Why Are You Here?

meditation-2091879__480

June is my birth month, this year I’ll be 65. I find myself living my dream, now, as I have discovered, purchased, and moved into my dream retirement home in a beautiful natural setting, with a dynamic community, and with excellent regional resources and opportunities. I must admit, this scares me! Will it all come crashing down, too good to be  true? This trepidation reveals to me a self-limiting postulate that I need to confront and resolve in order to go forward with this fresh set of life conditions. My monthly question becomes:

Why Am I Here?

I have always recognized the double entendre of this age-old question, ‘Why are you here?’ Why here, at this physical place and time; or also why Here, in a spiritual sense. These two are connected from the perspective of Purpose. What am I here to do, be, and see? This also relates for me to a search for greater clarity regarding an even deeper concern:

How Can I Serve?

science-3334826__480

Wednesday night last week I happened upon a sci-fi movie on TV that I had not heard of before, called “Passengers.” It was about two people on an interstellar spaceship traveling some 88 years to reach a habitable planet. Some 5000 passengers had been cryogenetically suspended for the duration of the voyage, but a malfunction caused one man, Jim, to resuscitate early, and after over a year alone, he revived a woman, Aurora, whom he had developed a fondness toward from watching her autobiographical video records. This was an atrocious act of selfishness as it meant Aurora, too, would die in transit before the ship could arrive at its destination.

(Spoiler alert): After an initial phase of believing Jim’s story that she had awakened accidentally, Aurora becomes enraged after a robotic bartender informs her of Jim’s actions to assuage his own loneliness. But my interest in this story piqued when the ship developed further malfunctions that required Aurora and Jim to work together to repair the vessel if the ship were to reach its destination at all, and for all its passengers to survive as well as themselves. It became a matter of Purpose then; I could surmise from a spiritual perspective that there had been no accidents at all in the revival of this man and this woman, with their particular skillsets and their survivalist personality dispositions. They were needed to save the ship and its passengers, a purpose of collective, not just personal, good. Their lives then took on a heightened significance; they had a purpose, a reason to be who/ what/ where and when they were in their own sojourns of discovery and service.

Already I have had a waking dream about this question, from a conversation with my sister who is a pastor in New England soon to be retiring after more than 40 years of serving as interim pastor in many churches. We arrived at the awareness:

Love Is All There Is.

mountains-3959204__480

images are from pixabay.com

For all of our human questioning as members of an often overly self-conscious species (my dog Sophie and cat Emily do not have this problem!), I do feel that at the foundation of everything–of all sentient experience–is Love: unconditional, untaintable. I sense if I can connect these principles of service and love I can accept that I, like everyone, am indeed here for a greater purpose than personal satisfaction or material success. Therefore I have a right to be Here-Now and am willing to step forward to fulfill whatever service opportunities I can. Already here and now, I am writing!

I welcome YOUR Story and Comments!

The Helpers

lighthouse-93489__340

In every Hero’s Adventure—as in your own Journey of life—“when the student is ready, the Teacher appears.” Teachers, Masters, Mentors, Guardian Angels, Guides, and Signs or signposts arrive to escort us or to prepare us for the challenging passage into the Unknown.

meditation-2214532__480

When we look back we can appreciate how a Helper arrived who allowed us to advance in ways we probably never would have otherwise considered. That special teacher appears who lights up a whole field of study for you at school, or that talented role model who demonstrates qualities you long to develop in yourself; by accepting such encounters we connect with our deepest aspirations and claim our life’s motivating Mission or Purpose.

boy-1035485__340

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is playing as I write this, so as we are celebrating the twentieth anniversary of J. K. Rowling’s gift of the wondrous world of Harry Potter, let’s focus on Dumbledore as the archetypal Mystic Helper. The qualities Dumbledore exhibits in his mentoring of Harry are those latent qualities Harry is needing to develop in himself in order to fulfill his destiny: magical abilities, teaching skills, the practice of right discernment, balancing good vs. evil impulses, and dedication based on love foremost.

wizard-1107855__340

Think of a Helper who appeared or is now present in your life and whose example and insights have helped you develop aspects of your own nature that have allowed you to move further along on your own purposeful journey.

How did you meet this Helper? What interests or abilities has s/he aided you to develop?

professor-1992926__340

images are from pixabay.com

This month we honor and celebrate The Helpers.

I invite your Comments and Stories.

Threshold Guardians

tombstone-1541070__180

After Heeding the Call and setting forth with your well-considered Departure, you are set to approach the first Threshold so you can Cross the Threshold into the full engagement with your Adventure to achieve your Quest. But wait! It is not quite so easy as that.  Approaching the Threshold of a deeply  significant transition or a personally meaningful adventure invokes Threshold Guardians!  Only if you can pass by these daunting agencies or meet challenges designed to strengthen your weaknesses will you in fact step across that Threshold better equipped to meet your challenges successfully and realize your dreams.

Threshold Guardians are common archetypal character forms found in many a mythic tale.  The Never-Ending Story represents them as monolithic, winged Gargoyle figures guarding the entryway to  Bastian‘s destination. He must pass their enigmatic questioning in order to rescue his Princess and prevent the Nothing from spreading to annihilate all of his mythical world.  Scylla and Charybdis are rocky shoals that block Odysseus’s path to complete his Quest and return to home to Ithaka in Homer’s Ulysses. Dorothy faces winged monkeys sent by the Wicked Witch to deter her progress.  So then, what are some of your own Threshold Guardians and how have they served you or how can they aid you in completing your own mythic Quest?

pixie-413907__340

Boundary Gremlins

In Your Life Path (see sidebar), I will share a story about a significant dream from a few years ago in which I visited a ‘high altitude’  region inhabited by beautiful winged horses which I felt served God-realized Masters in the far reaches of the Heavens. As I approached the boundary of their realm, excited to witness this, suddenly Gremlins appeared! Honestly I had never even known what gremlins might look like until after I woke from this dream, but there they were: little, broad faced imps with huge ears. They popped up along the boundary to prevent me from stepping into this rarifed realm of the Horses of Heaven.

Recognizing that these Gremlins were doing their own valuable work in this realm I had stumbled upon in my dreaming, I stepped back and knelt down at a respectful distance from the boundary. I felt grateful to have witnessed this realm at all and content to just be there for a moment. The Gremlins were not apparent then but I knew they would pop up again if I were to try to advance.

pegasus-1340112__340

images are from pixabay.com

Behind me in this heightened inner realm, two winged Pegasus horses arrived, returning from their heavenly missives. One, white-pink-bluish, knelt gracefully onto her front legs beside me. I knew this was her invitation, and so I climbed up onto her bare back and held lightly onto a shock of her white mane as she stepped across the Threshold of the boundary into her domain.

I woke immediately, humbled and deeply impressed by this encounter with the Horses of Heaven! I realized the Gremlins were Threshold Guardians.  I needed great purity of heart, deep humility in order to venture into this sacred realm.

What or Who Are Your Threshold Guardians?

Your Threshold Guardians will be appropriate to the Quest and to the Threshold you aim to cross so you can achieve your own heroic purpose. I invite you to share YOUR story of Threshold Guardians. What qualities do they help you better master in order to advance to realize your Purpose?

The Road Ahead

stock-photo-path-through-puzzlewood-forest-of-dean-420143893

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the Door where It began,

Now evermore the Road does lead

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with weary feet

Until It joins some larger Way

Where many paths and errands meet,

And whither then?

I cannot say.

–  J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

I had some difficulty formatting this poem from The Hobbit for my recent post on “Better Beginnings,” yet it is so apt to our monthly theme of “The Call to Adventure” that I repeat it here as I recall the poem from my initial reading of The Hobbit some 43 years ago.

I first memorized and used this poem when I was 19. I was adventuring for the summer of my freshman college year in Yakutat, Alaska.  I worked at a crab and salmon cannery there that summer. I was traveling with a good friend, Barb. One day—which became one of many similar days—we were hiking some five miles along a dirt road through a primeval Ponderosa Pine forest that led to a beach unpeopled for hundreds of miles.

stock-photo-forest-landscape-145239934

The Forest was higher, I realized as I walked along that primitive pathway, than the skyscrapers of New York City. In the City I would feel daunted, but in the Forest leading to the Ocean I felt connected with the whole of Nature and Life Itself.

I started reciting “The Road” song that Bilbo Baggins wrote (as I recall the story from way back then) in The Hobbit. It mirrored directly the experience I was having as Barb and I trekked through the primeval Forest.

The ROAD goes Ever ON and ON…

Down from the DOOR where IT Began…

And EVER MORE the ROAD does lead,

And I must FOLLOW, IF I CAN…

PURSUING IT with weary feet

Until it joins SOME LARGER WAY

Where many paths and errands MEET,

And whither then?

I CANNOT SAY.

Reciting “The Road” song from The Hobbit over and over again like a mantra while walking hours through a remote Alaskan pine forest became prophetic for me of my entire lifetime of spiritual adventure and travel. Within a year of returning from this Alaskan odyssey I discovered a spiritual path (Eckankar, which does not necessarily endorse the ideas I express in this blog) which has brought much freedom, love and joy into my life.  I discovered this path first in a dream of returning on a bus from my Alaska adventure, then connected outwardly with my spiritual path less than a week later after encountering a woman who was in my dream! I have followed that Road ever since.

stock-photo-taking-decisions-for-the-future-man-standing-with-three-direction-arrow-choices-left-right-or-416963170

Here is a creative technique I offer that I have been using myself this week.  Close your eyes as if to daydream (enter a light contemplation state). Imagine THREE ROADS leading off slightly to your left, ahead forward, and slightly to your right (imagine more than three if you choose; this is for you to develop as you please).

Explore each pathway with your imagination; where does each Road lead? If these represent alternate futures (which is how I have been envisioning them this week), which is the Way for you to go forth in your life in order to realize and fulfill your deepest sense of life Purpose and Mission?

forest-path-238887__480

images are from pixabay.com

Maybe one of these pathways is your current best way forward, but the others might hold potentials to integrate into that direction, so your path forward does not have to sacrifice one set of qualities or values in order to embrace a greater Whole.

I welcome your comments and stories!