Once upon a time there was a man who went out to take a ride in his fancy sports car. He decided to ride these beautiful windy roads through the country. He was having a great time, the wind in his hair, enjoying the fresh air. Suddenly in the opposite direction, came another convertible, careening out of control. He swerved to miss the car, and as the woman in the other car passed distressed, she screamed at him, “Pig” with flailing arms as she whizzed by. The man was appalled, thinking about how the other driver was the one out of control. How dare she call him a Pig, he thought, when suddenly he came around the corner and slammed right into a pig.
Now if this man had been driving through the back roads of Kaua`i, he would have had a totally different experience because “pig” would have taken on a totally different meaning. Drivers have the possibility of hitting an actual pig here on Kaua`i. Our perceptions and beliefs are the lenses through which we see life.
Ernest Holmes, mystic, teacher and author, wrote, “It is a beautiful and true thought to realize that every man stands in the shadow of a mighty Mind, a pure Intelligence, and a Divine givingness.” What we see in our objective experience is the shadow we cast as we stand in front of a Mighty Mind that is all and unlimited. We can limit our view of life. What does it mean to live in the shadows of our true self?
Last week, I reread Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. If you are not familiar with it, simply stated it is about a group of people chained in a cave, unable to move their bodies or head and able only to look forward onto a wall. There is a fire behind them, so only they see their own shadows and the shadow pictures displayed on the wall by puppeteers behind them. This is their reality. It is only when one of them is set free to explore the outer world and gets a glimpse of life in the light that he is expanded into the Infinite possibilities of something different. At first, he cannot even see because it is so bright. When he comes back to tell his fellow cave people about it, they laugh at him, telling him it’s not true and that he is basically delusional. They cannot budge from the reality of their life in the cave.
I couldn’t help getting excited about the idea that the limitations that I sometimes feel are only the training that I have received, the perceptions of the earth’s collective consciousness and my own walls of thought. Ernest Holmes writes about this, “So every day we are living from this Unity (with God, Freedom, Law), and are projecting the experiences from it upon the screen of our objective lives. We have done this so long in ignorance that we appear to be bound by the outlines of the forms which our ignorance has projected.”
The shadows (our objective world) are so real that they have become our reality. I liken this to when I wanted to become an actor. I got another job, thinking until I made it as an actor, this would keep me safe and fed. This made sense to me because my belief was that I couldn’t make it as an actor. It might have been the smart way at the time, but the problem was my plan B became so real and secure that it became my plan A. My projection was real, but I didn’t realize that it was coming from my limited belief.
However, now I understand and live from the greater knowing. When I decided to become a full-time minister, I understood and believed that this reality was supported by the Power of the Universe moving through me. My belief in this Power had expanded over years of study and practice and still is, as I sit here on the Island of Kaua’i running a full-time successful Spiritual Center. I know I am not finished, so I continue to believe that I am expanding all the time. If I want a bigger life, I must change my consciousness. I must break my barriers of perception, my beliefs, all that I thought that was once true.
Ernest Holmes wrote, “We can sit in the shade or move into the sunshine. Sitting in the shadow, we may not really believe that there is any sunshine. But, the sun would be there all the time and all the time we are in bondage the real freedom exists. It is there but we must awake to it. The Law of Mind as quickly creates one form as another for us and we must allow the patterns of our thought to become molded from the highest sense of Reality we possess.”
How many things do we believe that might or might not be true? We might wonder how we can know what truth is. It is that which edifies. It is that which expands us. It is that which moves us onto the high road of life, expressing our highest selves. It is us consciously evolving, following joy and passion, and by doing so helping the whole world along. The world is calling for us to move out of the shadow of our limitations and create from a greater consciousness. I believe our very evolution depends on it.
Love and Aloha,
Rev. Rita Andriello-Feren, Spiritual Director CSL Kaua`i