Crossing an Imaginary Divide
Posted Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012
One of my greatest joys in being a hospice volunteer is the opportunity to hear people’s stories.
During my shift last week, I had a long, emotional conversation with a gentleman whose wife was near death. As is often the case in discussions like that, there was a mixture of tears and laughter on both of our parts as he told me some very personal stories about her, about their relationship, and about his own journey.
Some of the stuff he told me was so foreign to my own life experiences that I had to work hard to keep my jaw from dropping. He talked, very matter-of-factly, about violence and drugs and arrests and brawls and incredibly tragic family histories.
If I had been reading what he was telling me instead of talking with him about it, I probably would have dismissed it all as being so over the top that it had to have been made up. But I have no doubt he was telling me the truth.
Yet, in those moments of grief, he was a very gentle man trying to come to grips with what her life, and his own, have meant, and I found myself feeling a lot of empathy for him. Two guys, from dramatically different backgrounds, talking about the meaning of life.
That experience was an important reminder for me about our unity with every other human being. I’ve always congratulated myself on being able to interact comfortably with people from all walks of life, but I had never met anyone like him, and if somebody had told me about him beforehand, I probably would have had no interest in doing so.
Yet there’s no doubt in my mind that our paths “just happened” to cross at that moment in time, and I believe we both came away from that conversation feeling a strong kinship with each other.
The very first section in the first chapter of Lessons from the Source is called “Unity with God and All Creation,” and there’s long passage about the concept of God (or Source, or whatever term is comfortable for you) being present everywhere in the Universe. When I left hospice that evening, I found myself thinking about this paragraph from that section.
“As you meditate upon this concept, you will begin to come to a spiritual understanding of the unity of all things. If God energy or substance is present in all things, then all things share a unity of being. If, at your most basic element, you share the same reality as all other humans, then there is a basis for communication and love and understanding between you and any other person. If that common element extends beyond human beings to every aspect of my creation, there is a unity that you cannot now even begin to comprehend. Yet, if you can accept that it is there, you have taken the very first step toward an expansion of your consciousness that will alter your life on the planet in ways that you cannot yet imagine and will allow you to make a quantum leap in your never-ending spiritual growth.”
Sometimes it takes a while to be able to make that quantum leap.