Life is Not a School: The Nature of Existence

Jul 21, 2014 | Reincarnation, Spirit

I realize that it’s a commonly held belief among spiritual people that life on earth is some sort of school – a place where you come to learn lessons and interact in the physical plane. We have to come here and suffer through this physical existence full of negativity in order to obtain contrast and learn the lessons our souls set out to grow through.

I don’t necessarily agree with that analogy and I don’t see this world as training ground at all, or even a terrible place, for that matter. I have moments where I do, but I’ve also had moments where – in all of the ugliness – I’ve been able to see it the way those in spirit see it… it’s utterly beautiful, and to some degree, it’s all of the dysfunction that makes it so.

I can’t really describe what I mean, other than to say that when you’re down here in it, you can’t see the forest for the trees. But to step back into that universal perspective… the variety of choice and belief and the contrast and the infinite possibilities that life on this earth holds – it truly is a masterpiece. I saw that, in a single moment… for just a few seconds… and was awestruck by it.

So I guess I look at this life as a gift – an opportunity to paint my part of this masterpiece. Sure, all of those lessons and learning are an important part, but I also see that as an added bonus. Just being here and being a part of it is an honor. That’s what many in spirit say to us (though most of us don’t really believe or understand them), and it’s true. I’ve seen it and felt it, even if it was just for a second.

It’s a strange duplicity. Yes, there are terrible things that happen in this world.  The constant fighting in the Middle East – that’s terribe.  The Malaysian jet crash is a terrible tragedy. And I think we’re supposed to feel that way while we’re down here in it, partly to spur change for the better.

But from spirit’s perspective, all of this happened with purpose – it’s part of the tapestry we’re creating. Those souls agreed to paint that part of the picture. It’s their contribution to the canvass, and all that we need do is understand and be. Just breathe and be.

I know a lot of people want to view earth as a school, but I think that analogy is a little bit off. When we think of school (at least high school), we think of tests and goals and passing or failing – but there is no pass or fail here, and no test. It’s not about the end goal of graduation so that we don’t have to come back.  If that’s how we’re looking at it, I think we’re entirely missing the point.

It’s more like learning to do something that you’ve always wanted to do, and teaching yourself – through experience, by trial and error. Let’s say  sculpting. You’ve always wanted to be a sculptor. The purpose is to create something and there’s really no right or wrong way to do it, and no one is judging the outcome but you. You can look at what other people have done and imitate that, or you can come up with something completely unique to you.

So you play with the clay, you try several things – some you like, some you don’t, so you keep moulding and shaping and perfecting until you get it just right. That’s our lives. Life is art.

In one of my favorite books, Conversations with God, God says that the whole purpose of life is to know ourselves as the creator.  To truly realize ourselves as God.  So that’s what we’re up to here. Creating with purpose – creating our lives and our world, through trial and error. Finding out what works for us and what doesn’t.  We’re bound to make mistakes, but the learning comes through the process, and it’s learning for the sake of learning, not for the end goal.

Life is about the journey, not the destination, as the cliche goes.






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My first reaction to the reading was WOW. Your words captured a theme woven into my life right now. The reading has emboldened me to take back my power and inspired me to research some books, get back to meditating and provided a focus.


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