"METAPHYSICS: A Branch of Philosophy That Deals With 'First Cause' and 'The Nature of Being'"



The degree of difficulty assigned each tribulation ever faced, is in direct proportion to the importance placed on the outcome that motivated its necessity. By the same token, rest assured that every test of “overcoming” is no greater than our ability to do so. With that in mind we can see that our co-related physical and spiritual development, is promoted only as fast as each step has its “ground work” or foundation laid. Everything we do, prepares us for what ever is forthcoming, so that no advancement is realized until a frame exists to support it.

The instant fertilization brings the chromosomes of the ovum and spermatozoa together, The Divine Spark animates a new life, beginning with the first cell’s division, setting in motion a course that follows the combined parental genome’s blueprint, as cells become increasingly specialized by appropriating the information necessary to realize both their individual and combined potential. During this period of development, the organism’s physical future is characterized genetically. Every quality that will define individuality is mapped, including the potentiality, and in some cases absolute certainty, of when and what type physical challenges will be faced during its life-span.

With a clarity unique to the eternal perspective, the intended indwelling spirit monitors this pre-embrionic assimilation in the physical––with great care and vested interest––assuring itself all the parameters are in place so the onset of its next series of physical experiences can proceed with the greatest prospect of fulfilling, the broadest realm of beneficial outcomes, thereby advancing one step closer to its inevitable reward. As sometimes happens, especially once one is further along one’s path, many generations may pass in the physical before the suitable combination of genetics, geographic locations and soul mate attendancy, present themselves to encounter the exact challenges conducive to facilitating a specific spiritual advancement. Given those infinite number of variables, a projected embodiment may be rejected, aborted if you will, because some “free will” event changed one or more of the circumstances into which the returning spirit was to have been born, effectively “waving off” an incarnate involvement at that particular time and place. In the case of multiple births, soul mates returning en masse, the complexities of arrangements and timing are compounded and often result in one or more of the fetuses not being embodied. In that same vein, “still births” may be, but aren’t always the product of missed connections of the spirit or inappropriate circumstances in the physical. Consider the possibility that such a “tragic” event could simply be nothing more than a valuable lesson for all involved, whether directly or indirectly. The clarity of the eternal perspective isn’t discernible until we begin to associate our experiences outside the restrictions placed on us by emotions. Overcoming, moving on, forgiving, are all degrees of increasingly emotionless behavioral attitudes.

Actually, myriad opportunities assume forms wholly misunderstood by those around whom they manifest. It’s not at all uncommon for individuals and groups (i.e., families) to be faced with challenges that, by all reference points available in the “now”, make no sense whatsoever. For example, should we find our preferred lifestyle disrupted by an unexpected responsibility or “burden”, whether it’s in the care and nurturing of a challenged or disabled loved one or in their sudden and tragic loss, our inability to see any benefit or gift in conjunction with this situation, leaves an opening for emotion and original instinct to dictate our reacting to such “senseless” acts or circumstances as though we’ve been victimized, and send us on a wild goose chase for something we’ve called, in our ego driven world, “closure”. Rather than see a lesson, by which to grow and invest ourselves in the growth of others, we would sooner imagine such an opportunity as a personal assault and, then having found no recourse, choose grief or even trauma as an accommodating escape from dealing with what otherwise is simply another challenge we’re perfectly capable of overcoming, if it weren’t for the strategies of ego’s agenda. We’re so quick to place blame where none is warranted, in the Truth of Divine Design and Judgment (i.e.; no mistakes, everything is just as it should be), that we allow vengeance to administer hate in the name of love, which slows our progress to a crawl. Being so blind to a chance for growth isn’t a setback. It’s instinct’s self defense to maintain the status quo. The diligent and patient practice of faith promotes the awareness that recognizes growth opportunities for what they are, instead of the obstacles to our peace and happiness that “inside the box” thinking, suggests.

On still another level, lest we forget, in this current cycle of physical incarnations, the causal comparative relations of our combined spiritual and physical origins may be traced from the earliest incremental steps taken of the primal inanimate and then organic embodiments during spirit’s genesis, through to the form we recognize today as appropriate for the ordained awakening of spirit’s latent awareness. Referred to generally as evolution, the physical evidence of these coextended histories survives in each of us. By employing some of the recent advances in science, examples of the physical conformities enabling our continued spiritual growth may be witnessed throughout the period of our gestation, from the first cell division to live birth. Life forms manifested and utilized in the establishment of our current spiritual path are chronologically revisited during every fetal incubation––metamorphosis, if you will––providing evidence of the shared development from its primordial beginnings, through each character embodiment our spiritual advancement procured through the ages, connecting those prior to the need of cognitive capacities, to those of the most recent embryonic refinement, bipedalism. This leap in stature, a crux in physical maturation, resulted in an entirely new entity, versatile enough to swing wide the doors of possibilities increasing the variety of incarnate opportunities where one may continue one’s Divinely Guided erudition to its ordained conclusion. After all, our spiritual enlightenment is the sole reason for creation, so from first light to this present physical cycle of the ongoing eternal source of life, any and all manifestations serve no other purpose except to resolve Spiritual fragmentation through unity. The illusion of randomness inside our “box” is the expression of that fragmenting. Becoming “One”, returning to “at-one-ment”, is our only reason for being! Doing so of our own free will, is the only means by which the fulfillment of that reward is justified.

You see, being “one” was already ours to begin with. That is, “In the Beginning” Heaven and Earth were created. The educated secularist would call it the “Big Bang” theory, they’re not wrong, it’s just a different name for the same event. The fact that they’ve arrived at the same conclusion as the pious, thousands of years later, simply makes them enlightened in the only way they’re ready to accept. So, if all material that will ever exist, or ever has for that matter, formed at the instant of creation, then the question bodes; what was there before its formation? Every single atom making up what is considered the physical universe must have come from somewhere, and since nothing has been added or taken away from its total original mass during the ensuing passage of time, it should be safe to say; time has no measurable affect on the overall significance of things. What does then? What induces the apparent changes we witness that have brought us to the point of sophistication - or complexity - we find ourselves to be a part of today? Regardless of the perspective by which we choose to view our surroundings, there are few options from which to select, in consideration of the answer to these questions. The Spiritual option is; all those who attribute responsibility for everything that happens, to a source of influence outside our control, are ready to accept the notion, in theory at least, of a Creator. The image or name they may summon when beseeching favor can be either personal or based on established practice and roots of their own belief system. The view from that option then, and any others willing to take a leap of faith, clearly avers with devout––dare I say “zealous”––certainty that it can be believed; the only thing that existed before creation was the Creator! Given that, (if only in theory, for the doubtful) it is discerned the source of all that is and will ever be, is God! Since all physical substance manifested from something and the only something that existed before that manifestation was our God The Creator, everything we see, touch, hear and taste, everything beyond our limited senses yet to be revealed, is God! The physical universe is God manifest. It existed in spirit before its “birth”, just as every “change” in it continues to do. Each manifestation, existing or new, is no more than a reflection of the flow in spiritual continuity that must precede it.

Regarding this premise as Truth, let us now return to where we found ourselves when being “one” was our daily fare. All life, animate and otherwise, IS ONE! Everything is universally One with God! Creation is God manifest! Most aboriginal cultures base their belief systems on the assimilation of this Truth. They were able to do so, in large part, because of their isolation from outside influences who, upon “discovering” them, then felt compelled to “civilize” them. It was, in fact, during the pre-history of such cultures world wide, before ego changed migration into immigration, life was found to be flowing in balance with natural events. For the most part, the seasons and cycles varied gradually enough to allow adaptations to conditions, while limiting populations to the available provender, and vice versa, so as to avoid decimation. Natural phenomenon brought about occasional world wide climatic shifts manifesting evolutionary opportunities, or extinctions depending on your view, promoting spiritual advancement to the next level. It was in this Divinely ordered rhythm that “we” the group, “at One” with all, transformed into “I” the individual and no one has looked at anything the same way since! The acceptance of free will turned “one for all” into “me against them”!

The timely and necessary birth of ego has been decried as our “fall from Grace”. “Grace” is the manifestation of God’s Unconditional Love in our lives. We have not fallen outside the Love of God by the appropriation of our own will, because God is Love. We are always, very much a part of Him, since He is The Creator and we are part of that Creation. Basically, ego has done two things with its free will; made us ignorant of unconditional love and, as a result, changed the way we look at everything else. Ego’s awakening was necessary because; even though we were One, we were unaware of God’s Love while we were a part of it. We could not appreciate being the purist expression of that Love. In order to learn of its depth and the provision it represents, we had to change from being a part of it, to being apart from it. Witness then the enigma of our voluntary return to “at-one-ment”. Only by the activity of time can we, first become aware of our ignorance regarding God’s Unconditional Love and second, work through the choices necessary in overcoming that ignorance.

Ignorance makes us vulnerable to extremes. Once out from under the umbrella of being “One”, the choices free will offered opened doors that led to extremes we had no experience with, but were decidedly eager to explore. Our newly acquired and much tempted choice driven imagination, blurred the memory of “oneness” into an unfocused lore kept alive by the few who, through their own choices, stayed attuned to reality enough to become the story tellers, wise men and keepers of the oral history, of their people. For the vast majority however, disconnecting from Divine Guidance meant losing the defining characteristics of right, goodness and love in the muddled temptations of emotion’s intoxicating alternatives. Now free of God’s Will and anxious to sate the appetite of our attention starved immature ego, we allowed ourselves to follow paths into material possessiveness, feeding its accompanying suspicions with the extremes of wrong and hate, in order to assuage any existing positive position into every adverse situation possible, thereby inducing fear where we knew none before, and influencing not just behavior, but the newly forming belief systems of all those egos recently “freed” of God’s Love. The opposition that, in our ignorance we erroneously perceive as everything outside God’s Love, manifests as our day to day tribulation in a physical world where, by His design, every opportunity to experience all manner of physical and emotional dependancy is available to us. Creation has provided unlimited means by which we may practice our freedom of choice. To reiterate, that’s exactly why we’re here, to examine every conceivable alternative and eventually convince ourselves that no matter what pleasures and incumbent gratification lie at our disposal, that nothing surpasses the only Eternal Truth of our God’s Unconditional Love and enable ourselves to freely make the choice that our rightful place is “at one” with Him. The tests and coincident choices we take and make with each breath and thought, redefine and narrow the extremes we face into ever greater detail, honing or sharpening the image that we will recognize as the ideal balance we once had, but took for granted. Only by this rediscovery through experience and freedom of choice could we regain, and more importantly appreciate––by comparison to the varied alternatives––The Truth that erases the extremes of ignorance, permitting the return to “at-one-ment”. More succinctly, if too simply; “you don’t know how good you got it, until you know how bad it can get”!

Ignorance is deeply rooted and slow to eradicate. Though not a product of our original instinct (self defense), the two find comfortable associations on many levels. For example, while our curiosity explores the many pleasures offered by choice, the emotional extremes our immature ego’s self promotion opens up, leaves us susceptible to overwhelming negativeness that fosters greed, suspicion, jealousy and vanity, all of which are behaviors that allow fear of exposure and condemnation to apply the talents of “original instinct” in filling the void of ignorance, so any opposition to our misdirected ego can be met with one or more variations of the most negative expression available; hate! Ignorance induces defensiveness. It was this fear of being held responsible for one’s own acts and feelings––or better yet, the compulsion to extenuate the actions of others, so that all possible synonymity might be justified––that the convenience of misdirecting accountability evolved into what has proven to be a time-tested and now acceptable surrogate for the culpability of our own irrationality. Its timely refinement, found an anticipatory niche in our increasingly guilt ridden and seemingly pigeonholed self-image, by assigning a name and agenda to that most negative counterpoint of our perfectly positive Divine Creator.

In early times, for those moving in the direction of identifying themselves under the influence of Divine Guidance, the personification of Love and Grace was amplified and easier to appreciate if there were a nemesis threatening Divinitie’s hold on young believers. Our focus on the benefaction of faith was underscored every time we were reminded that any lack in that regard, left an opening for the manifestation of what was becoming the nightmare of the “un-divine”. Perfect love was conceptualized by our seminal belief system to justify the overwhelming goodness and generous provision received when patiently acting in faith, but not without the antithesis to “oneness”, the antipode to that perfect love, the equally overwhelming and enduring validation of wickedness. It seemed inevitable we could not accept one without the other. In our weakness (outside of faith), we utilize and depend on examples of opposites to reinforce each other. It was in this primitive mindset, on our Divinely Guided path toward what would one day be monotheism, that idolatry was introduced in conjunction with the rise of animism and nature worship. Imparting the values of that collaboration, (extreme though they may be), into “original instinct’s” association with ego’s conveniently misdirected object of culpability, evil, fully affiliating it into our, thus far, recondite idealism. Unable to accept love without its comparison to hate, punctuates our shortfall with faith more succinctly than the most illuminated confession. The ratification of “evil” as a given, only ascribes to how thoroughly abstruse esotericism can be made when unwilling to take responsibility for one’s own poor judgment, bad choices, emotional reactions and carnality in general. Iniquitousness was not an ingredient in the recipe for life until ego chose to proffer it as an excuse for all that we might otherwise be condemned for. Before we knew right from wrong, we created in our own psyche, (and in our stead) the perfect “fall guy”; satan! Supplanting this proxy for viciousness in our culture opened both the flood gates to irresponsibility and––as opposites would dictate––the road to the succor providing a direction toward which we could secure our return to Love.

At the threshold separating carnality and veneration, in the midst of mixed messages, it’s easier to follow someone into unfamiliar territories rather than lead or go alone. Unsure of our place or worth we surrender leadership to any who demonstrate, or even feign, some degree of authority germane to a direction we think we ought to take, in spite of the fact we’re often less concerned about where we’re going, than we are about getting away from where we are! Though shrouded in the confusion of our own self image and emotion, the finality of Truth is not weakened to any degree by the path taken. The fundamental reasons for, or more importantly, the outcomes of tribulations, aren’t altered in the least by the avenues traveled, nor by opportunities seized or missed. Each choice, every turn, all the doors on our path, lead to some new situation where by we gain insight into the meaning of our relationship with Truth. With innumerable opportunities to grow, the expansive range of fulfilled experiences required to wend our way to faith are assured of being sated. Whether we’re leading or following in the physical, is circumstantial to our being led in the spirit. With that in mind, it’s clearer how the meandering flow that is our spiritual growth cuts its course to the sea of unity despite the humble trickle of a beginning at its headwater, or the infinite number of obstacles along its path. As each individual rivulet joins or is joined by commonality, the flow of the whole increases in strength until nothing can impede its return to the sea of “oneness” from which it originally arose, gossamer like, to soar among the ethereal currents until called once again to fall into physicality, where new obstacles await the eternal perseverance and timely overcoming of our latest manifestation. Thus presented with a new panorama of unknowns and challenges to be met, we re-embark on yet another quest, vastly richer in experience and relationships from all that has been overcome before, moving closer each time to the unconditional surrender of our will, in order to realize the procurement of the purest expression of Divine Truth.

Once assured of our guidance in spirit, we may feel free to proceed with confidence, expecting positive results, even from situations whose circumstances seem otherwise, perhaps to the extreme. Living outside that awareness, on the other hand, especially when faced with any challenge considered beyond our “normal” day to day routine, is not only stressful but occasionally requires a leap of faith, or as some would perceive, an act of heroism, but not without results exhibiting spiritual growth for all concerned, however. It’s in this going through and overcoming that our advancement on the path is measured, remembering too that there are no losses to apathy or no falling back through error, because all consequences are a matter of gain and every action––or inaction––redeems a positive influence with regard to the totality of knowledge and spirit-led insight. For example; social interaction involves the splicing of an infinite array of variables, especially personal agendas, into what usually seems on the surface, a consensus of inclusion that satisfies most individuals while also providing beneficial results for the sum of the whole. Now of course, looks can be deceiving and although history appears to support the assertion that any given example of community combines the behavior of many, in order to complete arrangements and programs that would provide the majority with advantageous intent, as is the nature of carnality, all too often there are individuals who choose to exploit circumstances to their own gain. Much of what we witness or partake of may “feel” unfair when weighed against purely physical or emotional standards, but allowing Divine Insight to remind us; we are spiritual beings not held up to physical judgment, puts such events in perspective.

Each of us are found to be at a different point of our spiritual growth. Whether we’re living faithfilled lives or not, is of little or no immediate consequence except to define how far we’ve come. The fact is, those who are not, have only yet to reach the point where those who are, have, nothing more. Everyone arrives at that point when the adoption of faith is appropriate, according to what is ready to be accepted, but everything we do before and after that point is only another lesson in the school of Truth. No matter what our act, heroic or heinous, its origin is spiritually induced and its consequence is spiritual growth. So no matter who appears to be hurt or helped, or in what way, the intent is learning, or teaching, or both. Eternally, all movement on the Divine path is forward!

Additionally, those living in the absence of faith, can’t begin to grasp the relaxed confidence and real happiness their future revelations in Truth will grant them. Moving toward faith on the path, begins in the neighborhood of recognizing that ego’s gaining of the freedom to choose its own course, doesn’t extend to the manner in which said course proceeds or ends, any more than it did while we were an integral member of an interdependent group. The lack of control over activities however, can awaken an uneasiness that questions the foundation of our worthiness and is reinforced every time we fool ourselves into believing we’re in control of the part we play in any given situation, only to be disappointed when the outcome doesn’t measure up to our expectations. The ability to recognize the connection that assigns hope to reward comes only after many hard lessons and the bitterness that revisits the brink of rationality. Often we must see the worst of ourselves before accepting the help of others. Giving up is the least attractive option and rarely a consideration upon examining the alternatives to be found at an “end of the rope” plight. Overcoming the emotions that feed this kind of pride is the prime objective of these experiences that, to all appearances in the physical, bring us face to face with the acts of desperation that only dread can instill. Repeated tribulations and outright threats against those things we hold most valuable and dear, represent the least examples of the extreme episodes we must continue to encounter and endure, until left with no choice except the one to admit, we don’t have all the answers, whereby a seed of trust is seen to germinate in our psyche. As faith matures from the result of all that fertilization, our trials become more bearable, as well as, fewer and farther between. The provision that blesses the faithful, once realized, feeds the compulsion to stretch our faith to accept those revelations in Truths, poised just beyond our physical senses. Our perceptions and values are products of a belief system that evolves along with us as we grow, fitting neatly where we’re at, on our path. In that way, it’s actually a reflection of our spiritual development and in no manner can be judged wrong, or backward, or lacking, just because it’s different than someone else's might be!

Knowing the perfect proficiency of Divine Design and Guidance, make coping with otherwise intolerable circumstances less adversarial by imparting a more understanding and patient viewpoint. Awareness is by no means a cure-all, simply a dose of tolerance. The inoculation of “Truth serum” that growth in faith provides believers, is in the knowledge that; injustice, insincerity, immorality, indeed all manifestations of carnal-ity––even the most horrific––are no more than physical expressions (which are illusory at best) of Divinely Guided, reality based interactions, for the “soul” purpose of overcoming emotion and original instinct, so that we may be brought to the point of choosing to return to the at-one-ment we knew before ego’s self-awareness.

Those who will choose to think of themselves as victims or survivors, are reacting emotionally to some perceived affront perpetrated upon their person, or loved one, or belief system. That’s okay, in so far as the confusion of the material environment in which we’re predisposed to deal with such things. It’s understandable to take personally, sometimes to the point of being traumatized, an event whose physical characteristics have little relation to, but none the less are generated by, a spiritual motivation we are fully unprepared to be aware of. The ability to take hold of that underlying “unseen” factor, and acknowledge it as Divine Guidance, is the single most important obstacle we face during our physical incarnations. The narrow view of the “now” blinds us to the whole of reality that is otherwise so clear in the spirit. The reason for our Being is not to realize the spirit guided explanation at the root of every carnal thought or action, it’s to attain a level of faith whereby we can accept that guidance for everything that it is. Each insertion––or birth––into the physical time line is focused on a specific connection that will insure the interpersonal contacts to relatives, friends and foes needed to overcome the concurrent goals outlined to advance spiritually. Knowing that and accepting it as fact, gives us cause to go on, even under ominous circumstances. When seemingly all else has failed, spiritual understanding allows us to face what ever lies ahead, with the comfort of not being alone. Not knowing that (or ignorance) makes life seem hard!

In light of that difficulty, we spend many lifetimes struggling with the innate, contentious, behaviors of simply surviving by our own very limited skill and cunning. The constraints of time focus physical emotions and senses in a way that emphasizes everything we feel and encounter, so the expressions of pain, joy, hate, dread etc., are sharply heightened. Unable to see around or beyond the intensity of that focused emotion, we fail to realize an awareness of faith, not to mention its blessings that would serve to ease such hardships.

The intent of misfortune of course is; to bring us to the point of desperation, where after exhausting all possible physical avenues of coping with what ever we feel has befallen us, we seek the help unique to faith, as our only choice left. Though not privileged to the spirit led principles that manifest as brutality or calamity, be assured that all adversity has but one purpose; to lead us to faith. The opportunities for spiritual growth that result from the acquisition of an abiding faith, take us to the very roots of Truth. Revelations to that end, always perfectly coherent to us in the eternal, begin finding avenues of expression through our earthly affairs. Without the commitment necessary to live faithfully, we suffer at the hands of our own misjudged attitudes and trite attempts to justify them. Survival without insight is a constant juggling act of excuses and contradictions, aimed at gaining an edge over any we perceive to be a threat to our rights, inalienable or imagined. The struggles of our day to day routine present us with all the chal-lenges––“and more”––that we are Divinely led to overcome. Being unaware of that guidance promotes an attitude of drudgery. “The school of hard knocks” is a study in stress mismanagement and resistance, on a scale directly proportionate to the degree in which we believe ourselves to be in control. That belief permeates every detail of our daily lives and will no doubt be the final delusion we entertain before fully, and finally, relinquishing our will to that of Divinity. Imagining all positive changes in our behavior to be the result of our own effort, or claiming victory over the oppressiveness of a specific “vice”, and then referring to either as taking control of our life, only emphasizes how pride ensures our blindness to Divine Guidance. Every good and beneficial act––word and deed––every improved circumstance, all advances in the physical are directly related to the Creator working through us, for the benefit of all. Each negative, ill-timed, misstep, resulting in error minded thoughts, acts, reactions or judgments is us, bowing to original instinct and emotion while exercising free will choices! Most simply, all things come from Him. All things appearing “bad”, are our prideful attempts to “run the show”. There is no growth except through Him. The farther away we find ourselves from that point whereby we relinquish our individual will to that of the Creator, the more difficult our circumstances, in every case! That Truism may seem unreasonable or improbable, even unfair or impossible for many to conceive of, but mostly by those who are farthest away from making and taking advantage of that choice themselves. All who accept faith for what it is, do so because they remember and understand that their circumstances are not at all what they appear to be, and more over, are overcome by attitude––one of the few things we can con-trol––not wishful thinking or adroit gamesmanship. The “hard life” is a product of our own calculations, whose solution, equals surrender.

Furthermore, when any deeply personal loss or chronic illness becomes a part of our life, the newly faithful––and some very faithful––might question the basis of their beliefs. That’s the plan! Faith isn’t taken for granted. It’s not something you put on a shelf and have forever after. It’s a door, we must take upon ourselves to walk through, every minute, each day. It’s not a gift from “on high”. It comes from within and through its ongoing practice we receive the comfort and blessing of knowing; we are not alone in our circumstances, and thereby learn to trust that the means of overcoming will not only be provided, but already exists, simply awaiting our asking, discovery and application. Being led to that answer is expedited by the stifling of our emotions and the dispelling of our will long enough to hear and see the obvious. The world of carnal misconceptions in which we must move, and learn to associate ourselves with the myriad avenues of input and expression, leaves few opportunities for a revelation to fall on our ears, without our first seeking out a quite interval devoted to intercept and then entertain what is received. We are most open to Divine Direction and Insight when distractions are fewest. Often enough we follow a feeling that leads in a direction that may seem to be out of the way, only to find something we need, but haven’t necessarily been looking for. Such “serendipitous” encounters are commonly thought of as “luck”, or as accidental, or, in the cases of some confrontations we aren’t expecting, as “bad luck”. All are examples of Divinely Guided opportunities to apply another spiritual Truth. The nudges and coaxing that serve to influence our decisions and directions toward their most beneficial outcomes, with or without our awareness, have their source in the eternal, of course, where the end is as clear as the beginning.

So clear, it should be said, that guiding someone in the physical to the proper connections that facilitate advancement, hardly takes more than a genuine love and concern from someone, a loved one who has passed perhaps, in the spiritual, who is acting without a personal agenda and in harmony with Divine Guidance. Many who are in the timeless expanse between incarnate investitures and have by means of their own experiences advanced appropriately enough, anxiously make themselves available to assist in the Divine choreography acting itself out on the stage of worldly affairs. As might be expected, it’s much easier to conduct such guardianships when all parties involved have a history of interrelationship. For example, it’s not uncommon for us to share familial ties with another soul, or group of souls, time after time in the physical. As made clear enough earlier, many eternal relations like these can truly be called soul mates, while others are no more than repeated efforts to achieve a necessary degree of enlightenment on a specific and, judging from some evidence of redundancy, very stubborn point of view. Extrapolations of soul relations is always uplifting and positive, regardless of some appearances to the contrary. Certain situations are easily understood and readily characterized correctly; others, for what ever reason––usually emotions––escape that differentiation to the extreme, evoking the appearance that the participants are gluttons for punishment. In any case, or more to the point, in every case, our erudition is Divinely and deftly directed from the perspective of eternal wisdom, not only by those in the best possible position to do so, but increasingly, by those with whom we share a bond!

With that very important Truism in mind, we find ourselves in a position to better understand and appreciate (or at least begin to); that the “loss” of a loved one, by what ever means or how it may have manifested in and around our lives, and regardless of the impact it has on the “survivors”, is neither the end, nor the tragedy that custom has prescribed! Those who are no longer close physically, are simply revisiting a position much closer to us than was ever possible while they were “with” us! Many who are approaching an acceptance of this, can gain additional insight and solace, in the promise; loved ones may be “called home” because their service to the whole, their reason for “being”, at this time has been fulfilled and any additional individual protection or guidance their love may represent, can be more easily administered from the “other side”, rather than on the earthly plain where they can only be in one place at a time. Our emotional reaction to “passing on” has traditionally been one of purely self-centered suffering and grieving the loss of, without any regard to the atmosphere in which our loved ones find themselves entering into their next phase of growth. Just as when entering the physical, at birth, the shock of the change from one plain to the next is eased by serene attitudes of love and gratitude. Wailing, persistent “hanging on” (the “can’t let go” attitude), placing blame and guilt trips, benefit no one and are only disruptive, confusing and at best, counterproductive, especially at a time when the recently departed soul might tend to linger briefly, and be discomforted by such behavior, before transitioning. Clearly, anyone who has served out their ordained objectives while blessing us with their love and relations, however briefly it seems by our narrow, selfish frame of reference, deserves a change in our attitude toward the next phase of their ongoing spiritual growth. After all, they haven’t left, they’re not lost, they’re just too close to be seen!!

Admittedly, a shifting in attitude is definitely over do when concerning the overall view we have of our general circumstances, as well. We have seen how the way we think about a specific condition affects our behavior towards every other aspect of life. If we choose to think of ourselves as being persecuted for instance, we’re inclined to be suspicious of most people and encounters, leaving ourselves predisposed to missing opportunities to grow and share. Being either pessimistic or optimistic goes a long way in determining how we approach overcoming obstacles we face at each turn of the path, because of the temperament each attitude imbues. As might be expected for example, an optimist has an ideological predilection to a receptivity of the notion that leads to faith. Faith equals hope, promise, reward, provision and ordinarily from that frame of reference, an easier go of it. From that it might be suggested that; no faith equals a hard life. The “Plan”, after all, is to make the faithless so miserable they have no choice but to turn to faith. It’s a good plan! It works!

The second easiest way to lose sight of the objectives incumbent with living faith filled lives, is to be faced with the challenge of a chronic debilitating illness. Aside from the multitude of woes that could, in accordance with their severity, temporarily divert attention away from hope and a positive mindset, there’s also the loss of mobility and independence. The isolation associated with “permanent” disabilities can be overwhelming. It should come as no surprise, that coping with the frustration accompanying the change in lifestyles that such a prognosis indicates, can be less of a burden and conceivably a blessing, by attitude alone! In the void of “non-faith”, original instinct’s survival priority shuts down in resignation to our mortality, if indeed a diagnosis of “terminal” is proffered. Such a “all hope is lost” submission can result in a withdrawal into reclusiveness. It’s at this weakest point, where reaching out can bring the greatest reward, first of all because, in the face of original instinct “giving up” on its continued vigilance, the opportunity exists for faith to fill the void. Secondly, at the other extreme, there are those whose faith allows them to exhibit the capacity of choosing to turn the worst case scenarios, from paralysis to chronic excruciating pain, for instance, into opportunities to set examples that help others regain the hope in their lives and therefore not allow the distracting discomfort or distress of their affliction to control them. Choices and attitudes, we all have them and as a result, it’s not difficult to tell who’s growing toward a reliance on faith, regardless of their circumstances or possible outcomes, and whose using those same situations as excuses for hopelessness, about the way they perceive things to be in their lives.