Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Incredible Balance of Life

Something I have been noticing lately is the incredible balance of life.  We live in a world of polarities, which might be thought of as the play of opposites.  For example: light and darkness.  At any moment of time, considering the planet Earth as a whole, there is exactly an equal amount of light and darkness.  What’s more, we could not have one without the other.  Would we notice light if we never experienced darkness?

In every human’s life, there are times when pleasant things occur, and there are also times when unpleasant things happen.  No one on this planet experiences only one side of things.  There are times when we are happy, and times when we are something else.  There is always a perfect balance.

It is a waste of time to try to make everything wonderful.  Because of the perfect balance, this would not be possible.  Sometimes we will experience the opposite of wonderful.  It is inevitable in this human life.

I experienced this quite acutely very recently.  My daughter Sara was graduating from a high school near Philadelphia.  Her two brothers had also graduated from there, and came in from Boston and LA so that we could all be together during this special occasion.

The times we are all together are among my happiest of times.  One thing our family shares is a sense of humor, and we all laugh a lot when we are together.  I have a great relationship with all 3 children, and I experience a lot of joy simply hearing them talk and laugh among themselves.  It feels to me like everything is in its right place in the world.

Our weekend together, however, lasted only so long.  Soon they were returning to their respective places, and I returned home.  As soon as they went one way while I went another, a great sadness came up.  In only a couple of minutes I went from being extremely happy to being quite depressed.

I was fascinated noticing this quick difference.  It was a great example of the incredible balance of our life.  If I had not been so happy for a while, I would not have been sad when it was over.  They go together, just like all polarities, or pairs of opposites.  We can't have one without the other.

In this world of polarities, which is what the physical plane is, they have to go together, they must be balanced.  We cannot have all of one and none of the other.  If we experience one, we have no choice but to experience the opposite at one time or another.  Natural Law does not allow an imbalance to exist.

Most people are unaware of this balance, and get thrown off when the more unpleasant polarity shows up.  We feel like something bad is happening, or that something is going wrong.  If we can clearly see that we are only momentarily experiencing one side of the inevitable balance, the unpleasant aspects of life will not affect us nearly as much.  It will be obvious that they, too, will pass soon enough.

Take one of the greatest polarities of all—life and death.  Many people do not understand life and death from the right perspective.  My first Teacher, whom I came across while still a teen, simply referred to them as the ‘pre-mortem’ and the ‘post-mortem’ states.  This gives a totally different perspective of the relationship between life and death.  There is even a perfect balance between being embodied and being disembodied.  Life goes on at any rate.  There is a time that we occupy a human body, and there is likewise a time that we do not occupy a human body.  Life itself is unaffected either way.

My days are numbered.  This is a very true statement.  Each day the number is one less than the day before.  Next month I will be 68, and I am well aware that people of this age can exit the body at any time for any number of reasons.  The older we become, the more likely and imminent our transition becomes.

This is true for everyone.  All our days are numbered.  It is our karma to be in this physical body for a specific amount of time.  We don’t leave it by accident, even if appearances tell us so.  The wise among us learn to see beyond appearances.  It might be difficult for most of us to even comprehend how absolutely insignificant appearances actually are.

Through the lessons of our Course of Training, which are sent out to participants twice a month, we explore the reality of this world as well as the reality of the world beyond this one, which is actually only relatively beyond this one, as it exists simultaneously.  In the physical world we are ordinarily too bound by space and time and the limitations of the physical senses to see the reality of subtler and more refined worlds right here and all around us.

There are, in fact, incredible Beings of Light near us, guiding us to the degree that we listen inwardly and are sensitive to inner guidance.  We have the choice at each moment to live either according to inner guidance or rigidly conditioned habits and patterns.  We break free from them only through experiencing the process that leads to freedom, which does not happen without our participation.

We have two cats.  After spending their first year in the house only, they have begun to explore the back yard.  They are much safer out there than they seem to realize, as they are no nearby threats to them.  One, the apparently less secure of the two, gets nervous if the door to our back porch is completely closed.  He only feels comfortable if he knows that he can quickly run inside if suddenly attacked by a predator.

When it’s warm enough for bugs to be around, of course, we prefer that the porch door not be open.  A couple of days ago I was on the back porch, watching this cat who kept glancing at the door as though awaiting an opportunity to dash inside.  He doesn’t realize, like the other cat seems to naturally know, that all he has to do is meow and I’ll open the door for him.  He doesn’t realize that someone is looking after him, and that his needs are known even before he asks for them.

I could see how much like him we humans tend to be.  We are unconscious of greater beings near us—ready, willing, and eager to help us if we only acknowledge that help is available and inwardly ask—the human equivalent of a meow.

If thinking of Beings of Light in our midst feels weird, we can consider it as our own intuition, as promptings from our own higher Self.  Ultimately it is all the same anyway.  We don’t have to understand it, anymore than my cat has to understand me in order to know that I am caring for him.  We only need to know that when help is needed, it is perfectly balanced by the truth that help is readily available.  This is another example of the incredible balance of life.

A fellow who only recently began the Course sent this question:  "How can we be uplifting to others without playing into their egos?"

The more we understand the ego, the more we understand that the ego itself is never uplifted.  It always remains what it is—a sense of separation and limitation, appropriating thoughts, feelings, physical actions, and experiences to itself, as though it had its own individual life.  It is not capable of being uplifted.  Higher feelings, such as love, compassion, and cheerfulness are experienced only to the degree that we are free from ego.

Upliftment happens only when we are lifted higher than the level of ego, which is realizing that we are more and much greater than we ordinarily think of ourselves, as the ego limits us in very rigid ways.  A human life is an opportunity to break free from ego and go beyond, or at least purify ego, meaning that we identify with the highest instead of the lowest.

It is great to aspire to be uplifting to others, but it is important to remember that we must be uplifted ourselves before we can possibly uplift another.  We can only help another to approach our own state.  We cannot make another person happy when we are sad, or help another person to feel peaceful when we ourselves are agitated or angry.  We don’t tend to ask a depressed or angry person for help.  All we ultimately have to offer is our own state.

For this reason, we work on ourselves, we uplift our own state, for the benefit of humanity.  We do not improve in any way only for ourselves.  As we become lighter and more uplifted within ourselves, then, through simply being ourselves, we help pass that light and upliftment to others.  If we experience Light within, we become a Light to others through our own words and actions.  This is true service.

For information about the Course of Training written by D. R. Butler and available by email, including a sample lesson, write: