life is offered the opportunity to leap out and find its true nature. Every
soul is given the chance to transcend the mundane and find the ecstatic.
often than not, however, this opportunity is heavily disguised. For some, it
comes in the form of the loss of a loved one. Others may find their
opportunity through grappling with a terminal disease. Yet others encounter
great disappointment, generally in relationship to other souls.
life, by nature, puts us in situations where we encounter friction and
resistance. The people we expect least, end up being the toughest opposition
and the most destructive obstacles we encounter. Great disappointment comes
from dealing with people, who simply behave in ways that are not becoming.
is precisely during these times of trial and tumultuous tribulation that our
soul is offered a great opportunity.
Sometimes I think of what Zarathushtra must have felt, when the people of
his own town did not take his word seriously. When the priests of his time,
who were the learned ones, rejected his ideas and ideals.
courage that it must have demanded to gather his friends and inspire them to
move on to the next township, must have been tremendous. The tenacity that
it required to move from state to state, hearing rejection after rejection,
is only comparable to the way dripping water makes a dent in the rock.
Ironically, These trials of life are somewhat of a rite of passage, an
initiation if you will. And much like any initiation, we can come out of it
triumphant and transformed, or we can be crushed to pieces.
Gathas, Zarathushtra talks about the "fiery test", and often we interpret it
to be a metaphor for the judgment in the afterlife. But perhaps there is
more to this "fiery test" than just a reference to the hereafter.
this fire comes in many forms, making each one of us confront our deepest
fears and profoundest ignorance. Perhaps the test present each of us with
the opportunity to transcend ourselves and be who we really are, or give in
to our weaknesses and live a life of mere existence until our time comes to
leave or face another test.
like going into the belly of the whale. Either we will come out digested and
torn into a thousand pieces, or we come out victorious, unconsciously
integrating the powers of the beast within our psyche, adding to the forces
of the Good.
in these times that life offers us the soul-searching opportunity that we
need most. We will go through a bittersweet process of questioning,
analyzing, rejecting and affirming, sifting through the sand, and painfully
separating the wheat from the chaff.
outcome of this process is one of two things:
we emerge bitter and disillusioned with the world, going through our lives
with an attitude of blaming life in general, and becoming a martyred victim,
look deeply within our soul and try to distinguish between the temporal and
the eternal in life. We come face to face with our mortality, and touch our
immortal side. We let go of the glory and embrace grace.
this fiery trial, what remains is either the impurities and the base metals
of our life, or we separate the gold and shine our light - no matter what
goes on out there, outside of us.
the cocoon is crushed with the caterpillar trapped inside, or the beautiful
butterfly emerges, spreading its beauty and joy, regardless of the thunder
or the harshness of the wind.
case of Zarathushtra, the beautiful butterfly finally emerged, and spread
its light and beauty to the whole world, not only of his time, but also of
hope that we can use Zarathushtra's example as our role model. Let us hope
that when these times are upon us, we shun our bitterness, and embrace the
opportunity to search our souls, and live life in a way that we can spread
our light and love, beauty and joy, touching others with gentleness, no
matter how harsh their skins may be.