As COVID-19 brings a halt to normal daily life for much of the planet, worst-case scenarios are contemplated and fear mounts. Yes, there is much we don’t know but one thing is certain: we are being given a reset.…
The truth in life is that we probably have countless brushes with death every day that we never know about. Just crossing a busy city street or shuttling the kids to school, one careless driver more or less at exactly the right moment and your number could be up.
There’s nothing, however, like a violently turbulent flight to make you think maybe, finally, despite the overwhelming odds against crashing, this is really it.
Today I had that flight.
It was a routine Delta jaunt from West Palm Beach Florida (my home airport) to New York City for one of the seminars I teach there several times a year; routine for Delta, routine for me. I hadn’t clued in much to the weather other than to know it would be rainy in New York and to select the most appropriate coat to bring.
About half way through the two-and-a-half hour flight, we hit
There inevitably comes a time on any journey when you question everything you know. Everything.
First, there’s the healthy questioning of what you were taught growing up. By this I mean the belief systems you were conditioned with — the result of religions, cultures, schools, races, rules, or even simply your generation. This is normal and natural since as we mature, our direct experience either does or does not align with these beliefs to support them and as the world changes, such beliefs either do or do not stand the test of time.
When direct experience doesn’t align or worse yet, is wildly contradictory to what we were taught, we realize such beliefs are someone else’s truth (or possibly even a complete lie) rather than our own. Most of us learn to trust our direct experience instead and build on that.
A personal life philosophy can work well for a while. Our seeking, searching, and questioning will eventually lead to answers, and direct experience will usually support our new found beliefs based on those answers. Until one day it doesn’t. That’s when you might arrive at a deeper, scarier, lonlier level of questioning.
I’m talking about that level of questioning. Yeah, the level you get to when you think, “What if all this I now believe to be true actually isn’t?”
In other words, “What I’m wrong? What if I think I have it all figured out and I don’t? What if it’s all wrong? What if what I now hold dear that made sense five minutes ago is all hocus?”
The following brief parable emailed to me by a friend brought this up:
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
– Pierre Teilhard de Chardin
Today, I hate the human experience. Today I curse the day I decided to take form in this body, live this life. Why? What possessed me to come and do this now? Again?
I want to disappear. Vaporize into pure spirit. Go back to the before. I want to float out of my body and drift weightlessly, boundlessly free of the emotions that surge through it.
I desperately want to unite with the all-encompassing bliss I was lucky enough, once – just once – to feel after a weekend spiritual retreat. The warming, flooding perfect joy that shuts out all else; that is pure love, or God, or whatever you choose to call it. I want THAT again. Now. But it eludes me.
Today after my husband finds fault with me yet again after I feel I’ve tried so hard to change I feel like giving up. Today after my business isn’t where I want it to be after six years I feel like throwing in the towel. Today after yelling