I feel that we are all somewhere along a continuum that begins with being born and ends with dying. That side of the continuum is an illusion, as we were around as beings for a lot longer than our present life, and we will (hopefully) be around a lot longer as beings of consciousness in the “real world.”
Whatever form that takes. It could be occupying a physical or spiritual form, or both.
For now, we are incarnated in a physical body. At least a part of our soul (the real part of who we are) is with us.
The question of “what is life?” is such a great one, because each person has their own individual answer (no two souls are made exactly alike). In our uniqueness, we define our destiny, we define our own answer to these questions.
If I sought my answers in someone else’s thoughts, then I wouldn’t be able to truly answer this question authentically for myself. This is the importance of reflection, of finding a still place within to answer life’s questions and make sense of the world.
What did we dream about as kids?
Have we been so caught up in our studies, work, family, relationships, health (etc) that we forgot what it was to be a child – to live in an expansive world of infinite possibility? How connected are we to our dream-space – to the world without limitation that defined our early development. It is said that our first seven years defines our inner world, and the rest of our lives we spend creating our outer world.
If stillness, prayer and contemplation is not part of our life, then when can we reflect? How can we make quality decisions? How can we tune in to our desires?
When thinking of the future, and making decisions accordingly, it is helpful to scan the past leading up to the present moment, and then use this knowledge, to define a new course that sits well with the feeling of the past. We are always expanding beings learning new lessons, and defining the course of our lives. We all have an individual and a collective destiny to carry out.
What is the “shadow?”
The shadow is that “ugly self” which we don’t want to be. The shadow is the hidden part of us that plays saboteur. It’s usually that aspect that we do not wish to see, that part of us that prevents us from fulfilling our dreams. Carl Jung named this the “shadow” as it is the part we wish to hide and deny. It’s the part that is deemed shameful, as we subconsciously fear rejection from family, friends and society if we reveal this hidden dark side.
It is this rejection that gives power to that which we reject – that which we disown, owns us.
Just like we give power to an enemy by making it our enemy. Or, we feed something by pouring our energy into hating it.
What we deny in ourselves, won’t let us be, won’t let us live freely. To set ourselves free, the shadow side must be integrated.
A spiritual life is founded on immanent integrity of desire and naked self-revelation. Jung taught that accepting our shadow selves was a gateway into wholeness.“To do this, we are obliged to struggle with evil, confront the shadow, to integrate the devil. There is no other choice.”
Most of us have deep-seated fears and doubts related to ability to be okay, how lovable we are to ourselves and to others, how deserving and worthy we really are behind the identities we create and carry for ourselves, and behind the mask.
We believe that this hidden side would be rejected by others. We hide it deeply because we deem it unlovable even to ourselves. We don’t want to see this side, because we fear ourselves.
The path of transformation usually involves undergoing a rite of passage or initiation. The hero’s journey is always to face a great obstacle, a foe that makes us weak at the knees. In this battle, our “weakness” becomes our greatest strength, or at least we learn to accept it.
How we see the world reflects how we see ourselves; how we see ourselves reflects how we see the world. In discovering ourselves, ultimately we discover that our nemesis was always within. We were our greatest judge, persecutor and adversary. Our path to liberation lies in not only accepting this hidden rejected side, but also embracing it.
On authenticity, Jung said –“I’d rather be whole than good.
In the Bhagavad-Gita, Krishna pronounces, “We cannot be anyone we want to be. We can only authentically be who we are.”
Who are we?
We are vibrational beings of consciousness – tapestries of sound and light.
In the mind of our distant past, creator Gods birthed us into being from consciousness. Within our DNA are the ingredients for awakening and remembering all the seeds and all the possibilities from those seeds of creation.
Born again into dense physical bodies, we are often disconnected from the pure beingness (and belongingness) of the Creator’s breath, the eternal unity of inhalation and exhalation. In our history, we were one with our Creator, born together and fused in the mind of the One. Empirically, we are all one breath, because that is the essence of life, and the essence of the Creator’s mind.
In more practical terms – we are souls undergoing an evolution, an awakening, becoming self-aware. Only we can know what the ultimate purpose is, what our highest version of ourselves is taking us, and when we graduate.
It is for us to choose. It is left for us to create. This is the gift of being human – the ability to change our perspective, develop our consciousness, change our reality, create and manifest our destiny.
Indeed, life is what you create of it, life is what you see of it, life is how you feel it is. There is no “should” – there are just different versions of creation.
The world is magical because it is not hemmed in by edifice. The creations of our minds are creations and adventures in consciousness. The petal of awareness opens to us when we are aware of being awake dreaming. As Carlos Castaneda said – “Loving this world, seeing the beauty in everything; appreciating every moment as a beautiful, wholly contained, pearl of eternal nature – this is the world to me.”
The world is within us, just as we are within the world. It is this wonderment I invite you to experience in awe. It is this beauty I encourage you to enjoy.
May we love and forgive ourselves; may we love and forgive others.
Let this be our prayer:
To overcome limitation and replace negative with positive. For our present to be the best of our past, and our past released into history. For our heart to be always open and loving, and our habits to be all positive. For love to overcome fear. For joy and inner peace to be our constant companion in life and in death.
The heart is an open petal. In silence, we discover purity.