No oak became mighty in a moment,
No mountain towered overnight;
True greatness is grown in the soul
By long exposure to God’s light.
The way our present nature looks at life around us — as well as everything appearing to move within it — is through our five senses. This means that as we are, the sum of our relationship with the world is determined by how we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste our surroundings. And this is an important consideration, for through it we can realize something unseen. These natural faculties report to us — in a ceaseless stream of corresponding sensations — that we live apart from the reality they register — so much so that virtually everything we experience about ourselves tells us that we live in a reality that is happening outside of, or exterior to us. The unfortunate result of this obviously incomplete view of life is that instead of realizing the peace and grace inherent in being aware of our undivided relationship with the Extraordinary Life, we are reduced to frantically searching for what must be only the smallest and most temporary fragments of it.
Unseeing as we are at present — meaning that we have yet to realize that our perception of reality is partial at best — we are unable to comprehend that this limited level of consciousness is itself the actual cause of our unhappiness. And so it goes; we continue to chase after what amounts to little more than shadows of Real Life. To live like this is like someone who — seeing a priceless pearl in the sand — tries to convince himself that he should be content with just stealing glimpses of its luster instead of walking over, picking up, and possessing the pearl for himself.
How do we regain our relationship with what is real and Now? What must we do to develop a conscious relationship with the Extraordinary Life that lives within us? All you need is an earnest wish to awaken, coupled with a willingness to go to work on yourself.
It is up to us. Will we spend our lives in mere dreams of winning a limitless life, only to be shaken awake time and time again by what is seen as a rude reality? Or, will we do the inner-work of awakening ourselves from this dream? Choosing the Extraordinary Life begins with our conscious work to realize it.
I can think of no greater encouragement in this life than the self-evident truth that within each of us dwells something Extraordinary. By “Extraordinary” I don’t mean any one condition or sensation born of a particularly exciting experience or even the long-awaited realization of some special achievement. The meaning of Extraordinary I wish to convey goes far beyond all such isolated crowning moments. It points not to these individual gifts of life, but to their immutable and inexhaustible source that is the secret center of each of us: a timeless resource open and available to anyone who would seek this Life that sits behind life as we know it.
The only reason we don’t see the entrance to the Extraordinary Life is because we don’t know where to look. Perhaps this idea could be better stated this way: we are always looking in all the wrong places. This unseen limitation in the way we see our lives is built right into the fabric of our present nature! Let’s see if this is true. . . [to be continued]
The reason most people never come to know a true relationship with the divine is because this perfect union is born in the consciousness of their helplessness, nourished by their poverty and matured in their humility.