I could be wrong, but so it seems
A discussion among friends generated this consideration:
Life as we know it is a school, a Curriculum. There is only one subject: Life, learning how.
Like school, it is a continuing continuous process.
At any given time, some of us are in kindergarten, some in elementary school, some in high school, some in graduate programs. Like that, in school.
No level is better than any other. Each is perfectly suited to itself. We all go through all of the levels. At our own pace. The levels are different, but the subject is always the same. Being taught, being learned: Life, learning how.
We appear to one another more or less the same. And so we assume we are the same. But we’re not. Any more than an infant suckling is the same as a child learning arithmetic in elementary school is the same as a student of astronautics at CalTech. We are at different levels. Not better, not worse; just different. Younger, older. The differences among us are normal, natural, common. Just like school.
And just like school, we go from one grade to another. Sometimes, we repeat a grade. Sometimes we seem to take a year off. But no one skips a grade.
The pace and the progress is (partly) up to us. When we pay attention, we notice what’s happening, we react accordingly. We listen, we observe, we question, we seek. Other times we wonder about the process, but without enthusiasm or commitment. Or we pay no attention, and just fool around.
But the beat goes on … and on and on. All the while, the Curriculum is in train, unavoidable, inescapable, inevitable: Life, learning how.
We judge ourselves. With patient, everpresent guidance and encouragement. Thank God. A Guru, a Daoshi, a Minister, a Priest, a Rabbi, a Shaman, a Sheikh, a Swami, a Teacher. A Spiritual Friend, inner or outer, visible or invisible, recognized or not. But always present.
And, yes, this scenario assumes reincarnation, even many incarnations. We never die. The body dies, but we live on.
We return. In a different body. As many incarnations as it takes, in as many species and forms as it takes. Always in school.
Does that mean we may live thousands, even millions of lives? I expect so. Does it mean we may live a life as a snowflake? Could be. A rock? Why not. Everything God’s.
Here’s Meister Eckhart:
If I am to know God directly, I must become completely He and He I; so that this He and this I become and are one I.
Which I take to mean: Eventually the pronoun i (lower case) — the ego, the separate and distinct
I am me and you aren’t perception — dissolves, disintegrates, diffuses, disappears into the One and Only upper case I, the One Than Which There Is No Other, as in Exodus 3:14:
I Am The I Am
Then, but no sooner.
Mind you, this is not something we do. It is an event that occurs. In the same way a cocoon becomes a butterfly, a seed becomes an oak. What we can do, what we must do, is allow, enable, embrace, this spiritual process: render to God, surrender to God, our separate and separative sense of me and mine. And that takes time.
Yes, reincarnation. That’s life.
Okay. Why? We are subject to
the Magnet of the Universe (that) draws every living thing … moving … towards a definite objective (
Mysticism by Evelyn Underhill).
So it seems.
Best advice? In the words of Nat King Cole,
Straighten up and fly right.
This essay is also at TZF’s Gazebo page.
For more about these thoughts, please consider this.