Audio version read by Rev. Steven Lane Taylor, B.Msc.
“Life as a School”
If a person were to attempt to derive some spiritual meaning from life, it could be likened unto a temporary school, occupied by one’s soul as it makes its way through eternity. Life and its experiences become as instructors, teaching each soul to better understand the reality of life according to the soul’s evolvement to comprehend it on a conscious level. Herein is part of life’s mystery, that the soul learns consciously or unconsciously.
Everything that is experienced becomes part of the subconscious memory-levels of one’s mind, whether seen or unseen, whether of this physical world or other worlds. A person may therefore be unaware that their soul is going through a learning process. The main consideration, however, is that learning is taking place and that it has effects on one’s soul.
From the opening to the closing curtain, life is a play, with one entering the first scene as an infant and leaving as an older person. Between these two extremes of our entrance and our departure, life itself is very precious. It could be said that life’s experiences teach us about ourselves, so much so, that after a time, many will come to learn about the existence of a higher order of life within them.
Outer, physical experiences of the world surrounding us eventually invoke an inner spiritual world. At times, what we may be lacking outwardly serves to teach us about the vast potential within us, as we are forced to reach deep inside ourselves to that unconscious reserve, which will eventually be our hope of an improved future, whether in this lifetime or in others beyond the soul’s present life sojourn.
What each person learns may vary greatly from one individual to another, depending upon how far they have actually evolved their consciousness on a universal scale of measure. Two people may respond, on a conscious level, in very different ways to the same experience.
One may react on a conscious level, while the other is oblivious consciously, although the learning process is still registered and recorded in the subconscious memory-level of the mind, to be drawn upon in whole or in part when the time is appropriate. Drawing upon what is in the memory-level of one’s mind is not limited to an accumulation in this single lifetime, but includes all previous lifetimes of recorded experience. Everything that has ever been experienced that is of lasting truth is retained in the soul’s memory-level, to be drawn upon when the evolutionary time is right and conditions warrant.
The lessons that are to be learned are spiritual ones. On the surface, many would appear to be worldly, but beneath the surface, they are part of the learning process of the soul. Because all experience must affect the person over many lifetimes, their lessons belong to the realm and province of their own soul.
Each worldly experience in this lifetime must be understood to have a spiritual side or counterpart that will go on beyond this one life to eternally serve the soul. The spiritual side of all your experiences in this lifetime is what is ultimately important and significant, as all else passes with the dusts of time.
The eternal part alone lives on, and therefore is the true measure of value and importance. Material possessions or needs can serve only a temporary purpose at best, to provide enough comfort for a person that their mind may be free of any worldly pressures in order to be free to pursue the spiritual reality of their own being and its relationship to others and the Universe. Being in a position to surround oneself with beautiful possessions of this world is only of worth when an atmosphere of beauty surrounding oneself is stimulating and conducive to pursuing the source of all beauty to be found in the spiritual realm of oneself. Beyond what is described here, material possessions and beauty serve only the fleeting purposes of physical self-indulgence, and are thus a diversion from sensing the true, lasting value of life to be found within one’s own soul.
Until a soul learns the spiritual lessons of life, the outer manifestation of one’s life may be in a hurry to do something that, in reality, amounts to nothing of any real value. Patience, carried out to its ultimate spiritual side, is eternity itself. Being patient does not mean going to another extreme and doing nothing under the name and guise of having found eternal peace. It does mean maintaining one’s composure in the light of the spiritual side or reality of what is taking place at any given moment of eternal time.
When life’s lessons are learned sufficiently to the point wherein a person realizes that it is one’s eternal soul that is doing the learning, then the concept of maintaining balance in one’s life takes on a spiritual side. Balance, then, becomes a balance of body, mind and soul, spirit, or one’s spiritual nature and the presence of God abiding within it.
Through living one’s life and formulating a lifestyle to accommodate it, a person does what is necessary to maintain a balance between the needs of the body, mind and spirit respectively. Also learned is that although one should strive for a balance as the preferred ideal, should the need for a choice between the three ever arise, the spirit must take priority, since it is the very foundation upon which the body and outer mind ever exist.
The main point to be gleaned from this is that there is a spiritual side to everything that takes place in the human experience, and that this is the most important thing in life to be learned.
Dr. Paul Leon Masters
Text for “Life as a School” taken from Dr. Paul Leon Masters’ “The Theocentric Way of Life,” Volume 2: Module 50.
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Intro and ending music © “Night Radiance” by Maxim Kornyshev