While I was rinsing some beans at my kitchen sink the other evening, the thought came into my mind that the many stressful challenges and “negative” experiences that have peppered my life were expressly chosen by me before coming to this Earth and this lifetime for a specific purpose. I often wonder why the majority of humans have not yet successfully matured beyond the grip of the negative, which characterizes much of the process of life in the material world, while we are each living (temporarily and by choice) in a physical body.
I specify the physical world, because I believe that the origin of fear lies in a two-fold dilemma. We, as human beings, are strangled by fear and therefore rarely live up to our potential in expressing the gifts we were given to advance humankind. The reason for the fear lies in the fact that we dread death and change – because these are both threats to our physical beings and survival. The other aspect of the permanence of fear is that when our souls arrive into the body of an embryo, as it transforms into a fetus and newborn infant – our awareness of our true and eternal self becomes a foggy and soon distant memory. As we grow up and are conditioned by human society, we entirely forget our origins and replace our spiritual heritage with fear. The fear is accompanied by the desire to prevent other humans and nature from taking what is ours as we strive to amass goods and wealth to protect our lives and gain material power. Society and the media reinforce these strivings and take us even farther away from our true selves and pre-destined purpose.
It is also interesting to contemplate that the wisdom that all humans need to find full self-awareness, inner peace, and, in fact, peace on earth has been around and available for at least several millennia. The fact is that only a select few make use of this information to find purpose in their lives. Advancing along the path, those who are guided to the already available wisdom gain the understanding that the nature of the physical incarnation and its suffering is for the purpose of the advancement of the spirit of all beings.
Yet the realization stands that as long as we are born into human bodies, we remain strongly bound by fear. Fear is a powerful force, and negative memories seem to impact us more than joy or happiness. It is funny how we cling to the impact of a “bad” relationship, endlessly re-running the drama in our minds, thus reinforcing the experience. And the relationship was only bad because we revealed our vulnerability, repeated an early life conflict, and we were not met with the mirroring that would allow us to heal and go beyond. Or we were not quite ready yet to go beyond. Yet the mind is not restricted by the brain, and even the brain is flexible and can be retrained to think in new ways and form new neural paths at any age.
Since all of us who are alive now are experiencing a cusp in collective human experience as we transition from a materialistic era to a more spiritual era and a rebirth of the feminine, we have the privilege to observe the movement of society. I really do believe very strongly that groups of souls congregate and decide when we humans are ready to receive certain individuals and collective trends – when we are sufficiently receptive and prepared to revise our past ways of thinking. For example, we can all notice a trend in which definitions of sexual identity and acceptable sexual behavior have changed radically over the last ten to twenty years. This is part of the transition that will allow us to revise our views about femininity and masculinity and to undertake the removal of prejudices that have lingered in all of our religious and secular traditions and institutions in all countries all over the world.
It is exciting to contemplate these changes, and it is important, I feel, for each of us – no matter how well read or intelligent we may be – to constantly check our hearts and minds for prejudice and conditioning. These signs of fear never leave us, but if we allow ourselves to observe those thoughts and feelings of annoyance, anger, fear, jealousy and do our best not to identify with them, we just might open ourselves to the love and loving kindness of which our true selves and enduring natures are composed.
I do think that one of the major reasons why humanity as a group evolves so slowly from a spiritual point of view is that the group mentality brings everyone down to the lowest common denominator. There is something about mobs that dumbs people down and causes people to make knee jerk reactions completely from their subconsciously pre-conditioned negative selves. This is a sad observation, but I do hope that eventually, we will move beyond this “fact”. When the majority of humans incarnating on Earth will have evolved to a point where awareness has grown, there will probably no longer be a need for an “Earth school” for souls to learn.
The point of this essay is to state that the negativity of our environment is specifically designed to stimulate our growth, and in that, it is a painful blessing. I have read in many books that we each choose our circumstances and challenges before deciding to incarnate in the specific body, place, and time that becomes the basis of our personal story. When considering this possibility, one then realizes that those individuals living in the most difficult circumstances – war, poverty, discrimination, disease, physical disability, military dictatorship, victims of physical, sexual, emotional abuse – all of these individuals are among the most evolved of beings.
I recently was reading a book about how to best select the work you are meant to do based on numerological analysis of birth date. According to this theory, your birth date is a reminder of the path you decided to embark upon before birth. Since we all forget why we are here most of the time, this is a very interesting thesis. Based on the information in this book, my personal birth date reveals me to have a double number 22/4, which according to the author, means that I am a master soul (meaning I have incarnated many times, and I have a public vocation to bring significant change to my fellow humans through my ideas, the arts, or other avenues). The 4 signifies that I have a choice, which means I could neglect my destiny to help others and indulge in a life of hard work and drudgery.
I have been struggling for a long time with fear and negative experiences with others. Many of these experiences have taught me a lot about myself. The suffering and loneliness have burned off my expectations of others to provide love and a sense of purpose for me…especially since I have learned that those things are constantly and readily available to me within myself. I have also learned that I always have choices. Life can be a very lonely business, and my life has been fraught with difficult relationships and solitude. As time goes by, I have realized that I have chosen those aspects of my story to forge my character and to crystalize my purpose. And I have been given joys to help me to survive the challenges: the love of my son, our dog, our home, art, writing, reading, friends…
As I get older, I find that focusing on my purpose brings me a sense of unity. I still feel afraid at times, and I do my best to reduce worry and trust that my gifts will unfold in due time, bringing all aspects of my mission into focus. I hope to bring some key understandings about life, purpose, education, health and well-being, embracing one’s true spiritual self and life vocation, art, and writing to others. This meaningful work makes being a human person a joy, as the negativity and suffering take on meaning and make the experience all worth while.