The Hot, Dry, Dusty Valley

Today we will hear a metaphor that I first came across about twenty five years ago.  It is something that I heard Vernon Howard say and it has stuck with me since then.


Vernon Howard

I have mentioned Vernon Howard on this site several times.  He was a self described mystic.  I have frequently mentioned the book “The Mystic Path to Cosmic Power”.  It has helped me tremendously over the years.


When I was living in Arizona I had the opportunity to hear Vernon Howard.  He used to teach every Sunday morning in Boulder City, Nevada.  He taught the following metaphor the time I was able to attend his meeting.


The Hot, Dry, Dusty Valley

This is a metaphor that is intended to help those of us who get frustrated while trying to share and explain our spirituality.


We start with a man standing beside a road.  He is facing a never ending throng of people who are shuffling along the road with their heads down.  The man is standing at a point where a small path branches off from the main road and goes up into the mountains that are nearby.


The man stands there and quietly talks to the people as they shuffle by with their heads down.  Quietly he explains to them that if they stay on the road they will go down into a hot, dry, and very dusty valley.  He urges everyone to take the small path.  He tells them that the small path will lead them up to a beautiful and cool mountain valley that contains a crystal clear spring of cool water.


The metaphor is that the man by the side of the road is attempting to share his spiritual understanding with those who are going by.  He is unable to reach most of those going by because, unfortunately, most of the people continue on into the hot valley.


However, every once in awhile someone will listen to his advice and goes up the mountain.  He knows that he will never see them again because once they have gotten to the beautiful valley they will not want to go anywhere else.  The man is happy because he knows that he is doing everything he can to help those going by him.  He can offer his advice, but he cannot make them turn onto the path to the cool valley.  This man is content.


The greatest reward comes on very rare occasions.  On these occasions someone who has actually gone down into the hot and dry valley comes walking back up the road past all the people going down into that valley.  This person looks at the quiet man and says “You know, you were right – I really did not want to go down into that hot and dry valley.”  Then that person walks up the small path to the peaceful valley.


The quiet man smiles and realizes that his efforts were worthwhile after all.


Please remember this metaphor the next time you get frustrated that you cannot seem to find anyone who understands you spirituality.  Imagine yourself standing by the side of the road and quietly telling people that they really do not want to go down into the hot, dry, and dusty valley.  You really can do no more.  The rest is up to them.


Until tomorrow –


Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.




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