- Religion and Philosophy
Heaven on Earth: Celebrating the Ordinary
“What will it take till you believe in me?"
The song that popped up during my silent sitting was Billy Joel’s “Just the Way You Are”:
“Don't go changing to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore
I would not leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I take you just the way you are
I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
Ah, what will it take till you believe in me?
The way that I believe in you?
I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are
I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are”
I had specifically copied over the entire song, feeling that the song lyrics are a message from each one of all our souls to each one of us.
Please try to play the song in the background (video at bottom of the page), while reading the rest of article.
How Heaven Came Down to Earth and How the Moment Becomes Special
They say that before our soul came down to earth to manifest in a physical body, it arranged for and agreed to the circumstances in our life. Those include the minutest details as well as the major ones.
Our normal mode would be to shut down our hearts or resist what is happening to us in the present moment, without realizing that its circumstances have been pre-arranged or destined prior to our soul’s earthly existence. This is the usual egoic mode, a thinking that believes it can change the situation.
The only thing really that we can change in a situation is our response to it. In Coming Home to Joy, we attempted to stay with the moment’s shenpa to get in touch with a sacred kind of Joy. There are other practices that we can train in in order to develop a more conscious or awakened response to the present moment.
Each moment becomes an opportunity to connect to our soul.
If we believe in our soul, that our soul wants only what’s best for us, and that everything has been destined to happen accordingly, life takes on an aura of comfort, security and contentment and becomes an adventure in discovering what the moment’s lesson is all about. We wonder and soften and open, even to uncertainty, trusting in our basic goodness and our soul’s plan for us. We let go of expectations of what the next moment will bring.
When we open and let go of expectations, we provide our soul the opportunity to reveal the moment’s wisdom, joy, love and peace. We then let go and move on to the next present moment again letting go of expectation that the same revelations will visit. We let the moment lead.
We trust our soul and let it lead us through THIS exciting adventure.
It has also been said that our soul chose who our parents would be in order to fulfill the necessities of our mission. Understanding our parents’ life story then becomes a clue in navigating through our own. What are our father’s strengths and weaknesses in the physical, intellectual, emotional, philosophical or spiritual areas of his life? Our mother’s? How did they deal with their challenges?
What changes do we feel we need to see happen instead?
Our challenge would then be reconciling the conflicts and “rewriting history” for our current generation. In The I Ching’s Message through Carl Gustav Jung and for Contemporary Times, the I Ching predicted that we are seeing the dawn of enlightenment or the Light Era, as the egoic mode of conducting our lives gives way to obsolescence. This may be one way of rewriting history for all of us.
Being soulful is the opposite of being ruled by our ego.
No Longer a Victim
In James Hillman’s “The Soul Code”, depending on our belief on the soul, especially in the light of understanding that our soul, who wants only what’s best for us, chose our destiny, we shed off our belief in the traditional teachings of various schools of psychology, which predict our behavior based on our heredity and environment, in a past where we have no control over. Understanding that our circumstances have been lovingly selected for us, we begin to participate in the present moment more joyfully, more soulfully.
Instead of blaming, we can then take responsibility by training in spiritual or soulful practices.
The Special in the Ordinary
Perhaps my subconscious question when I sat down to meditate was about the humdrum that I was experiencing in my present situation. The idea that popped up then was to write about “The Special in the Ordinary”. How was I to know what to write about when it was the question mark in my head? The inspiration given then was to get down to writing and see where it leads.
And so here goes rolling the paragraphs, into a couple or so pages. There was much to write about after all. Where are all these ideas coming from?
To cut the long story short,
We need to find the special in the ordinary:
- If we’re a street-sweeper, sweep because we want to, not because we are being forced to or are impressing somebody with our ability.
- If we’re a writer, write because we want to, not because we are being forced to or are impressing somebody with our ability.
- If we’re a housewife, care and nurture because we want to, not because of any other reason.
- If we’re an office worker, work because we want to, not because of any other reason.
- If we’re a team member, follow because we want to, not because we’re being forced to.
When we do, love what we are doing.
When doing, we need to find a way to do what we do with the reason of wanting to, even if merely using the principle of Act-as-if, where initially we only act that we love what we’re doing. Hopefully, as they claim, our acting-as-if will lead us to the joy of the process of doing.
In the loving what we do, we discover joy in going through the details of the process that we are working on. Each moment seems to stretch to infinity. Hours seem to be a few seconds.
We discover flow.
This is why ideally we should enjoy what we do at work. Yet not all of us are fortunate to have such jobs. Nonetheless, we can work at enjoying what we do. Or, seeking guidance from “The Serenity Prayer”, leave the job for someplace else, possibly where we have the opportunity to fulfill our passion.
It does make sense then to believe that merely by having the opportunity to pursue our passion, we are already successful. We are blessed with days that bring us to a closer connection to our soul:
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of the Lord …”, to experience flow, to experience Heaven on Earth.
Celebrating the Ordinary
In 33 Different Ways God Says Thank You, we realize how much in terms of opportunities for gratitude we have in a single day. Sometimes, we don’t even realize how lucky we are that we have the opportunity to, not just be, but have the capacity to do and the matching opportunity. We forget that there are so many less fortunate than ourselves in terms of physical, intellectual, emotional, philosophical and spiritual capacity.
This presents an opportunity to celebrate the “ordinary” in us, which turns out to be not so ordinary after all, to celebrate the people, places, things, events in our daily life that are not so ordinary after all.
This presents an opportunity for compassion, to pray or wish happiness for many among us who may not be as fortunate as we are.
And most of all, celebrating comes with the opportunity for gratitude.
Happy Thanksgiving to All!
“I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I take you just the way you are”