Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Under the Circumstances

Evil is a mirage we choose, individually and collectively, to believe in until we finally see it for the illusion it truly is. Love is the only reality and the only course offering for the curriculum of Earth School. The sooner we embrace this truth, the sooner we graduate from being a student to being a teacher. How many times have you been asked how you are doing? How many times have you answered, "I'm doing okay, under the circumstances?" This is a truer assessment of our situation that we care to admit. We do feel that we are "under the circumstances" while we are grappling with these life events. What we avoid answering is who put the circumstances on top of us in the first place? The truth we don't want to face is that we are the very ones who decided that it was okay for us to remain "under the circumstances" in our lives. Yet we have the power every minute of every day to choose not to remain subject to the circumstances that are in our lives presently. We have the power to choose something different, something other than what we currently experience with our senses. The sooner we start living as though this is true, the sooner we can begin to live on a plane of existence that is above and beyond the obstacles that we call life. Some people are already making these choices every day.

Now take the word evil and replace it with any of the following words: illness, disease, loneliness, lack, war, genocide, murder, rape, theft, child abuse, domestic violence, etcThe same is true of these more specific versions of what we think of as evil or at least something that it not good. Some may dispute including the word loneliness, but these words and so many more have one thing in common--the belief that something exists in this world that separates us from the truth of the universe, that separates us from the reality of Love. That is what places all of them in the same group, and that is what leads us to believe that evil exists within Love or God, if you so choose to call it that.

You may call Love by the name of God, Goddess, Tao, the Universe, the One, the Ground of our Being, or any other moniker you choose. This unity of Being, even if you see it merely as It-ness, is all-encompassing and appears both to include evil, in its myriad forms, and exclude it. In order to understand any of this, you have to set aside your preconceived notions of individual deities. I'm not talking about divisive religious deities, over which wars have been fought, though they all play a role in the many thousand faces of the Divine. I am talking about a oneness that exists beyond the many-faceted divinity of religious beings. Within this oneness, "evil" and its many faces may manifest, but it doesn't actually exists outside of the plane of incarnations. Evil is only one of the faces of opposites--the yin and yang-ness of the world. Good is the opposite. They both exist as contrasts to each other and both lead us to the truth of Love. Both exist as an experience within this fleshy plane, but outside of this plane, there is only Love. So while all of these human conditions, including what we call evil, exist as an experience to teach us, none of these experiences are real themselves. Love is the only eternal reality here. Evil, along with all these other experiences or circumstances, exist as individual and collective experience mirages that serve only to teach us about the one true reality of Love. When our pulse ebbs away, Love will be waiting on the other side. None of these experiences will remain. They will disintegrate like a bad dream where we awaken to a day of bright sunshine and unspeakably beauty.

If you're familiar with Joseph Campbell's work, The Power of Myth, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, or any of his other works, then you know that within our many cultures, the same basic story is told over and over again of a hero--male or female--who goes forth from his or her tribal home and learns many great and wondrous things and experiences various trials and tribulations before returning home radically changed. Although the circumstances that befall each of these heroes may be different, the truth is the same. What is brought back by the hero, whether a magical talisman or merely a story, is a transformative experience that changes not only the hero's way of moving through the world, but it also offers the boon of truth to those who remained behind. That boon offers the others a chance to experience the same transformative journey without leaving home. We do not, after all, take our hero's journeys at the same time, lest we all vacate the planet at once, and that may happen yet. However, in the normal course of things, each of learns this truth at the moment in time when we are ready to receive it.

Some of you who are reading this right now, might easily grasp the reality of the human experience from reading these words. Some may see the iceberg tip of this truth, but they may not be ready to let go just yet of the drama that we call life. Others will find these words to be utterly incomprehensible. Their truth, and perhaps even their existence, will be hidden from some because the psyche is simply not ready to encounter these concepts. This is, I think, why Jesus spoke in parables to the hordes  who followed him, saying "Let him (her) who has ears to hear, let him (her) hear." So if you are reading this and you are not meant yet to understand, then you will not understand and you are likely never even to see this post. On the other hand, when you are ready to hear, when you are ready to see, when you are ready to understand, you will. Other metaphysical thought teaches us that "when the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear." Although at some point each of us will take this journey ultimately at the moment of our death, when soul separates from body, we can experience at least part of the truth of it now while in this flesh. Whether you do or not will determine largely how often you live on top of the mountain and how often the mountain (of life's circumstances) lives on top of you.

Rest assured that this truth is not new. Ancient wisdom reappears in the garb of each new age in order to find a new audience. Already many metaphysicians and teachers are present in this society, and they are spreading this truth wherever they can, to whoever will listen. They all bear part of the overall truth they are sharing with the world. They are becoming Master Teachers who are sharing the boons they have received from the hero's journeys they've taken already. One of the most amazing things about the universe is that there is no limit to the number of hero's journeys we can take. However, each journey should bring us back to the same place of Love, the same place of a unitive experience and a unitive reality. If you come back from a journey with a message of lack and fear, then you have not yet returned from your journey, although you may be at an important juncture of the journey. None of us, not even Master Teachers, will be finished with Earth School until we leave here, but once you get the initial unitive message that arises from a moment of enlightenment, or the end of one journey, then you can begin in that moment to cease to carry on merely "under the circumstances," we call life and can begin to walk with the understanding that what we experience with our senses is only part of the picture--the part that is an illusion. The truer part of existence is that which is beyond the senses, that which actually creates the experience we think is real.

While evil in its various forms feels real, it is no more real than its opposite. Circumstances may feel as though they are on top of you, or some government or other person may feel as though they are in control of your life, but none of that is true. Only what we allow to exist in our lives manifests, and while those things and/or people are there for a reason, that reason is not because they are incontrovertible facts. They are actually experiences we are allowing to be present in order to teach us about the true nature of reality and the human experience. That doesn't mean they don't matter. Nor does it mean that we shouldn't take part in the drama that is the illusion of life. It does, however, mean that in the battles that we fight and win, or fight and lose, what we take to the other side are the lessons learned from standing up for what causes love to expand in the universe. Are innocents being slaughtered? Yes, they are, but in the long run and from the perspective of the other side, none of these innocents have been or ever will be lost to Love. Everyone will still be there on the other side--whole and filled with Love. All that matters is Love--on this side of the veil and the other.

 I know these are not easy concepts to comprehend, and I know that as many questions have been raised and left unanswered as have been answered in a post of this length, but stay tuned. No doubt more will trickle out at some other turn in the bend of this journey we call life. This is only the beginning of the conversation, no doubt. It's okay if your brain hurts a little bit after reading this essay. Those are just growing pains. Namaste!