Image: Baby alpacas near us in Ithaca, NY.
We all have a personal history here on Earth, even if we are only a few hours old. All the events and places and people, all we experience is impressed on our memory and held for a lifetime. Memory a power of the Soul Itself. We are given this ability so that we can remember who we are in the world, so that we can build on our abilities - and also so that we can learn from the past. Without the faculty of memory, we would have to relearn everything we know about ourselves and the world that surrounds us every moment of each day.
No life is entirely easy, or without mistakes - either our mistakes or the mistakes of others. These difficult memories of our personal history on Earth can pile up, until we feel either imprisoned by them or harmed by them, or both. I say “personal history” because we are really the soul, the Radiant, Beautiful soul. The individual soul uses the events of our daily lives in order to evolve and gain virtue. The memories stored within the soul are not there to torture us or to hamper us, they are there for the reasons I already gave - so that the soul can learn and evolve, so that we as human beings can build on our abilities and also learn from the past.
There are many ways to heal the past, various therapies and methods; many of these are good and possibly even essential. However, to truly heal from our past, we must all learn to view our earthly life, and all its myriad events and memories, as our earthly Journey - no more, no less. And remember that we are the Radiant Soul, know that the Soul is our True Self. As we review our past, if we can remember that we are the Radiant Soul even as we cry or grieve, or become angry or confused - then we will not entirely fall into our thoughts and emotions about the past and have a far better chance of being Healed of the difficult stored memories. It is far easier to Heal something when we are not one hundred percent invested in the events and outcomes.
If we can take this a step further, and cry deep and honest tears for everyone who has suffered or is suffering - then we have a chance to have a powerful and rare mystical experience. In this experience, even as we shed deeply held tears, we are held in the Divine Love and comforted by It. If we are angry - the anger is replaced by the Higher Love and Compassion, it melts into the Love that is holding us. We can see more clearly, more Infinitely - because we are using a different set of inner Eyes, Eyes on loan from the Divine Itself, i.e. given to us by God.
In my car accident so many years ago, when I first regained consciousness and opened my eyes I no longer had a personal history. I could not remember who I was, where I lived, who I knew, what I did for a living, my past, my present - all those aspects of myself and personal life were taken from me. And yet I still Existed, and I knew who I was perfectly well, better perhaps than I ever before had - even without a name or any other information about myself or my life on Earth. And with that lack of personal information came a deep Peace and an Aliveness and sense of Being, and a Gratitude for Life, True Life, Itself.
In other words, without a personal history, I could purely and easily stand in the soul, in true Being. True Being vs “I am Laurie Conrad and I live in Ithaca, NY ”.
True Compassion and the Higher Love are far easier to attain when we know we are the soul, that our past is now just a collection of thoughts and images - and that the people or events that hurt us so deeply are also at root, and in Essence, Radiant Light.
Last Wednesday night, in meditation class, I gave my students a simple exercise to try: I asked them to close their eyes and imagine that they had no past, no present, no future - no history at all, no name, no personal identity. And then I asked what their experience was. The answer was : freedom. Freedom and Peace.
I would urge you all to try the same exercise, even for a few brief moments. (A similar exercise: close your eyes and image yourself as the Radiant, Divine Light of the Soul.)
Once we have had this Glimpse of True Being and the freedom it brings, even during these simple and short exercises - the past can never quite have the same hold over us. Even if we again become immersed in our brief life history’s sorrows and pains, a part of us now knows that we are the soul, that all is the Divine Light. Our thoughts and emotions cannot find the same power over us they once had. You might say that we know too much to fully fall into our personal thoughts and emotions. And when we have reached this point in our spiritual development, it is easier to stand in the Soul and in Its Infinite Overview.