Japanese sumo wrestler who casually wanders into the centre of the garden. The Japanese sumo wrestler is almost totally naked. He has a pink wire cable covering his private parts.
As the sumo wrestler starts to move around the gardens, he finds a shiny gold stopwatch which someone had left behind many years earlier. He slips it on, and falls to the ground with an enormous thud. The sumo wrestler is rendered unconscious and lies there, silent and still.
Just when you think he has taken his last breath, the wrestler awakens, perhaps stirred by the fragrance of some fresh yellow roses blooming nearby. Energised, the wrestler jumps swiftly to his feet and intuitively looks to his left. He is startled by what he sees.
Through the bushes at the very edge of the garden he observes a long winding path covered by millions of sparkling diamonds. Something seems to instruct the wrestler to take the path, and to his credit, he does. This path leads him down the road of everlasting joy and eternal bliss.
The words in bold are the symbols that are explained in detail throughout the rest of the chapters of the book.
Since I relate so much with the events that Julian went through in the book, I think that writing about my own experiences in accordance to each of the symbol would be a nice idea. I suppose I can consider this as a small project. I think that by writing it down I would be able to clarify and distinguish the internal or spiritual journey I have been through so far, addressing the problems and solutions, in a coherent manner. And of course by sharing this I can only hope that my thoughts and experiences may benefit you in one way or another.
So keep an eye out for my next post!