The very true formula used by some contemporary spiritual teachers reveals to us pointblank that :
‘We are not human beings having spiritual experiences, we are spiritual beings having a human experience!…’
After the first mental shock such a way of putting things has probably given us, we may start taking in the full meaning and implications of what we have just heard:
‘All right then, that’s already something very satisfying to think about…’; and thinking of ourselves as already spiritual beings does pull us at once, however slightly, out of our usual complete and wrong identification with our present appearance and present limitations as human beings.
Yes, we don’t actually need to become spiritual beings, as this is what we already are, since ever, and for ever. If our consciousness, instead of being practically all the time oriented outward, learns again to turn itself inward and to go deep enough inside, or high enough upward, it will invariably find, inward, the beatific love-space of our Soul, or upward, the limitless and luminous vastness of our Self, one with All That Is – and we will realize through direct experience that, yes indeed, we are in fact spiritual beings living in Eternity.
The problem is that this fantastic revelation – or, even better, experience – brings us only to another immediate next question:
‘But then, if really we are spiritual beings… what are we all doing here?!?’
Quite a relevant question, isn’t it?…
As spiritual beings, we are free, no problem with a physical body, we are immortal and eternal, we can access other dimensions in the total Reality of All That Is which are wonderful beyond words…
But then again, how come instead we find ourselves here, in that so limited terrestrial plane, in those physical bodies apparently promised only to deterioration and death, and apt in the meantime to suffer pain or disease at any moment?
This Question is so real, each religion has tried to answer it one way or the other.
But whether we are supposed to be here
– because Adam and Eve made a serious mistake very long ago and now we are all condemned to be born and to die here, in this kind of ‘Redemption Camp’, to try and make it back into Paradise once we finally die;
– or because our poor spirits have stumbled by mistake into this trap of Maya that happens to be there without being really there, no one can tell you why or how, but that it’s terribly difficult to get out of it, and it usually takes an enormous number of lifetimes;
– or because the Divine enjoys playing with us in that way, it’s all just His/Her loving Lîlâ and inwardly it’s delicious and it will go on like this for ever, no problem;
– or because by some mistake in the Absolute Oneness that only Is, we got somehow at some point an ego, that separated us from that blissful, ineffable Oneness, and now here we are, working to dissolve any sense of individuality so as to return and disappear as quickly as possible back into the blissful Oneness;
… anyway the various answers to that Question aren’t quite satisfactory, in that sense that inevitably we end up with a strong impression that something went wrong somewhere, and of course whatever the catastrophic mistake may have been, by definition it could have been avoided by ‘God’ or whatever you may call that Supreme Power; yet that Supreme Being didn’t prevent it from happening, and seems to be doing nothing to make it stop… on the contrary perhaps even!
So we do get a feeling that if this is the way the said ‘God’ is dealing with us, then so much for the God of Goodness and Love most religions speak of!… All rebelliousness and revolt seem to be the right things if the actual situation is some punishment for something, or some bad joke imposed by some cruel, All Powerful Being keeping us for ever in this inferior and helpless position even though we are supposed to be its Children.
Now let’s forget all about those worn out explanations that explain actually nothing and leave us with an unacceptable ‘God’.
Let’s look for our answer in a completely different direction:
Let’s go to a football field where two teams are fighting it out; or let’s go to a couch in front of a TV and let’s watch those same players fighting it out on that football field. We could just as well go see some cricketers, or tennis players, or chess players, it doesn’t matter, everywhere it is the same: the players are totally concentrated on the game, each player’s identity as a normal human being, perhaps a husband, or a parent, is forgotten: they are just football players at the moment, or cricketers, or whatever, that’s all they are, just like an actor becomes his or her character during the time of the play. The only things that matter are the ball, and the goal.
Have a look at the spectators: the same thing is happening. They are all mesmerized by the game, they stand up, they gesticulate, they shout, they encourage the team they are there for, completely oblivious of their normal personality and behavior when they are not in a stadium during a match.
This is the magic effect of Playing.
Any human baby anywhere, playing hide and seek with his mama, is already experiencing that wonderful magic of Playing.
All children in the world play; even in the worst conditions they find some way to play and enjoy themselves, forgetting for a while the harshness of real Life.
But even the harshness and difficulties that may occur in Life can be used deliberately by human beings for the enjoyment of Playing:
Look at all the sports, the innumerable kinds of sports that human beings have invented everywhere on this planet; always there are some precise Rules of the Game – often starting with a time limit and some space limits – that must be agreed upon by the players.
… And always there are challenges, obstacles or complications that purposely are added, so as to make the game difficult enough to be interesting!…
For that is the Key to the enjoyment of any game, any sport: if it’s too easy, it’s boring. To be captivating, it must be exacting, challenging enough for the players to really get involved into it and give their best to win, whether against an adversary, or an obstacle, or against time, or against some odds that everybody can see make the aim of the game a difficult thing to accomplish. No difficulty, no fun!!! The footballers may be exhausted and bruised all over by the time the match is over, but next time they will be back again, eager to play again…
Well, it’s so for some of us human beings; some others prefer the easy and quiet pleasure of relaxation and pure enjoyment of just being alive and well, and perhaps from time to time doing something, but only if it’s not tiring!…
No doubt though, after a while like this, even the easy going ones may enjoy getting a little more active too – as long as it is not imposed on them.
Let’s say there are those for whom ideal life is an adventure or a treasure-hunt, and those for whom life must be a cruise...
But it is just a question of degree: everyone does have, even if it is deeply buried in their being, some little bit of attraction, of taste for Adventure.
In an Adventure, there is more risk than in mere play or in Sport; now comes in the element of danger.
For some people, the attraction of difficulty and even danger is what stimulates and motivates them to try something that has never been done before. You will find those ones climbing the highest mountains, swimming across entire oceans, doing whatever seems impossible to be done. For the money? For the glory? Hardly, really: rather, it is for that intense, exhilarating joy in the being, to be able in the end to tell oneself ‘It seemed to be impossible, but I have done it!…’ Or it can also be simply ‘For me it was impossible before, but now I have done it!.. And I’ll keep improving….’
Let’s realize that this is pure divine Joy just like the divine Delight of Being of the Unmanifested Divineness; but this specific Joy of Victory over Challenge, of growth, of evolution, cannot be experienced in the eternally perfect, unmanifested state of our being; to experience it one has to ‘Go out’ and Play, play on any of the Playing Grounds that are the many Universes within All That Is – including this little Earth where we are at the moment, busy collectively winning a certain unique Victory that long ago we set to conquer.
For there are always those two sides to the ‘coin’ of our divine nature, and we are both of them, as spiritual beings, and we enjoy both of them: we can Play to our heart’s content, there is no real danger, no real death or destruction, there is only Eternal Life, at play in all of us who decided to get involved for example in that so difficult but so interesting Game down here…
And for those who don’t like it any more when it’s too hard, remember that in this Game here of Life on Earth, one has always the possibility also to simply ask for help!… Either from those other players able and willing to help, or directly from the Ultimate Source of all Power and all Victory: the Oneness that is All That Is!…
But of that wonderful possibility we will speak another time, in another post…