Physical life is a constraint set that offers the spirit the valuable counter-pressure necessary to participate in personal and collective expansion. To the unlimited powerful spirit, the opportunity to actually subject one’s self to “participation within a firm and rigorous context” is an extremely precious opportunity. The circumstances of your life are the valuable counter-pressure that your soul uses to become more. It uses circumstances to expand its awareness of what reality can be, to identify what it wants and does not want, and to refine qualities of the self within a context. Your life is the context.
A couple very simple metaphors may be helpful. Physical life might very crudely be compared to getting on a roller coast: once you are strapped in, you are in for the ride and you can’t get off. The ride may be terrifying while you are on it, but is exhilarating to experience and creates a wonderful memory. Oftentimes those who get off of a roller coaster get back in line to get right back on! Another very crude analogy might be: physical life is like lifting weights on a weight bench. The counter-pressure of the weights pushing against you is uncomfortable, but you utilize the counter-pressure to grow stronger and become capable of more. In our case, it is not physical muscle we are building, but spiritual muscle: we are growing our capacity to successfully engage realities in a creative, loving, and fearless manner. We are growing our capacity to successfully engage our experience of the present moment.
The physical universe is a high-intensity full blown “experience context” wherein the soul (your awareness) can temporarily adopt a role within form, and use that role within form to better discover and refine itself. Your circumstances then are not curses, no matter how dire they may seem. Your circumstances are precious opportunities. At times those “opportunities” can seem overwhelming, or perhaps even impossible to endure. There is no shame in becoming overpowered by circumstance.
Your true power does not lie in your ability to mold your circumstance to how you would prefer it to be. Your true power lies in your ability to choose how you will meet your circumstance. Sometimes physically speaking you can do nothing at all- and yet you always have the power to meet your experience with courage, humility, acceptance, and love. That power is the true power! For you have come here to do just that: to actually and personally meet your physical context with a high quality of intent. When you do that, you will be using the counter-pressure of the physical world as it was intended and will automatically begin to transcend the challenges of the physical experience.
Spiritual growth is not something that happens in the mind. It is not a correction of ideas, or even just a change in action. Spiritual growth is a change in one’s very being, in “what one is.”
This kind of change is not one easily undertaken. In order to grow, one typically must be willing to undergo significant personal alteration. Spiritual growth is often a destructive or painful process, and when the moment comes, many are unwilling to actually experience and undergo the intense personal alteration that is necessary. It is far easier to tell one’s self a story of what one is than it is to actually change.
Yet we are here to actually change. So much of the pain each of us experiences in our daily lives remains with us because we are unwilling to fully accept responsibility for our own state of being, and we are unwilling to grow into the humility and selfless intent that our pain calls us to. By the “laws” of the greater divine reality, our own past intentions have brought us into exactly our experience of this present moment- and yet many of us resist that present moment and the lessons it has to offer.
Spirituality is about your relationship to the present moment. It is about your actual experience, and what you do with it. If you meet that experience with willingness, openness, personal responsibility, fearlessness, humility, and selflessness, then you will allow the present moment to start actually shaping you the way it was intended. Willingness, openness, personal responsibility, fearlessness, humility, and selflessness all require a quality of intent- you must use your precious free will to choose the way your soul calls. Often that choice means walking in to the discomfort, pain, insecurity, or danger. Often that choice means taking personal ownership for yourself, for your world, and for the well-being of those around you. Often that choice means allowing yourself to completely let go of all that you are not, of all of your stories and definitions, so that you may actually change and become even more- no matter how dark or difficult that change may seem to the mind. Ultimately, you have absolutely nothing to fear- the Light is always with you and within you! And when you are willing to actually accept responsibility and grow, the universe itself actively responds to your willingness.
The rigorous cruelties of the world are not signs that reality is ultimately harsh and uncaring. Rather, they are demonstrations of the incredible lengths to which love will go in the name of creation and experience. As we lose ourselves in the experience of duality, including its many seemingly darker aspects, it is easy to see the extremes of our experience in form and subsequently reach some (form-based) nihilistic or existential conclusion about the nature of existence. We may correctly identify that form does not hold the answer, even as we forget the much, much deeper meaning of our experience here.
In fact, the extremes of this world have been created in a spirit of love, joy, and even play- not in a spirit of heaviness, necessity, and misery. We have become so lost in the duality, however, that we experience much of the latter. We have become so lost in the duality that we have forgotten ourselves, and when we do that, we suffer. And yet, consistently, the enduring nature of love never tires of standing firm. It waits for us- even silently- around every corner and every experience. We may see terror- but even the opportunity to see terror is ultimately a profound gift of love. The ability to add to Creation through the experience of deep contrast is a gift of love.
The ego rejects this. But it does not see the interconnectedness and purity of love that has given birth to the valuable experience of contrast that it operates within. Thus when you decide to step past your own ego, to stop fighting “what is,” and to just be fully present with your experience without judgment or rejection, you permit yourself to take a step back towards being personally aware of the more fundamental loving nature of existence.