We are here in this physical form of existence to learn and evolve.
How do we learn? Through experience and interaction with everything in our life.
Everything supposedly good or bad are teachers. There are two valid ways to approach the world as our teacher / mirror / lesson. The spiritual and the agnostic perspective. The first way is that something divine put these teachers on our path. Perhaps God, a spirit helper, our deeper self, or a pre-determined life-path put these lessons in our experience so that we learn what we need this lifetime.
Or perhaps we could approach it from a purely agnostic perspective, using the seemingly random experiences in our life as a catalyst for self-evolution, introspection and change in our lives. We can all agree that there is something to learn from everything but we often forget to give the teachers in our life our full attention. When we forget to pay attention, we loose the lesson. This is seen in people who are perpetually in unhealthy relationships or dead-end jobs; or who are continually doing the same things expecting different results (the definition of insanity).
Here are four categories of teachers in our life:
Every person who enters our life — whether the relationship is fleeting or lasts a lifetime; A positive or negative experience — is a valuable teacher. Even the negative interactions teach us what we want and don’t want. We begin to see patterns of things to avoid. We learn about ourselves and how we react.
Every animal that crosses our path is a carrier of symbolism which the inquisitive ponder. What does the bird flying in the sky symbolize to you? Perhaps freedom and a higher perspective. How does this relate to your life right now? The snake slithering across your path … how does groundedness, going with the flow, shedding old skin and sixth sense relate to your questions?
Listening to what our body says is sometimes the most true and obvious source of wisdom. Does our breath and heart quicken after meeting someone? What does that mean? Do you ever feel butterflies in your stomach? What does that mean given the context where it happened?
For women especially, paying attention to the cycles of their body is critical to understanding where they are and what that means.
But perhaps the most stern teacher is dis-ease or other physical afflictions. What emotional state or thought patterns could give rise to the ailment? Do you have too much non-transmuted anger? Are you suppressing emotions? Do you love and accept yourself? Is your career eating you alive? Are the people in your life creating harmony…or disharmony?
If you are feeling itchy, what is under your skin?
If you injured yourself, it is a lesson to be more aware of your surroundings and slow down.
If disease is forcing you to be sedentary, it is time to reflect, introspect, visualize and meditate.
If you have inflammation, it is a sign to have more compassion as well as to eat a diet with more anti-inflammatory vegetables.
Our body is the strongest teacher of all.
Sometimes life circumstances are not what you wanted. I have a friend who got into an accident and was forced to stay immobile at a friend’s house in the middle of nowhere while her car was being fixed for weeks. This unintended circumstance forced her into a state of introspection. It removed her from her normal day-to-day environment and allowed her to pursue new avenues of potential she may not have otherwise done. Adversity always contains a lesson; the question is will you learn the lesson or not? Sometimes circumstances come about to prevent something worse from happening. Like getting in a dangerous or worse situation. Sometimes the only thing that can stop a person from getting into a bad situation is something less bad but still troublesome.
Of course happy and comfortable circumstances also contain lessons, but those are the easy lessons we have no problem accepting into our life. It is the supposed negative circumstances which are more difficult to accept. But once we begin asking the people, animals, circumstances and our bodies “What are you trying to tell me? What is the lesson here? What is the symbolism here? What are you pointing me to?” … the negative situations begin to fade away while being replaced with a more harmonious experience.
For the spiritually inclined, there are many terms we use to describe external etheric entities. They include:
Sometimes these “entities” express themselves through words, visuals or feelings. But also through things like talking boards or pendulums.
I am not going to deny the existence of any of these things, but I believe that most of the time what many perceive to be some “externalized entity” is actually a projection of their own deeper and wiser selves — or in the case of demons … a projection of a troubled self.
Speaking of supposed “demons” that some people have, these externalized projections of that which is within ourselves is a helpful opportunity to observe what might normally be hidden and to finally deal with it. It is often easier for us to deal with something externalized than when it is all internalized. This is why I recommend writing as a way to take what is bouncing around in our minds and externalizing it on paper so we can have a broader and non-attached perspective of the situations in our life.
I have heard stories of children being taught to use visualization techniques where they visualize an intelligent spirit guide like an etheric version of Albert Einstein helping them on tests. And sure enough the students who used these “spirit guides” to help them on the test did significantly better than the students who didn’t use such visualization techniques. When asked why they did so well on the test, some responded “It wasn’t me, it was the smart person in my head”. This reveals a problem that many of us have … we don’t trust ourselves but we trust others. Indeed we are our worse critic where we psychologically whip and belittle ourselves for not being perfect. When coming from this egoic mindset, how could we trust that our deeper consciousness contains the deeper wisdom of knowing?
This is why we sometimes project a mental hologram of an externalized being who is supposedly wiser than ourselves.
There is nothing wrong with using externalized projections to gain wisdom; such visualization techniques are useful to bypass the normal paradigms of the logical brain in order to access our deeper potential and understanding. But when doing such visualization techniques, let us realize that this ultimately comes from the deepest part of our sub-conscious. This is not a minimization of people’s experience with spirit guides, but rather a suggestion to realize the empowerment of our core self and the revelation of our own deep wisdom.
Likewise, when it comes to healing. Many seek healers to get better. Once again, I believe there are healers who are truly effective beyond ways that science has yet to explain. But I also believe most of the time the healing is actually a result of the placebo effect. This does not negate the power of the placebo effect, rather it is a realization that our beliefs can miraculously heal even some of the most atrocious dis-ease. Just like how externalized projections of guides trick us into accessing our deeper wisdom, externalized projections of healing tricks us into accessing our own ability to self-heal.
The next question is … how do we access our deeper wisdom?
Visualization techniques are incredibly valuable here. Visualizing spirit guides in your mind’s eye is a helpful way to access your own deeper wisdom. Using a pendulum can be an effective way to force you into making decisions using your own deep knowing. Stream of consciousness writing is yet another powerful method. Entering altered states through meditation, physical exercise, dancing, fasting and hypnagogia all facilitate access to our deepest selves.
Sometimes visualizing talking with a counselor or an understanding friend can be extremely helpful. You will find that this counselor or friend (which is actually you) asks questions that your normal surface level consciousness doesn’t normally ask. It is the process of answering these questions where you will reveal what you were looking for.