Recently I was walking in the street and found myself crying. I’d spontaneously started thinking about my late wife, Elana, and the pain of her loss had made me cry. It was a simple, pure and very meaningful experience.
It seemed appropriate to me to embrace the thoughts and feelings that were coming my way, knowing that they were profound and purposeful; I simply waited to see where they would take me. I cried for a few moments, as I remembered the sense of love and respect I had for her in her lifetime and that remains with me even 12 years later. But as quickly as they had come, those painful thoughts were replaced by new thoughts of gratitude; gratitude for the 11 years I spent married to Elana; gratitude for having had such a special woman in my life; gratitude for all that she gave me. I dwelled on that gratitude for a few moments before new thoughts came along, my tears dried, and I was on my way again. The whole experience took less than a minute. But it was a rich and deeply meaningful minute for me.
One of things that I value so much in my life nowadays is my lack of fear of my own experience. I know that my experience is just fine; and even when it doesn’t immediately look that way, I know deep down that it is. That’s the beauty of Mind – it gives me what I need when I need it. Nothing seems out of place anymore. The world is as it should be – even when it seems as though it’s not. So what’s to be scared of in a world that is exactly as it should be?
Of course, like everyone, frightened thoughts sometimes come my way. And of course, sometimes my consciousness makes them so three dimensional, so 64 bit coloured, so tangible and real, that I feel afraid. But deep down my understanding of the Principles always sits behind the whole experience – and it can never look quite as bad as it sometimes did in the past. This understanding is my new best friend, my saviour. Being lost is only ever a temporary experience because the understanding is real and being lost is not. So of course my understanding is going to win out in the end. It’s like oil and vinegar. When you first pour in the oil, it may sink for a moment, but it will rise to the surface again every single time – without exception. It’s a truth of nature; and an understanding of the Principles is as much a truth of nature as is the fact that oil is less dense than vinegar.
In the past, I might have fought the memories of Elana when they came, judging them unhelpful. I might have been worried that I was in denial about how well I had done in the process of losing her. I might have even sought advice and help on it. But now I realise that I don’t need help; I don’t need advice. I get what I need when I need it and accepting and embracing the thoughts that come my way allows me to benefit from whatever they might be; in this case, memories of love that remain precious even 12 years after she has passed away. I’m deeply grateful for the understanding that allows this to happen for me and I look forward to that understanding deepening as I move through life.
As I was looking out of my window here on Snee Osh Road and taking in the beauty of nature, my eyes became focused on the cup of tea that was on the table. I was deeply touched by the beauty of the steam as it rose from the hot tea. In the moment, it seemed stunningly beautiful to me. But then again, so did my hand holding the mug – and the mug itself for that matter. I suddenly realised what was going on; I realised that true beauty is not to be found in the form, rather in seeing beyond the form. Nothing is more beautiful than anything else when recognised as a manifestation of infinite Mind. When we see beauty in the form, some things are more beautiful than others, but when the form is merely a suggestion of the formless, just a shape at the end of a pipeline connected to a spiritual source, then as my consciousness moves further up that pipeline, the beauty of form becomes superficial and a deeper and more compelling beauty emerges. And the feeling deepens as the form gets less tangible and hence what is beyond the form seems more apparent. Of course, the form never disappears entirely, because our whole experience is only ever via form, but the less tangible the form, the more touched I feel by the infinite beauty of the formless.
So as I sit here in La Conner looking at a tree, the form and shape and colours of the tree look beautiful to me. And if it stopped there, it would be a pleasant and uplifting experience. But as deeper reflections arise, as I see beyond the tree, the tree itself goes out of focus and the energy that forms the tree becomes more apparent. I don’t see it, I don’t really even feel it, I’m just somehow aware of it; I’m touched by it; I’m moved by it; it resonates with me. As the feeling deepens, words become less and less meaningful as a medium through which to describe the experience. It is what it is; too real for the medium of description; intangibly tangible.
So, yes, in the moment that I see the steam rising from my teacup as the most beautiful thing in the world, indeed it is. Because in that moment I am seeing beyond the steam to something deeper that is the essence of beauty. And the medium becomes irrelevant. Right now, five minutes later, the steam doesn’t look as beautiful as it did. But it did then and that’s what matters. The beauty of Mind echoes through all of creation. There is no reason to see it more in a Monet, in an iceberg, in a sunset – or in a cup of tea. Everything in this world is limited in its beauty by the form it occupies. Everything experienced as a reflection of infinite Mind does not share that limitation.