This post is a peek into the study guide for “Think Differently Live Differently; Keys to a Life of Freedom” The following parable introduces the Study Guide as well as the concept of Thinking Differently. I hope you enjoy it!
Like Atlantis and the Fountain of Youth, most people had dismissed The Code as a myth—another lost ancient treasure, hidden forever. From generation to generation, continent to continent, and culture to culture the whole human race seemed to know that a secret key to life existed, somewhere. They knew because they had heard about it firsthand, or their day-to-day experience confirmed their awareness that something like The Code must exist to make sense of it all. If such a document could be found and decoded, it would provide the key to virtually everything—peaceful co-existence, the restoration of everything broken, a better life on earth.
Though everyone knew that it must exist, no one knew exactly what it was. There were those who claimed to know, and their claim could not be proven wrong since The Code had never been found. No wonder that after centuries of conjecture about the legendary artifact, most people were doubtful when a team of experts claimed to have discovered it at last. They had followed clues from ancient documents that led them to a site in the Middle East. While excavating there they uncovered an artifact that was unlike any other, not just in its physical composition, but in every other way.
The Code was not written on a typical scroll used in antiquity; it was inscribed on a very strange material. Were it not so clearly ancient, it would have appeared that it was made of some sort of primitive plastic or acrylic. It was firm and didn’t have the flexibility associated with paper, papyrus, or animal skin. It was solid, yet light could pass through it. The strangest aspect of this “document” was its shape—a slightly concave oval, just a little bigger than a football. This curvature made the writing on the document seem a bit distorted. Many of the scientists who examined it postulated that, at some point, the document must have been subjected to heat and had reached a melting point, causing the warped effect.
Evidence continued to indicate that this was indeed the document which had once seemed to be only a myth. Curiously, the writing spanned a number of centuries and was recorded in several languages. Therefore, the linguistic team had great difficulty translating the message, and the cultural interpretations were very complex. In response to these challenges, the greatest minds of the day were gathered to unlock the mystery of this “key to everything” code. Linguists, archaeologists, sociologists, anthropologists, geologists, and even some specialists in religious history all came together to solve the mystery of The Code.
The team’s consensus was that the message written on this object gave helpful direction and instruction, but it did not seem to be the world-changing Key of Truth that everyone had been led to expect. It was meaningful and provided some insight, but many began to doubt whether this was actually the document the world had been hoping for. Either it was the wrong document or the expectations had been unrealistic. Surely no single code could change all that was wrong with the world! Nevertheless, the team kept working to decode the rest of the document.
One day, one of the sociologists was busy intently examining historical documents and cultural records. His son had accompanied him to work, and it wasn’t long before the seven-year-old was drawn to the mysterious object lying on the table behind where his father was engrossed in research. The boy picked up The Code and, with great curiosity, began gently turning it over in his hands. What happened next changed everything: He placed it over his face like a mask.
Gazing through the object, the boy gasped, “Dad! Where did all these things come from?!” His eyes were wide with amazement and his jaw dropped as he slowly looked around the room through The Code. Then, he removed the object from his face and looked around a second time. “It’s all gone!” he exclaimed, obviously puzzled. Again he lifted the “mask” to his face, in wonder. The room was once more filled with things he had not seen only a moment ago. The sterile laboratory was transformed into a garden-like setting with shimmering trees and plants—if you could call them that—growing everywhere. Familiar objects looked different when viewed through the lens of The Code, and the boy noticed a glow that shone around, and from within, his father. He marveled at several large shining beings, some of them nearly eight feet tall, standing by their side. As the boy took off the “lens,” the appearance of the room returned to normal.
The child definitely had his father’s attention now. The man approached the boy and carefully took the Code from him. Following his son’s example, he placed the object over his face like a mask. At first, it was difficult to shift his focus away from the words and symbols he had been studying so intently, but when he stopped looking at them and began looking through them, he saw things in the room he had never seen before. Like the boy, he could see the towering beings and the plant-like objects. Then he noticed the light shining around his son, just as his son had seen around him. He had never witnessed anything like it! Even when he took the “mask” away from his face, his perspective remained changed. Having looked through The Code, he now knew the world around him contained much more than he could ever have imagined. He realized that the hidden key of the artifact was not only the ideas it contained, but also what could be seen when one looked through it. Interacting with the document in this way would allow people to discover a reality they had never before considered. The real power of The Code was not that it provided new information, but rather a new way of seeing.
The man excitedly shared the discovery with his colleagues. Strangely enough, not everyone who looked through this giant lens could see what the boy and his father had seen. In fact, when many members of the research team tried looking through the ancient material, their vision was totally unaffected. They were so trained to examine the language or the make-up of the thing itself that, even when they placed it over their faces, they could not look away from those elements. In other words, their way of viewing The Code didn’t change—they were still looking at the words and symbols, instead of looking through the document. Eventually, some of the team realized their mistake and began to shift their focus from the micro-elements of the document and looked through The Code instead.
Sadly, those who could not see anything differently began to tell everyone who could see differently that they were delusional. The cynics believed the others were either deceived or deficient in some way. These men and women were never able to look past the object of their study to see the world that could only be seen through the lens, so they tried to lower the expectations of those who had not yet looked through the lens at all. They said that everyone was mistaken about The Code. As exciting as the discovery was, they insisted that it was not the key that would change the world after all. Yet, in spite of the cynics, those who looked through The Code in the same way the child had now had the power to see everything in a new way, to view the reality contained in a different dimension, and their world was never the same.