Lately I have been reading another book by a favorite author of mine, Gary Zukav. This one’s called Soul to Soul: Communications from the Heart. Each chapter is a little contemplation seed, and the chapters are arranged in broad categories, such as Challenging Your Fears, The Art of Letting Go, The Fork in the Road, Developing Awareness, etc.
Lately, I’ve been writing a lot about people making big changes in their lives, following a completely new paradigm or way of thinking. One of the chapters in a section called New Perceptions illustrates this idea beautifully. In a chapter called “The Tourist,” Zukav re-tells a story that he used in a previous book, The Dancing Wu Li Masters. Briefly, a fellow is traveling in a foreign country when he comes upon two gunmen, who ask him, “Are you Christian or Muslim?” The man had no idea which religion the gunmen favored, but he was afraid that if he said the wrong thing, he might lose his life. He replied, “I’m a tourist!” Zukav points out that the gunmen could just as well have asked the man, “Are you good or bad? Are you right or wrong?”
The point of the story is that we often process the events of our lives by making value judgments, just like the gunmen in the story. We label situations, events, objects and people as good and bad, right and wrong, positive and negative. When we think this way, we are made happy or miserable by our circumstances and what happens to us. We are victims of the circumstances of our lives, in other words.
In order to get out of victim mode, we need to see ourselves as Soul. We are just tourists here in the physical world, and we are just here to learn a few things. After that, we will go back Home. All of the experiences in our lives are meant for our education and growth as Soul. Nothing is really good or bad, positive or negative. Our experiences are what they are, whether they are pleasant or not, and they all offer us a chance to learn something about life, to serve others, or to learn a new life skill. Instead of asking ourselves whether our experience was good or bad, and whether our choices were right or wrong, we can ask ourselves, “What can I learn from this?”
“Until you make that shift, you will feel lucky when events occur as you want them to occur and unfortunate when they do not. Either way, you will see yourself as a victim – sometimes blundering into good fortune and sometimes into bad luck. You will see the universe as capricious, judgmental, and dangerous.
“When you see yourself as a learning opportunity in which you are provided with continually updated class material that is uniquely suited to your needs, you will see your life as a gift that is worthy of your value and close attention. You will also begin to see the Universe as a wise and compassionate partner in your educational process, and you will be grateful for it.”
Zukav says that everyone will have to make this paradigm shift sooner or later, if not in this lifetime, then in a future life. The reason is that we are all growing, as Soul, and this is a step in our maturation process. Fully mature Souls realize that they create the circumstances of their lives by means of their core beliefs, the decisions that they make every day, and the way they process things that happen in their lives. The only other choice is to remain a victim. Basically, that’s the same as refusing to grow up.
And no, it is not all right to refuse to grow up. It is one thing to remain childlike. It is quite another to be childish. 🙂