Like I mentioned in my last article, “Why We Meet the People We Meet”, I am fan of the many creation stories that exist out there. Many of these stories tell a tale of Source existing in a formless space of darkness. Source had always been there, unencumbered by the constraints of the illusion of time and a physical body. Seeking to know and experience itself, Source expanded its awareness around itself in a 360 degree radius, from which came the Big Bang, the first day of creation, or the first circle of the Genesis pattern – depending on which story you subscribe to.
We share in our Creator’s Purpose
The Creator began to expand his consciousness with the purpose to experience Himself, and He was pleased. The Biblical story of creation says that human beings were created in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, we can reasonably say that Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was not wrong in saying, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” Like the Little Soul, we too share in our creator’s purpose to experience ourselves. We do this as I mentioned in my post about authenticity, by directing our lives through the expression of free will (choosing experiences), and reveling in the state of being human (i.e. living out these experiences).
Our Greater Purpose
What is the point of these experiences though and why must they be so varied? If we truly are here to just experience, why don’t we only choose experiences of joy, contentment and pleasure? That would make life much easier, no? Well, we seek to experience ourselves for the greater purpose of knowing and choosing who we are. That is the entire reason the realm of duality exists. It is our playground, our world of make-believe to which we return lifetime after lifetime in pursuit of love, lessons, growth and transcendence.
“We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.”
Australian Aboriginal Proverb
I find the story of Moses and the burning bush rather interesting. God sends Moses to Pharaoh of Egypt to bring back the Israelites from slavery. Moses, hesitant about the big assignment and his stutter among other things, asks God who he is to tell the Israelites sent him. God replies, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
The Power of I AM
When you think about it, everything that occurs in life is a chance to complete the statement, “I AM …” Every opportunity is a chance to decide whether I am a victor or I am afraid. Every bump in the road challenges me to decide whether I am determined, persistent, and resilient or whether I am discouraged, defeated, or weak-willed. With every person I meet, I must decide whether I am friendly, kind and loving, or whether I am intimidated, judgmental or aloof.
Like the slave-born philosopher, Epictetus said, “Circumstances don’t make the man, they only reveal him to himself.” I think he was on to the fact that life is the continuous answering of the question, “Who am I?” Everything we do is a decision. That’s pretty much all we are here to do, and the wheels of life never stop grinding whether or not we are aware of this. So, either we are living life, or life is happening to us. Stephen Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People echoes this same sentiment saying, “I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” The beauty of life is, we get multiple opportunities to make these decisions, and if we make the wrong ones, we have the luxury of changing our minds – fluidity. And you know what’s even better about this whole arrangement? The system is rigged in our favor. The laws of the universe are in place to help us create our destinies and all we have to do is to stay awake, stay vigilant, and stay conscious.
The Decisions we make
The “why?” question is one that I have always been fascinated with. I find that understanding the reasons and motivations behind things gives me greater insights into how things work. For instance, why people do the things they do and why they do it one way and not the other? Why do some choose to experience the greater part of their fulfillment from singlehood and not marriage, or several marriages for that matter? Why do some choose leadership over servitude, travel over settlement, solitude over community, art over science, fame over unsung heroism or fortune over the simple life? It is simple – because they choose to. It may be a choice made consciously, or from a point of unawareness. It may be motivated by logic or emotion, and made in a particular set of circumstances, but it is a choice all the same. Those things only serve to give us context to the decision and I suppose that’s good – context gives us insight into another’s choice.
Is it then fair, for example, if a person chooses to experience the larger portion of their fulfillment from their work, and we then (rightly or not rightly) label them a workaholic? Doesn’t that word hold such negative connotations that it automatically passes undue judgement on another soul’s experience? My point, the point of all this, is that we are all here on a journey, different entities, many little souls, but all one being seeking to experience itself. This simple idea should help us be more accepting or at least observe other people and their lives with less judgment (and by extension, less conceit).
“To not judge is to be like a peach. We shrink our space by giving up controlling others. Instead, we focus on controlling ourselves. We set others free to be who they are.”
― John Kuypers