My Teachers shared a challenging truth with me as the demolition was picking up steam -- "Sometimes you have to break a window to let the Light come in. But it's okay. You can just pick up the pieces."
This news startled me, and I was not in the mood, just then, to be startled. I see now that I secretly harbored a childish attitude towards my practice that went something like -- "If I am a very good girl and do my Forgiveness lessons every day, I can avoid bad stuff...or at least get through it faster and with fewer scrapes and bruises." That was the fuel under my dedication to study A Course in Miracles for many years. It was a really a type of negotiation: I do this for you God, then you promise not to dump too hard on me.
So breaking windows did not seem good. I imagined I must have gotten the message twisted up somehow. I didn't really believe the Holy Spirit would prompt choices that would result in broken windows, not the kind Good people value. Only the ego does that, right?
Good people wash the windows and keep the curtains on them clean and bright and cheery -- when things get stale, we open the windows a while for fresh air. Sometimes we allow ourselves to gaze out of our windows longingly in the middle of the night, when our feelings of being alone and living a life bereft of fulfilling meaning find their way to the surface of our minds temporarily.
But we do not break them. Right?
I came to see this is not always true. At least it wasn't for me.
This whole business is very personal and very subtle; the place where each of us is in relationship to our individual identity, and to our projected reality, and to our steps and Teacher on the Path Home, is hard to put in words. I am using a paint gun from the hardware store to put the smile on Mona Lisa, I realize...but it's what I have right now. So hold lightly to the words, forgive the clumsy approach, and meet me between the lines.
Here's a stab at the point I'm trying to make...
Many of us are going through intense shifts right now. We're feeling the stress of "undoing" on so many fronts -- from our careers, our financial portfolios, our relationships, our bodies, our carefully imagined futures, our psyches. Pulling back on the camera, a wider view captures a game of dominoes seemingly ready to topple: the global banking system is in a frantic game of "kick the can"; governments seem dysfunctional at best and corrupt at worst; new threats of war and various acts of saber rattling make regular headlines news; social unrest is like a virus across nations all over the world; etc etc etc.
Pulling back even FURTHER, we see the whole planet is shifting: magnetic north is racing towards Siberia at an astounding speed; earthquake and volcanic activity is on the increase; weather "bombs" are striking around the world with unusual force; and the sun continues to belch extremely powerful energy at the earth.
I could go on, but you get my point. You probably feel my point in some aspect of your life or the lives of those around you.
I think it's the nature of the collective script we are in right now . As Arten and Pursah tell Gary Renard in Your Immortal Reality, 2012 and onward is a time in which the heat is turned up on the ego's game of carrots and sticks. (Like in Spinal Tap, the dial goes "to eleven!") Everything bad -- and even good -- looks bigger and stronger, and change happens faster and faster.
I am not going to offer the standby "it's all an illusion" answer at this point (even though, of course, it is). That's not what I feel in my heart is needed to say. I do feel that things are shifting, and I do believe things "out there" may come to look like they are breaking down even more so. It will probably be different for different people. Scary images and corresponding fear/hate may increase over the next several years. (And because we are working with duality, there could be lots of good stuff, too -- clean or free energy, more abundance, stronger families, a united effort to save the world's ecology, etc. etc. but we won't go there in this post.)
"Sometimes you have to break a window to let the Light come in. But it's okay. You can just pick up the pieces."
I'm not saying this is everyone's path. But sometimes I have to go through a break down in order to get to a break through. Sometimes I find that when I truly Surrender -- when I say and really mean "I do not know my best interests" -- the very things I think I am supposed to hold onto and fix, and make healthy and whole, shatter into millions of sharp pieces that fall around my feet.
If it happens that way for me sometimes, it might for you, too.
This is a good time to remind us that the ego never misses a chance to kick us when we're down. After a good shattering episode is often when the viciousness of the ego is at its height of nasty. It jumps right in when we're on our shaky knees trying to pick up the glass so no one gets hurt and tells us in many unflattering ways how we have, in no uncertain terms, failed. Big time. And we're most likely doomed to live a miserable existence forever after, too. If we're lucky.
But there is no failure. Our desire for Peace, even if its not always 100% pure, ensures that we haven't failed.
Here's my theory on broken windows: I think there are times when our Path needs to be invited out of career or hobby status and elevated to Purpose. It may just be me, but it seems that broken windows -- the individual kind and the collective kind -- are Called in by us when We are Ready to Wake Up. We don't even know it consciously, perhaps. Not really.
Sometimes we're guided to break a window ourselves -- we just wake up one day, take a baseball bat, and give the window a good whack. And sometimes it seems to come down around our ears by an "Act of God." Suddenly the breeze hits us in the face and we catch our breath...maybe we crawl out of the hole that is left and leave the little empty room we've called home for so long.
That's when we move out of studying Forgiveness and into Purpose.
After the breakage, if it's our Calling, we move into Purpose as a reflex...not perfectly, but more sincerely than we ever thought possible. We can't NOT do it because the old rules that worked okay-ish back in our little room don't work anymore. We have that "Toto, we're not in Kansas anymore" feeling, but we're also amazed at the technicolor experiences we're having. When we forget our Purpose (and we do), we cycle through a needed lesson at light speed and remember quickly. Our Learning pace accelerates, and even when things are challenging, we feel there is Meaning.
And this is Good. Because the nature of our studies before left us forever peering through a window at the Light. We were drawn to it like the moth to a flame, as evidenced by the classes we went to, the books we bought, the practices we kept. But all our practice left us still with our noses pressed up against the glass. We'd stay there for a while building a memory of the Sun, and then we'd go back to our circular rat race in our little room.
After we obtained some level of proficiency in our spiritual practicing, we found ourselves thinking, "This must be it. I must be connected to my Source. A few more affirmations and I'm sure I will levitate right off my meditation cushion." We wiped down the window with Windex through prayer and meditation and other practice, even while we were like the fish who swims in, but doesn't really understand, the water.
There was still "me" and Holy Spirit. There was my practice and "my life in the world." There was two-ness. There was a great divide within me, always doing a tug-of-war for my alliance.
This type of practice was an essential part of my Path and maybe yours. But it's also, I'm coming to see, a very deep choice I was/sometimes still am making. I'm kept separated from my Self by transparent glass that lets me a) feel I'm getting in touch with Something Good, but b) also lets me keep my me-ness.
Backing up a bit, what the hell's a window? :)
Windows are our lives and identities and sense of safety and rightness as they appear in forms and beliefs. So there are many little windows that all nest under the Big Window, which is the ego thought system of specialness. When a window breaks, the fear in us cries out about loss and pain and wrong-doing. In our 'normal' life, we sometimes build lots of windows that give us a sense of openness and freedom. The catch is -- the thing that I'm trying to delicately point out -- that they offer the illusion of freedom...er...without really setting us free.
"Sometimes you have to break a window to let the Light come in. But it's okay. You can just pick up the pieces."
"Being in the world but not of the world" is something we melt into. The forms are never a problem, except for the fact that we think they are important. So while we can debate until the cows come home about how nothing in the world matters because nothing is real, that really misses the point. The point is we still harbor all kinds of meaning about those forms, no matter if we know we shouldn't because we "studied non-duality in a book for 20 years."
Broken windows are part of the process for many of us, though I can't say they are required for everyone. But the invisible "glass" or unconscious decision that separates me and "my life" from my Source -- and "gives everything the meaning that it has for me" -- must be relinquished at some point. When we're ready, sometimes this shows up as the forms in our life that we cherish shattering into a million little pieces at our feet.
And, darn it, isn't that just what we were afraid was going to happen if we really stopped being our own authority and "stepped back and let Him Lead the Way?" Yup! But notice it's not usually a beginning step. We have been through quite a few classes and passed quite a few lessons to get to the broken windows. And that's when the Holy Spirit Guides us to walk gently through the rubble so we can experience for ourselves that there is no-thing there but the fear or Love that we projected or extended.
There's nothing that can hurt. There are scary shadows, but these illusions fade in our Light. We learn, slowly at first, that we can walk across the shards and they will leave no scratch. We are the Master.
I have come to see that there is no way to become the Master through study. The Master in us Walks Again only when we take His Steps. We have to Walk Like Him as we walk with Him. We see we truly can Accept everything right now, right where we are, without judgement. We learn to gratefully face, own, and Turn Over the projections to our Teacher, who is waiting for the day we Know who We Are like He Knows.
We need to remind ourselves over and over that we can not Teach ourselves. We have to Trust that He knows how to set up the class, so that we reverse course on the ego's lessons and do the thing that feels most unnatural at first. We have to unlearn everything we've ever been taught by the world (a tall order) so we can see through the ego. His goal is that we get maximum learning from each opportunity, and He's actually pretty darn good at what He does.
Which is why sometimes -- and only when there is enough stored up Trust in the account and we are truly ready -- He knows that the gentlest way forward for us is to let the windows break into a million pieces. Sometimes in our minds only, sometimes in our worlds first. Only then can we often see and know deep in our hearts what we have really been dealing with and how much no-thing it is. He knows this about us. He's good I tell you!
So let's walk gently and happily together as the wind-up world plays itself out. We need our Friends -- our Mighty Companions -- to play with through this phase of learning. Let's use every dismantling to take us deeper into our Purpose. Let's not mourn the loss of illusion. Let's pick up every little shard that we feared might cut us, own it, and Turn It Over to our Teacher to see what Gift it holds for us. Let's let Love Teach us that when Love leads, everyone must win, no matter what the appearances look like to the world "out there".
There is only One of us here "separated" by many little pieces of no-thing. Let's let go of the no-thing and bask, hand in hand, in the Sun Rise that is Shining away the long night of darkness Within.