The True Test of Character
Key Lesson: When the times that we live in begin to determine the truths by which we live, then the day draws near when nothing True will be left that can stand the test of Time.
Realize the Timeless Truth of Your Self
Part of our work to let go and live in the Light of Now requires new self-knowledge. Consider the following: Our lives are a part of a perpetual and perfect balance whose invisible power governs all things. This idea is as timeless as it is true. The fabric of our universe is a delicate weave of primordial opposites whose ever-changing expression gives rise to existence as we know it. We are given the eyes to see a ceaseless expression of active and passive forces pressing their way into our essence, where they make their passing impressions.
But what we have yet to realize is the actual nature of these celestially prompted longings that push us along to fulfill the promise of our higher nature. The truth is that these forces serve us as both a disturbance and an invitation; they are one and the same, cosmic opposites of a sort that, once realized as such, reveal the path back home to our True Self. A common example will help us understand how and why these celestial energies work as they do within us.
Whenever we feel the onset of a thirst, this physical sensation invites us to seek for something that will quench it. Now consider the way that we thirst for the truth of ourselves. But this celestial need of ours -- in all of its various forms -- never stops pouring down into us from the heights of our own True Nature. This call to a higher consciousness may be denied, but it can never be driven from our soul. We must ask: what do we possess with the power to answer these invisible promptings from which we cannot escape?
We are created with the capability of realizing the timeless truth of ourselves, which includes being empowered to use -- to release or transform -- all the conflicting forces that are woven into the path of the upward Way. Nothing can stop us from receiving that Niagara Falls of celestial impressions whose light not only serves to reveal the still in the dark character of our undeveloped nature, but also pours into us, all that is needed to evolve beyond it. Now all we need is to learn -- and practice -- the specialized part we must play in our own transformation.
First, in order to rightly receive these vital impressions that are a prerequisite for becoming conscious of the life lessons they bring in their tow, we must learn what it means to be rightly passive in the Now. To understand this important spiritual principle, think of what it would mean to receive life without pre-determined demands upon what you will or won't accept as it unfolds. This state of impersonal conscious awareness is referred to in Eastern wisdom traditions as having one's mind polished like a mirror -- perfectly passive to all that passes into and through its consciousness, a silent witness to whatever life reveals. This conscious compliance with a broader reality is the first of two vital stages we must actualize within us if we would transform both ourselves and the world in which we live.
The second stage needed for our transformation -- after the passive ground of us has been seeded with what we have observed within us -- requires we become active. We have received, now we must give. The opposites must be united within us by our own conscious efforts. For instance, say we've worked hard to be more aware of ourselves in the Now, and that for this effort we catch a glimpse of how quick we are to judge others, to criticize them for their "failings." This pain that strains us -- and those we touch with it -- is itself a creation of a false sense of our own perfection. But our awareness of its punishing presence within us is the same as our invitation to transcend the negative nature that is responsible for it. So, if we want to realize the higher level of Self that reveals the need for further transformation, then we have work to do. We must actualize this new level of ourselves by acting from our new understanding in a whole different way.
In each instance where we see that we still have more to understand about ourselves, we must use our lives to become a living example of those qualities of character that we need to learn. In other words, in order to transcend what we have seen as limiting us, we must teach, by example, what we would further understand.
Until we realize that all the influences that act upon us and set the stage for our various life lessons are really just secret reflections of some undetected imbalance in us, which are asking for correction, none of these impressions can be truly received, nor the lessons behind them rightfully learned. These wide ranging inner impressions, along with the often-challenging life lessons that appear with them, are not created to punish us. They exist to help temper our soul's character, to help us learn to integrate the many conflicting opposites within us. In each instance we emerge from one order of Self into a new nature, whose being is greater than the sum of those unconscious tendencies now united within it.
So you see, it is not enough to just passively receive these special lessons. We must act upon their revelations and further clarify their import. This is why our willingness to teach for the purpose of learning is every bit as important as is our willingness to learn what we must in order to grow.
Our real spiritual development is under invisible laws: To grow, we must learn. To learn, we must teach. To teach we must lead. To lead, we must make mistakes. Making mistakes tills the ground of us, making it receptive to new and higher lessons, and thus the positive spiral completes itself, even as it rises above its original starting point.