“It’s the difficult years that make you ready for a phenomenal life.”
― Hiral Nagda
Our culture is obsessed with youth, happiness, and distraction. Much pain and suffering are caused when we compare ourselves with the “wonderful” lives most people seem to be leading when we read their posts on social media. Very few people admit publicly that they are going through a rough time.
Like the law of nature’s seasons, life goes through cycles of birth, maturity, decay, and death. Conflict, suffering, pain, problems and difficulties are as much part of life as bliss, joy, happiness and abundance.
Our ideas of suffering and pain stem much from religion. Most church-practiced Christianity, today has lost its way into an empty ritual. The earliest of Christian, Buddhist, Taoist, Judaic and other teachings were rooted in an archetypical reality and experiential spirituality.
Moving away from empty ritual
Post-reformation Christian teachings particularly emphasize the inherently “sinful” ways of man with Jesus having to sacrifice himself on the cross for the ultimate salvation of all of mankind. Unfortunately, it has led to some denominations and religions causing incalculable harm to the self-worth of many an individual with their definition of “sin” fixated on how to behave and what to believe.
In the archetypical and mystical traditions, the cross itself is deeply symbolic linking life on earth with the non-physical heavenly dimension. The above and below, the left and the right conjoined in the center signify the number five in numerology. The number 5 in the biblical sense symbolizes God’s grace, goodness, and favor toward humans. It is mentioned 318 times in the bible. In Judaism, there are five books of the Torah and the commandments were written five each on two tablets.
The deeper meaning of the crucifixion
The image of Jesus’ death on the Cross in a metaphysical sense represents the dying of personality and ego consciousness attached to form and the transition into Christ-consciousness of the immortal, the dissolving of the physical body into the resurrected spiritual body. It is a powerful image of a complete cleansing of the ego mind during suffering.
It is during these “flat-on-the-ground” moments, in the complete surrender of the mind that the gateway to the soul is ripped wide open. We are forced by the pain, the suffering, and the despair into deep introspection. Procrastination, lethargy, and comfort zones inevitably lead to stagnation, decay, and melancholy fixation on what was and is no more.
The Camino de Santiago: An analogy of life
The ancient pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago in northwestern Spain, has become so popular in recent years because more and more people are seeking a new spiritual truth. The 500-mile route traversed by pilgrims for centuries is very much an analogy of life. In the solitude of lonely walks, the climbing of mountains, and the physical and emotional pains experienced on the route many a pilgrim – after experiencing the trauma of divorce, loss, health crisis, or job burnout – finds liberation from all attachment and new purpose and meaning while walking. Sometimes the revelation happens on the path, sometimes months after the walk.
Leading French thinker and philosopher Frédéric Gros writes that “walking is exploring the mystery of presence. Presence to the world, to others, and to yourself… You discover when you walk that it emancipates you from space and time…”
Abraham Lincoln is quoted as saying: “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.”
You are passaging your path on the Camino of life “paso a paso” – step by step. On this path, you will be experiencing bad days and good days, realizing in that moment of crisis when you feel lonely, tired, and exhausted that “this too shall pass.” Ultimately you will be losing the fear of death when form passes into formlessness.
Reino Gevers – Author – Mentor – Speaker
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