You Are A Possibility


 You are a possibility, say the great sages and seers, but may not have appeared. You are a distinct, potent possibility, a candidate for a great realization, but some doubt or fear holds you back.

 It was ever thus. There is the call to find the reason for your being, the meaning of your existence, and a possible fullness of being, and then there is the refusal of the call

 Some who have missed the call have testified: “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

 This regret is the most common regret of the dying, according to the long term studies of a palliative care nurse. 

 In other words, those full of regret are saying: ‘I missed what was possible for me. I missed the realization. I missed a possible fullness of being. I lived  apart from my great possibility. My life happened, but I was never really in it. And now it’s almost over.’ 

 And so, it well may be that, I am presently living as a 'not yet’, as a 'not yet realized,’ as a 'not yet there,' as someone who is not living from within, but rather existing in an irresolute, tepid way, living perhaps what Joseph Campbell called a 'wasteland life.’

 To live ’in the wasteland,’ says Campbell, is to live an inauthentic life, by which is meant, not living from my own center, but living with an eye to what is expected of me.

 Jo Campbell tells of ‘a young man who came from Wisconsin to New York to study art. He’d gone into Greenwich Village, the underworld of Manhattan and there finally achieved an art style.’ 

 In so doing, he had begun to emerge as a great possibility, coming into his own! But then, having achieved his style, he came to 57th street with his paintings, and met “the cold eye of the art dealer.” (A Joseph Campbell Companion ed. Diane K. Osbon p. 81) 

 The struggle is that you begin to make a move towards your destiny, your possibility of fulfillment, and meet the cold, disapproving eye, the eye of some “authority,” who thinks he knows better than you do! And that censoring, disapproving eye throws you off course.

 Or it is like Dante’s character, who dreamed of attaining the ‘beatific vision,’ and was on the edge of climbing the mountain to find it, but noticed his old friend, Casella, the musician nearby and asked him to play.

 The next thing you know the seeker had joined with other travellers to happily postpone the start of the arduous ascent. 

 Isn’t that exactly how it goes? We have a dream, a possibility, an aspiration, a sense of call, and along comes some distraction and we end up lounging around at the base of the mountain, instead of climbing it.

 Days pass, then weeks, then months, then years. Eventually we forget that we once dreamed of the great climb to the mountain top. 

 Dante portrays the sad sight of thousands of lost, directionless souls, circling the base of the mountain, hypnotized by the distracting music. 

 Likewise, Tolstoi, in his struggle for faith, pictured himself on a boat travelling towards the other shore. He was well on his way, but found that a strong current began to take him off course. He then found that lots of others were going that way, too, carried away by the current, taking that way of least resistance. 

 But they all appeared to him to be having such a great time, going with the current! (the way of the world!)

 “All around me, in joy and triumph, people were rushing downstream under sail and oar, assuring me and each other that there could be no other direction.” Fools everyone!

 Great speeches and grand pronouncements were made about what lay ahead for everyone! Says Tolstoi: “I believed them and was moving along with them.” 

 But he then heard a sound, faint at first, but growing. It was the sound of rapids. Here was the warning signal, heard just in the nick of time.

 The sound of the rapids is symbolic of the awakening of conscience, the warning to come back to oneself, to one’s senses, before it’s too late.

 Having awakened he exclaimed: "Then I came to my senses. I began to pull against the current and headed back upstream. Before it was too late, the force of life was renewed with me and I began to live once again.”

 Well, it is not too late for your soulful being to appear! But it’s not easy. Some ruthless self-examination is required.

 Jo Campbell was asked near the end of his life if he had some word to pass on. Without hesitating he said: ‘You’ve got to kill the ‘thou shalt!” That is, you’ve got to kill the 'you should do this and not that voices' that stand in the way of your destiny! 

 The ‘thou shalt,’ the 'you should do this,' is the rule, script, or program, or a parental or societal expectation.

 On a dragon, says Campbell, are many scales, each one of them inscribed with a ‘thou shalt.’ These scales are the long lists of the things you are supposed to be and do.  

 ‘The lion in you,’ he states, which is the best and higher part of you, your own good sense, or sense of call, has to kill that dragon in order for the spontaneity of the child to come alive in you! Which is to say that those rules written on the dragon scales have to be broken to follow a higher rule, that of your own conscience and sense of call.

 Campbell shared at the end of his life the insight that the older you get the more you realize that the various authorities, who had been so full of warnings and advise, were “all troubled youngsters.” 

 The various authorities had never been worthy counsellors. They had never been worth listening to. 

 Thus Campbell’s parting words were: “Do not be ‘over-awed’ by the authorities.” Therefore ignore such threatening voices and slay the fire-breathing dragon that blocks the way to your life possibility!

 When I have the chance, I always recommend the same thing to find one’s bliss, to find one’s life possibility. I recommend sitting for meditation in order to realize anything of importance, for as the writer, Donna Farley, states: “the mind has to become still and quiet to reflect reality.” (Donna Farley, Seasons of Grace, p. 105) 

 To shift from being a mere possibility to a soulful appearance on the planet, I need to plunge into what what Lizelle Reymond calls ‘the surge of life’ within me.

 As Lizelle puts it: “In a state of deep meditation one feels filled by such a surge of life that, for that very reason, the question of the ‘why’ of things no longer exists.

 "This surge of life is the imperative descent of non-being to being. It is at the same time an all-pervading sensation and a recognizable flavor. It is a certitude that wipes out every question.” (Lizelle Reymond, To Live Within, p. 137)

 In such a state of realization, you will then know clearly what to be and what to do!

 Lizelle gives an example of someone who remained true to her life possibility, who remained an intact soulful presence, in spite of the pressure to do otherwise.

 It’s the story of a nun who was chosen by a king to be his queen, an order that at that time and in that place, had to be obeyed. Struggling with her conscience, "she finally accepted on condition that she be given an isolated room in the royal palace to which she alone would have the key.”

  Thus, her life in the palace followed the daily routine of going every day to that isolated room. 

 Now the king, "jealous of the radiance of the queen, decided one day to follow her there to steal her secret.”

 “The room he saw her enter was bare and whitewashed. A sackcloth robe was hanging on a nail." He watched as “the queen took off her rich attire and her jewels and put on a beggar’s dress." 

 “Then she meditated for a long time, seated on the ground. At last, she turned around, surprising the king, to say to him these knock-out words: ‘Here I am “myself,” the woman who loved God alone before she became queen, and who still loves only God.” 

 The king had robbed her of nothing. She had retained her dignity, her integrity, her soulfulness. She had stayed with her life possibility, in spite of the pressures placed upon her.

 What our world needs is the soulful appearance of more beings like this. 

Hare Krishna, Julia Elena