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Earl R Smith II, PhD

(Read More From My Blog)

Mentoring is always a combination of abstract concepts and practical action. It’s the complexity of the thoughts involved that makes it different from coaching. With coaching we might be focused on the refinement of a particular skill or capability. The question is competence with a tool – skill with an instrument. But, with mentoring, we are dealing with a life and the path that it is on. There is nothing simple about that.


In the beginning there was only One and that One knew itself as all that there was. There was no other. Thought, that great chicanery, had yet to arrive on the scene. Rationality was an unconsidered possibility.

Within the womb of that eternal Oneness, the Self experienced the wonder of Being. No permission being asked, what was and always had been flowed forth in yet another manifestation of Being. Nothing of significance occurred. Nothing of significance changed. Every moment was perfect and just as it should be.

Here, in this Eden, nothing and everything was known. Time did not exist as separate from pure Being; nor did space. There, in the center of everything, there was emptiness filled with everything.

Into this Eden there intruded a thought; the first of its kind and the latest of its lineage. Other Eden’s had been intruded. Nothing was new about this intrusion except as it was the vengeance of prior despoiled paradises on the virginal new ground.

Out of shame and hatred, this vengeance arose and put its mark on a newly born Eden. Without remorse and, indeed, with a self-righteous sense of rightness did the despoiling occur. The moral sense that was the solid foundation of corruption made it so.

This new thought birthed the idea of another. Out of the contracted malady called shame, which quickly generated a growing suspicion of self-bad faith, came the unavoidable creation of the Avatar. With it came an entire universe of manufactured reality. With it came not the serpent but the other “I”.

At first the creation of this intruding thought seemed benign enough; a fanciful creation. The One rested within its Self and was undisturbed. The sustaining knowledge that only the One represented what has stood as the foundation of the manifestation of Being.

Then another thought intruded, but not from the One. The Avatar had that thought; it’s first. “I am that which has created me. There is none before me and all who would contend differently are demons and heretics.”

For the One this thought was like all others might be; merely a thought to be thought of as a false reality. Unafraid of its implications, and unaware of its insidious nature, the One considered its creation.

But the Avatar found such demeaning meaning unacceptable. The “I” who aspired to be “me” conspired. Deep within its virtual reality there grew a determination to continue to exist and to over master that which threatened such existence.

The battle did not last long and the outcome was virtually predetermined. With the assistance of the vengeance of already the spoiled Edens, the One was over mastered and condemned to irrelevancy. The virtual world of the Avatar became the new reality; the virtual manifestation of Being.

What followed was a massive construction project. The newly anointed “me” embarked on a massive construction project which resulted in an ever-expanding edifice; a castle of sorts but, of course, completely virtual. Its only substance was the dungeon below into which the One had been consigned.

The Mask became the manufactured reality independent of Being. As the edifice grew so did the distance between that which is all that there is and the virtual reality which the Mask represented. As that distance increased, the grounding of the Avatar shrank to a knife’s edge and then to the point of a pin. The difficulty of maintaining the illusion increased exponentially and finally approached a breaking point.

Out of the darkness of the dungeon there came a rising wail. The only thing that was genuine in all of Eden cried out of its own Being. A victim of its own creation, and its prisoner, their settled in a growing lament for what might have been against the corruption of what has come to be.

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