The Benefit of Another Perspective
By Matthew Joyce
This article is a bit different. It’s a travelogue from my morning meditation. I thought you might enjoy it.
As soon as I sat in meditation I met my spirit guide Chien. “Come on, let’s go,” he said as if I’d arrived just in time.
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“On an adventure” he called over his shoulder as he shot off into the blackness. “Follow me.”
So I did. I launched myself in the blackness right behind him. At first I traveled out of body in the astral form of my human body, but soon I let that go and continued on as a mere point of awareness racing through the void beside my friend.
As is normal, I felt myself moving swiftly, but without any lights in the void for visual reference I had no sense of speed. After a while tiny points of light winked amidst the inky blackness. At first they were distant as stars in the night time sky. But as we continued to gather speed they shifted into streaks of light blurring across the void. Faster and faster we moved until the streaks of light curved back upon themselves into a spiral.
We rode the swirling spiral of light like specks of consciousness caught in a whirlpool, going round and round until we were sucked in and down. Although I was without form I sensed a collapse or compression until my speck of awareness was indistinguishable from the light itself. Then just as all distinction and movement ceased, we burst forth into another world.
Formless we rocketed through the atmosphere of a distant planet. Pink light spread across the pre-sunrise sky catching on billowing clouds that drifted above a vast violet sea. In the distance I saw a dark streak low on the horizon and realized it was a shoreline. We flew toward it, dropping in altitude as we did so.
In the brightening light I glimpsed the froth and foam of waves breaking upon a sandy beach. Set back from the shore was a sprawling complex of buildings. Here and there lights punctuated the shadowed sprawl, hinting at the waking activities of those within.
As the first rays of the sun broke the horizon and raced across the sea behind us, we flew low over the beachfront complex. In the new found light, details of the multi-storied buildings began to emerge. They were flat-roofed and constructed of grey speckled stone similar to granite. But this was not the crude hand-hewn stonework of ancient times, nor even the finely mortared stonework of modern life on Earth. These buildings appeared to be made of massive stone blocks several stories high and as many wide. Oval-shaped windows and doors appeared to be carved directly from the three foot (1 meter) thick slabs of rock.
We stopped outside one of the windows on ground level. Inside an unseen light source illuminated a common room with a cooking and eating area. From beyond the table, a figure emerged from what I presumed to be bedroom. He crossed to the hearth and lifted a kettle. Steam rose as he poured something hot to drink. I wanted a closer look and moved toward the window.
“Stay invisible,” said Chien. “We’re not here to interact today.”
His voice stopped me where I was.
“Just watch,” he said.
With drink in hand, the man emerge from the front door and turned away from us, walking down a footpath. We followed behind him, drifting along as invisible observers. He walked purposefully yet unhurriedly as if he was sure of his destination and confident he had plenty of time to get there. As he walked, with his free hand he adjusted his clothing. He appeared to be wearing a tunic of white woven cloth, a narrow cord tied about his waist. Sandals adorned his feet.
His walk led us through well-tended gardens with lush, exotic foliage in a surprising palette of colors. Not your basic green leaves and bright flowers of Earth, but a riot of blue and purple fronds with coconut-sized red and orange fruits clustered along their scale-covered stems.
Before long he led us to another building. This one had a grand portico with wide doors propped open to catch the cool morning sea breeze. We followed him inside and found ourselves in a sunken amphitheater. Pockets of people sat here and there. More people were walking in from the far side.
While the other arrivals stopped a few rows down from the back, our man continued to descend toward the center. He nodded to those he passed but remained silent. In fact, everyone was silent as if in contemplative meditation. When he reached the front row he continued on, ascending the stairs that led up onto the central stage.
He stood silently for a time as more and more people entered the amphitheater. When the theater was about a third full he took a final sip of his beverage and set it aside. Then he turned to the audience and clasped his hands together. “I greet the Divine in you. I greet the God you are.” His voice was rich and sonorous, carrying easily to the far reaches of the room without any amplification.
“I greet the Divine in you. I greet the God you are,” came the chorused reply.
He smiled as the greeting was acknowledged. “I had a dream last night I want to share with you,” he began. “I dreamt of a man on another world. He too is a spiritual teacher, but unlike me he has the ability to visit worlds like ours at will. Whereas we use our dreams to free ourselves from this world, he can do so while he is awake. With the mere power of his awareness he can travel across the vastness of the universe and he teaches others on his world how to do this.”
Murmurs of interest arose from the audience. My interest arose as well when I realized he was talking about me.
“This world of his is very interesting,” he continued. “While the beings there seem to have abilities different than ours, they have limitations as well. As I observed him interacting with others I realized that in their waking lives the people on his planet are fully immersed in their individual perspectives. Whereas we always have a dual perspective of our current lifetime and our greater selves, the people there have little or no sense of who they truly there. They think they are only the individual being living in the current lifetime.”
More murmurs arose.
“This limited perspective causes all sorts of problems,” he said. “Having no sense of who or what they really are means the people there primarily focus on securing short-term advantage over each other and over the natural elements of their world. Locked into one perspective, they naturally think first of themselves and they often have a difficult time seeing from another point of view. While the more mature among them learn to do so, as a species their short-sightedness causes great strain on their sense of well-being, on their society and their world.
“With each person locked in his or her own viewpoint you can’t imagine the clashes of ideas they face. Arguments, violence, indifference and disease are rampant on their world. At first I was aghast that people could live that way. But the more I watched the more I came to realize that perhaps there was wisdom to their way of being after all. Here our omnipresent sense of connection means that we enjoy a great sense of harmony within ourselves, with each other, and with our world. But perhaps our comfort comes at a price.
“On their world they are unceasingly exposed to new and often conflicting ideas and they must deal with them on the spot and over time,” he continued. “Right or wrong, successful or unsuccessful doesn’t matter from our expanded perspective, but to them it matters greatly. They are fully invested in the moment and in the outcome. This wholehearted and single-minded commitment is a rigorous way of being and it isn’t for faint souls. But if the people I observed are any example, it may be worth it. Their way of life engenders rapid growth and makes them very strong beings.
“To grow they must learn to shift and expand their awareness. Mostly they do this in the physical realm, learning sympathy, empathy, compromise, and cooperation. But when they are ready, they begin to explore the nonphysical world as well. They look to people like the spiritual teacher to help them send their awareness into other times, places, and states of being. In doing so they begin to experience for themselves what we take for granted: That they are intimately interconnected with all things.
“It’s a different way of life to be sure, but it’s one we can learn from. We may prefer harmony to conflict, but sometimes it can be very helpful when someone provides you with a new perspective on things. It helps you to grow,” he said.
I agreed. Not only with his assessment of Earth, but also that we grow immensely when we gain the benefit of another perspective. Not just the perspectives of our neighbors, but the greater perspective of who we truly are beyond this individual lifetime. If you’re interested in learning how, let me know.
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