The experience of flying is much like our experience of living wherein the constant adjustments due to the air currents, weather, and the “control tower” are the norm. The admixture of voices from flight control and the pilots own experience in the cockpit must be integrated if the experience of flying, taking off, and landing is to be successful; within which those adjustments begin immediately as the aircraft starts down the runway and don’t end until after touchdown. It has been said that flying is the second greatest thrill for humans. The greatest thrill is landing.
Perhaps our lives and the adventures within it are like many take offs and landings. On one such adventure, many years ago, rising and falling through the air currents much like the worst roller coaster I could imagine, holding my breath in the tense moments of uncertainty, gripping my seat with no small amount of fear, wishing with much emotion that I’d never taken this flight, feeling sickness in my stomach, my head aching from the stress of what felt like great danger, seeing the faces of other terrified passengers, hearing the sounds of tension, fear, dismay and more, wondering if this trauma would ever end as the plane plunged, darted about, climbed again, fluttered through the air currents, bounced along the pockets of turbulent air, only to repeat all this over and over again but then to finally smooth out, safely landing to everyone’s extreme relief and delight; except the man across from me who, unknowingly to us all, had died of a heart attack only moments before.
Life’s adventures are but a myriad of experiences; each one lived by us wherein many times we find ourselves alone and faced with the need to choose our way through. Life is choices. In many ways our entire life is but a series of choices moment by moment, hour by hour, one lifetime at a time. What choices we make, what patterns we develop, what differences we experience, what memories we hold, what pain we have been through, what disowned parts of our self we’ve hidden, what suffering we’ve endured, what moments of sheer delight come our way, what fears we never talk about, what moments of celebration have been ours, we are constantly choosing in order to experience one goal and one goal only. That goal is the same for you, for me and for every other person on the planet. That goal is the get our “needs” met, wherein we don’t always make the best choices, yet they are our choices designed to get us to some place, to land safely, to experience life, and to learn in that process just what our “needs” really are.
We all need self-worth, purpose, choice integrity, connection, inclusion, appreciation, respect, community, mutual trust, love, safety, celebration, beauty harmony and sharing of both grief and triumph and much more. Consciously or not, we are doing our best to get our needs met. The ways in which we meet them are not always in our best interest, it seems, and certainly not in the best interests of others at times. In the process of living, our mistakes are not the evidence of something “bad!” Our mistakes can be, if we are to celebrate life in any deep way at all, that which can reveal to us what is possible to be and become. We always grow from ____________ to ____________, or we take another “flight” from __________ to __________. The beauty within our existence as humans is that we are never trapped in _____________. We can always choose our way out, however difficult or easy those choices and the results of each may be.
“The difference between your mistakes and the mistakes of enlightened Beings rests in
their ability to practice true forgiveness. They realize that if the mistakes of others
should be forgiven immediately, then so should theirs…most carry their mistakes and
their guilt with them for eons, but there is no need for that.” (The Disappearance of the
Universe, Renard, p. 63.
We can never break loose from our mistakes until we realize just what chains are binding us and keeping us in prison.
What if the pilot never listened to the control tower? What if he/she totally took “control” from the cockpit, turned the radio off and flew by “the seat of their pants”? I’m sure no pilot has logged enough flight hours to get through the next “flight from hell.” A good pilot always needs someone with a greater perspective, a different perspective, and a larger overview.
This is much like our inner life experiences. Do I depend on myself or do I learn to trust a higher guidance? How do I know the difference? Do we know ourselves as human only, or as both human and Divine? The Aramaic Jesus spoke of this issue when he said “The Greater I AM is within the smaller I am.” He revealed that knowing the experience of that truth is the way back to The Divine, the right direction on that path and the strength to walk that path. (For details on this see my book, Liberating Jesus From Christianity, on Amazon) The truth is that we are Divine in the midst of having a human experience we call life–the school for learning all that can take us to the place of greater service for eternal purposes.
For some, however, to listen to the “still small voice” within, the voice of The Divine that is available to us constantly, is but an idea to be scoffed at and disowned. “You’re nuts” is a common response to the idea that one can actually learn to “hear” an inaudible, silent voice within! Yet, we are highly experienced at listening to the inaudible voice of the ego that dictates our behavior much more than most of us are willing to admit at times. The ego says (silently) “yell at that idiot,” “put that person down,” “isn’t he stupid?,” “repeat a story about her,” “look down upon him,” “you’re so much more enlightened that she is,” ” he is guilty, not you,” and so many more projections and judgments that come directly out of our ego, while all the time the ego doesn’t want us to see that it is in control. We are so used to hearing the silent voice of the ego, yet we don’t make enough effort to learn to listen to The Divine within. Then there are those who think they’re listening to The Divine and they always tell others what to do or in some ego way have become “Divine experts” in their own minds–the dark side of some “new age” thinking.
The crucial issue for the human is to be able to “hear” The Divine and practice the loving principles that always come from the Source of Love. This requires: first, the desire to “hear” beyond the ego, second, the courage to do the inner transformative work that is required so one can begin to “hear,” and third, the choice to ask for the ears to hear, the heart to understand and the courage to follow through and practice what one then hears is needed. The ego doesn’t want us to “hear” the other voice, to pay attention to it, to practice loving principles or anything else that puts blame on one’s shadow instead of blaming others, projecting our stuff onto them, holding them guilty, and using them as an external scapegoat for our own failings. Right in the middle of scapEGOat we find the real problem. The ego loves projections and judgments. Those are its means of staying hidden beneath the shadows and holding onto its own garbage. These choices are our biggest mistakes.
The luxury of holding others guilty is that we never have to look within. The false sense of being better than others is but the trap of the ego for its own protection. As long as I have _________ to blame for _________ and __________ to hold accountable for __________, I can continue in a self-justification that loves to hide behind grudges and battles with those who I love to dislike.
Forgiveness? “Who needs that?” asks the ego. Yet, the ego knows that if I forgive others, then I no longer have someone external to myself to blame and then use as an excuse to hide my own stuff. “…those who hold grievances will suffer guilt, as it is certain that those who forgive will find peace…those who hold grievances will forget who they are, as it is certain that those who forgive will remember.” (Ibid. p. 158) We come up against things that we don’t want to give up. “That’s how your resistance and your hidden, unconscious hatred shows up. Those are the things you’re going to have to look at.” (Ibid. p. 159) “…real peace is found by undoing the ego, not by covering it over.” (p. 160)
So what is it about our “ego” mistakes that can bring us to celebration? Once we begin to disarm the ego, we can begin to see our true selves. There is no greater gift than that. When we begin the transformation of the old pain, guilt, suffering from the past and rid our minds of the ghosts from our past, only then can we begin to claim our Divinity–the kingdom of heaven within. A mistake that leads us to learning a valuable insight is cause for celebration. To celebrate in the midst of our mistakes and learn from them is but the evidence of an enrichment that comes to us from learning how to live in “the question” rather than fooling ourselves by hiding in our shadows. In this experience is the magic of serendipity.
The transformed self is cause for both great celebration and stepping into empathy, healing, and loving others along our path. There is nothing quite as powerful as when one who has been wounded, does the inner work and becomes the “wounded healer” for others. Now that, is worth celebrating!
–Jim Stacey, all rights reserved