Are We There Yet?
What comes to mind when you think of a quest? For many, the first thing that comes to mind is traveling. In some cases, it’s the thought of an adventure where you’re looking forward to seeing new places and meeting new people. In other situations, it may have been an unanticipated journey that was thrust upon you.
In most of the legends of quests, we find a major element is there is the hero or heroine on the brink of a major change. In Herman Melville’s classic quest story Moby Dick, Ishmael’s inner torment of depression is a call to return to adventure at sea. In The Wizard of Oz, it is a tornado which serves as a call to whisk Dorothy into her journey to Oz.
Maybe your call came in the form of a serious illness. Or maybe it was a nagging dissatisfaction with your life. Maybe it was suddenly losing a job or marriage. A call can be disguised in the thousand different forms.
The Quest – Yearning For Something More
Regardless of the form it takes, the yearning for “something more” stirs the heart
of the one who hears it, moving him or her into action. Whether the quest for that “something more” is joyful or unpleasant, most of us can recall coming home, taking a deep breath and saying, “aah, there’s no place like home.”
Remember Dorothy’s words before leaving Oz, “It’s that if ever I go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. . .”
Rather than a physical journey, this post is inviting us to explore our consciousness and how the inner quest for that “something more” is impacted by our thoughts and beliefs. They either foster’s a sense of connection with the Divine presence within, or fuels a sense of separation.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son
No doubt you are familiar with the parable told by Jesus, which is the story of the Prodigal Son recorded in Luke 15:11-32. Taking artistic license here is my paraphrased version:
A son asked his wealthy father for his share of inheritance so that he could leave home. After going far away and squandering his entire fortune, he eventually found himself broke and homeless. Alone and hungry he would have eaten out of a dumpster If someone had helped him.
In his destitute state of mind, he couldn’t help remembering that his father’s servants were far better off than he was. Despite his great despair, humiliation and deep regret of his behavior he chose to go home. In fear and trepidation of his father’s response, he hoped against hope that his father would take him back in.
Contrary to the son’s worst fears, when the father saw the son coming he ran out to meet him! Ecstatic at having his son come home to him, the father threw his arms around the young man and kissed him. He wouldn’t hear his son’s attempts to apologize. He not only lavished fine gifts on his son, he ordered the household staff to prepare an elegant banquet to celebrate his return. It was as if his son had never left home.
Cast of Characters and Their Symbolism
Whether this is your first exploration of your spiritual life or you’ve devoted your life to the inward journey, I know that it isn’t lost on you that in this story the son is about us. Isn’t it true that in different ways, methods and modes, we have all had experiences that represent leaving the consciousness of the Divine Presence within?
The father represents the Divine Presence (God) that’s within all creation. The following quote from The Center for Action and Contemplation eloquently and powerfully expresses the main point of this parable, which is the eternal and unconditional love of God for humankind. As you read this statement allow the meaning to marinate your consciousness with the magnitude of God’s love for you:
“Even when all seems lost, when we awaken and turn to the Divine Presence (Father’s home) within we look up to see God running toward us with open arms. Suddenly we realize there is no place within us that is not encountered, embraced, and made whole in a love that does not even care to hear our litany of shortcomings and regrets. We Are profoundly loved by God without any foundations for being loved except Divine love itself.”
The father’s home represents love, inner peace, joy, rest and fulfillment. The journey away from home represents a state of consciousness where one feels separated and apart from God.
Holding The Paradox in Consciousness
Let me ask several paradoxical questions for your consideration:
Are we seeking for that which is seeking us?
Are we choosing or are we chosen?
Are we calling or are we being called?
Are we created out of a holy sacred essence from which we can be lost or can we never be separated from It?
The Egos Perspective
From our human experience, there is that part of our consciousness which is called by many the ego. As we know, the main survival mechanism of the ego is creating the sense of division and separation from our self, others, and more importantly, from that part of us that is deathless, birthless, changeless and sacred, often called the Sacred Self.
From the ego’s perspective, the felt sense of loss is a real experience. From that perspective, we would attempt to choose to answer the questions as a yes, no right or wrong.
Speaking for myself, I confess I have had my fair share of doubt, worry, and fear, which as you might imagine, fueled my sense of separation from the Divine Presence within.
I have learned when I’m in an experience where I want to ask, “Where is God?” I find it useful to remind myself of the somewhat humorous axiom that if you feel disconnected or separated from your Divine Source, guess who moved? We know the answer to that one, don’t we?
In the past, I would beat myself up with regret for the negative thoughts, attitudes or behaviors which I had allowed to lead me away from my coveted conscious sense of inner peace, joy, and fulfillment.
Those moments now happen less frequently. However, the good news is when they do, I’m now able to catch myself more quickly and seize this awareness as an opportunity to compassionately open my consciousness to the loving, welcoming embrace of the Divine Presence within. I experience it as a much sweeter path to the greater expression of who I have come here to be.
The Spiritual Perspective
Beyond and above that, what if in truth we are never separated from our Source?
What if at some level of consciousness there is nothing to forgive?
What if having this awareness supports you in more quickly responding to the call that is always pulsating within your being, calling you to come to a home that in truth never left you?
The following insightful quotes from several different spiritual perspectives may allow you to say yes to your human experience, and yet add . . . there’s something more.
The good news that parallels and goes beyond the prodigal son’s awakening and journey home is eloquently articulated by Ernest Holmes in his book, Words That Heal Today. In it he writes:
“There is a voice within that has never ceased speaking to us, a presence that has never ceased beckoning to us, a power greater than we, which has willed that we make this return Journey…How could this be unless the gift of life had already been made from the foundation of the world? How could this be unless life had willed it so? It could not.”
Are You There Yet?
A Course In Miracles encapsulates this idea with these statements:
“Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the peace of God.”
“Many are called but few are chosen” should be…. “All are called, but few choose to listen.”
“The ego always seeks to divide and separate. The Holy Spirit always seeks to unify and heal.”
“Be not Afraid. We only start again an ancient journey long ago begun that but seems new. We have begun again upon the road we traveled on before and lost our way a little while. And now we try again.”
How powerful would be the expression of our lives if we held the conviction of St. Paul who boldly declares, “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love . . . No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Finally, Elizabeth Gilbert reminds us, “If you want to be the hero of the story you’ve kind of got to answer the call.”
ARE YOU THERE YET?
My hope for this post is that it has inspired you to join me with a resounding “YES, I AM CONVINCED NOTHING CAN SEPARATE ME FROM GOD’S LOVE.”
I love hearing from you. Would you comment in the comment box on your quest and journey of coming home?
As we know, we are what we think all day long. Let’s align ourselves with the Infinite Source of Life and let Life flow through us as right action and true expression.
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