Life’s lessons are created by “contrast.”
Often we might expect our lives to move easily or freely through life experiences and then we hit a glitch. Perhaps a small obstacle or sometimes a great mountain which creates a major recalculation in your life’s path. The contrast from easy, quiet, and meditative to a chasm which must be carefully or forcefully overcome becomes some of the most important learning opportunities. You are tested by these obstacles. The wisdom you gain from your moving through or around this barrier thrown onto your life’s path is a lesson you have come into this life to learn.
In American culture, the English language looks to compare and contrast the objects and activities we experience. Better than, less than, larger, smaller, costlier, cheaper, more solid, more soft, the list goes on with defining things by comparing what they are similar to or dis-similar to. This limited and linear way of defining objects and activities seem easier for the limited 3 dimensional human mind to comprehend. We run into problems when we allow ourselves to be “present” and make attempts to explain emotions, feelings, flavors, or spiritual experiences. For example, how do you explain or define the smell of fresh baking bread? Or, really and fully put words to emotions like love? Sometimes we describe what something is NOT, but this rings hollow. Complicated or complex thoughts or feelings do not lend themselves well to English language definitions.
And, using contrast to define experiences often comes down to saying what something is not or something which seems similar, but is difficult to gracefully define. There is our struggle. Feel things, experience things, appreciate things and then attempt to integrate the full emotion or feelings of these experiences. Do not be lazy! It is work to be present and to sort out a complicated emotion. When we must communicate these feelings, we often turn to psychic expression of emotions which can be transmitted unconsciously. Our communication partner must “resonate” with the vibration you are attempting to communicate. If successful, they will “feel” what you are sending even if the words lack the depth of what you attempt to convey.
And, how do you know where you are on your path through this life without contrast with remembering from where you have started? Whether you know it and appreciate most fully, YOU are moving along your path and expanding your consciousness. By sharing your stories, you can clarify your learnings. You offer yourself and your listener a gift by attempting to share your discovered, or remembered, wisdoms.
Personally, I have learned and developed myself more when I have been confronted by the seemingly negative contrast of a major turn in my life. Upon survival, you can reflect on the situation and grow from the experience. There is much to learn when our “normal and expected path” through life is altered or blocked by a significant contrast. These contrasts are not always negative or seemingly painful, like when you suddenly, unexpectedly, “Fall in Love.” These can be dramatic changes in our “normal” path.
An example which occurred for me 50 years ago when I was barely 19 years of age may symbolize several of the concepts we have just discussed. There are no words which do this experience full justice.
The story: I attended a retreat with some students from UCLA where I was attending college. After “partying” on Friday night, we decided to get serious and do some “work” on Saturday morning. There were 5 or 6 group discussions organized and I “was drawn” (or guided) to attend a discussion on Death and Dying. I am not sure why. At the time, I had not done any research or reading or even much thinking about this topic but I was curious about this one choice in topics. The guy in the front of the room was learning about Kubler-Ross’s work “On Death and Dying.” His leadership technique was to lead a “guided meditation” to find out about Death. This seemed OK. I had NO expectations and I had no resistance. I was very naive about all of this, at that time. So, I followed his guidance and instructions which was to get comfortable, relax, breathe slowly, settle in, and then gently and slowly lift myself out of my body. “No problem” and I went along with these instructions thinking that everyone in the room was able to do this easily. He asked that we drift up and away from our bodies, watching as the image of our bodies got smaller and smaller. So, up into space I went. No problem. At some point, looking down at the speck of my body was not interesting so I turn 180 degrees and headed into the blackness of space. No problem and no fear. I traveled out toward what I considered the direction of death. When I got to what I believed to be half way, I paused. Before me in the blackness was a dark horizon. Emanating from over the horizon was the most beautiful warmth. A glowing warm I “knew” to be “Unconditional Love” and acceptance. In that fraction of a second, I “knew,” or “remembered,” what Divine Love was/is. A feeling of Joy, Freedom, Acceptance, no limitations of space or time, no limitations of consciousness, no limits on communication because everyone already knew everything about me and fully accepted me as a connected part of the the Universal Wholeness. (Notice that all of these words can have an infinite amount of personal interpretations…) It was an instant in my life where these feelings were so strong and clear that I will never forget them, though I am limited in going back and feeling these as if I was fully there. (The clear “thought” of this experience I remember, vividly.) I wanted to stay. I wanted to complete the travel over this dark horizon. It was too wonderful to turn away from. And then, the unheard voice telepathetically said that I had to “go back” for it “was not my time.” I argued. And, I was told “you have things to do and you will be able to return when it was appropriate.” I did not know what that meant or what I was “supposed” to do with my life but grudgingly I turned around and headed back to my body. No big deal. Everyone in the room had done the same. No fear. In fact, with this new consciousness, there was not fear of death or dying. No big deal, I assumed everyone had experienced this. When the exercise was over the guy in the front of the room asked if anyone could share their experience. Since I was one of the youngest, perhaps the youngest, person in the room, I waited and looked around. No one raised their hand. Finally, my impatience lead me to raise my hand and I told my story. The guy in the front of the room started bouncing up and down and looked very excited with my telling of my story. It dawned on me, THEN, that I had been “Gifted” with an amazing experience and my excitement kicked in. I did not know what to do with this experience which was an unexpected contrast to my “normal” life and consciousness. I may never fully integrate this experience into my human life. And, I said previously, this is not something I can pop into any time I want. I have tried. But, the feelings which are not well described, have not been diluted by time. That instant is indelibly etched deep into my life’s memory and life’s experience.
In the years since that out-of-the-body experience (or STE: Spiritual Transformative Experience,) I have retold that story. And, every time it brings up the same wonderful and profound feelings. Though my life’s perspective has changed from experience, I know that my life has been changed from this contrast and expanded awareness. My story resonated with me when I read many accounts of NDE’s (Near Death Experiences.) These “felt” familiar and similar. I have come to feel that these other documented stories somehow validate my out-of-the-body experience from when I was 19 years of age. There are times when I am telling my story or listening to someone’s NDE that we get locked in to the same vibrational resonance. I “KNOW” that when I transition from this Human lifetime, I will get to return to the higher realms and re-experience my Divine unconditional love, acceptance, and connectedness with all in the Universe (and beyond.) This is a huge contrast to what I was taught regarding end of life transitions as a child (younger person.)
Of course there have been difficult contrasts which have added to my consciousness like the death of my wife after 30 years together. Or, the struggle after having my out of the body experience which lead me to leave Los Angeles, UCLA, my home, and all my Southern California lifestyle which lead me to turning 20 in Strasbourg, France and never returning to live in Southern California. The “unknowns” we step into after “contrasts” present themselves almost always require a “stretch” to fit into the changed perspective and lifestyle which is created. Amazing stories to share are created.
You can fit your own life and details into a telling of the major contrasts in your life. Every time you tell or retell these stories you gain in perspective and learn. Your witness is blessed with the possible wisdoms, from experience, you are willingly sharing. A win-win for every participant, if all are open and available for wisdom sharing…
Contrasts can be sharp as in Black and white. They can also be more subtle as in shades of gray. A life of consciousness raising has both. Paying close attention is the sign of one who is moving toward an “Enlightened” state. When possible, do not avoid the contrasts. Learn from new perspectives and adjust your travels accordingly. You have choice and an unconscious need to continue to move forward in these adventures into consciousness. AND, when you are presented with an obstacle on your path through life allow this contrast to offer most fully the learning from this diversion. Sure it feels odd, maybe uncomfortable, but it offers new perspective and possible new wisdoms to live by. The concept “that you can not get the Genie back in the bottle” becomes the twist in your road of life which leads you on an amazing adventure… Along the way, share your stories and your wisdoms…
You are a Blessing! YOU are Loved!