What’s really going on today doesn’t primarily relate to a troubled economy, climate change, crazy politics, or conspiracies about secret cabals running the planet. The truth is much more intriguing.
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We are living in a virtual reality world, created and sustained by our ego driven minds. The greatest illusion of all? That “reality” is somehow objective. The abiding truth? Reality is our personal creation, based on our individualized translations of all that happens in our lives. Those translations occur based on our programming, which arises from our experience, our education, and our genes (perhaps in that order).
Regardless of unique differences, there are certain common elements to our individual versions: disunity, the illusion of separation, and all the other egoic principles that have become so familiar: power over others, competition, and validation as successful, separate individuals.
Underneath these fun and games is the true reality, which is the play of consciousness. What that means can only be experienced from a trans-egoic perspective. From that vantage point, we understand that there is only one consciousness and that it is a joyous, self-delighted, loving energy.
Everyone has had their glimpses of this truth, beyond what they experience as their normal virtual reality. The truth manages to shine through for split seconds. When that happens, we know that there is something far greater and more important.
As we increase and extend those glimpses through spiritual practice—meditation being the primary tool—we begin to consciously embrace the oscillation between truthful and illusory experience. Not only does this give us hope, but we pick up tools that help us find our way through the maze called life.
A recent Forbes magazine article enumerated eight reasons why people feel lost in their lives. First, they talked about the “drift syndrome,” the tendency to drift aimlessly through life and then complain about where we end up. Their number two was a lack of passion, which they attributed to being overwhelmed with busy work. Next came a missing sense of purpose. Seems to me that these first three are intimately related to each other!
Number four targeted social media, exposing the trend towards increased superficial connectivity at the price of decreased intimacy. Next came cognitive overload. No argument there, here in this age of information overload.
Number six explained how distractions fragment focus. Indeed, multi-tasking has been proven inefficient. Next came dietary deficiencies and the very real impact junk food has on our brains. Brain fog… that could contribute to the feeling of being lost!
Finally, they returned to the media, this time pinpointing the dangers of false expectations paraded before us on screens of all sizes. In their words, “We always seem to fall for whatever “perfect” and “ideal” representations are produced by ever-opportunistic media minds. Whether it’s the supermodel look, or the Lexus everyone deserves to have waiting for them in their driveways at Christmas—pick your poison—it’s all commercialized fantasy. When you find yourself trying to measure up to the fantasy and, of course, fall far short, it’s depressing. We think, “If that’s what ‘success’ looks like, then what am I?” 1
Is that really what’s going on? No. We’re growing up. Or not. Some humans, more every day, are waking up to the futility of those false expectations. If you can remember your first pass at growing up, maturing from childhood, you’ll recall it wasn’t a cakewalk. Anyone remember going through puberty?
Take two is even more challenging because the first cycle was expected. Everyone grows up, physically and mentally and emotionally, to varying degrees. But, having reached adulthood, there’s an assumption growth is over.
In fact, if you believe a recent study out of England, it’s all downhill from the age of 18? 2 That’s when we peak, sexually. Apparently we’re 19 when we’re at our best for problem solving, at 22 we have the most endurance, we’re 28 when our memory is best, we have the most muscle mass at age 30, and we’re most successful at relationships when we’re 32. Finally, our brain cells begin dying at age 45, accelerating what’s called “sub cranial self-destruction.” If we believed all this we’d agree with the statement that “youth is wasted on the young” and view our elder years as one long decline. But for any of us who have consciously embraced the path of awakening, we know that there is another side to this growing up coin.
We are meant to continue maturing throughout adulthood. This is what’s really going on. Either we continue to grow up—which means expanding awareness of our identity beyond egoic limitations—or we remain spiritual teenagers.
If we need any proof about where most people are, consider that teenagers tend to have trouble cleaning up their rooms. Now, look at what we’ve done to the planet! But all is not lost. We can grow those glimpses of truth we’ve had and become fuller expressions of our true selves, not by escaping to a cave for forty years, but by embracing our lives and investing in expanding awareness. In other words, we can keep growing up!
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