Reflections: Potential – Riding a Beam of Light

When Einstein was 16, he wondered what it would be like to ride on a beam of light.  That question may have connected him to the beam of his life. Being on the beam is a metaphor for walking the central potential of one’s life.  The Path.  Stay on the Path, and everything that happens will possess meaning.  Fall off the Path, and nothing that happens will have meaning.

Those that are on the path may believe I erred in that last sentence.  They might say: “Everything that happens has meaning.”  Those that feel distant from their path and potential may question whether there is such a thing as meaningful.  

Rest assured, by definition Potential is out there. It’s easier to see when your potential is near the surface of your conscious life, and not so easy to see when your potential seems to be playing hide and seek.  And even if we feel we are generally on the path, I’m willing to admit that it’s not always easy to know if we are following the most direct path, the path with less suffering for having avoided painful or unnecessary detours.

Sometimes, it feels like it’s difficult to know for certain  if one is on the Path or off the Path.  There are no guided runway lines with lights and nearby towers with air traffic controllers to guide you.  No yellow brick road.  Not on the surface anyway.  It’s not like being in a park with a map display and a “You are here” arrow.  Sometimes it may seem like trying to flag down a bus that is about to leave without you.  You know the bus holds your destination, but you don’t know till you’re on the bus if you succeeded in gaining passage.  Sometimes it may seem even more subtle than that.

Back to the celebrated Einstein. Surely here is a man who must have been on the beam of his life. But what was the view from Einstein’s vantage point?  Here’s a thought experiment: did Einstein feel like he was on the beam those two frustrating years of his life from 1900 until 1902?  He had graduated from the Federal Polytechnic in Zurich, but had failed to obtain a teaching post. When he was working in the patent office from 1902 to 1905 he was working on his major theories, so we can assume he felt like he was on the beam. Then he publishes in 1905 and is totally ignored.  Do you think he felt like he was on the beam those three years it took to be discovered by Max Plank?  He continued working at the patent office until 1909.  And how about at the end of his life when he felt like he was spinning his wheels?  Do you think that Einstein felt like he was on the beam from 1945 to 1955 while he worked in vain to discover a unified field theory?  In his own mind, he felt he had failed.  It’s not always easy to know when we are riding our beam of light.

And what about physical problems, are they part of being on the beam or part of the backdrop of the human condition?  Do we occasionally need to be shaken into consciousness?  Clearly in my case the physical challenges I encountered were part of the backdrop of my negotiated journey.  What made them “on the beam” was the way in which I was able to address them and discover my way through that labyrinth.  It also seems apparent that my physical problems made the veil between the worlds thinner. The world of Spirit became more accessible.  Right or wrong, there are spiritual methodologies worldwide whose sole purpose is to break down the body in order to access the Spirit.

But I sometimes wonder if some of my ailments are remnants of knowledge already gained – like visible scars.  I wonder if aging carries with it some of the accumulated patterns and habits that, for the most part, have played out their role in my education and are no longer a necessary component of being on the beam.   I really don’t know.  What I do know is that I am responsible to put effort into the continuing mysteries of my life, and that aging has its own specific mysteries.

We are captains of time with an incomplete treasure map.  There are bound to be occasions of uncertainty.

Here’s a methodology I sometimes use when I am approaching a new project with a number of unknowns. I see the unknowns as scattered light.  This is light that I need to gather, like the building of a house.  All the little details that coalesce into outcome have to eventually line up.  I ask what needs to be gathered both physically and spiritually, and what I may need to learn.  To use the house building metaphor, how are we to lay the proper foundation, then how do we line up a series of elements to create the whole.  I allow the project to fill me, not knowing how much will become thought forms for either the future or for an unseen aspect of myself, and how much will manifest physically in my life.  Then I check in with in with Soul and give the project over to “best possible outcome,” which means I’m willing to be flexible from my limited vantage point of ego self.  But at the end of the exercise I feel more full of Self and ready to go chasing that beam again.

That may be the point, the metaphoric point of connection with Potential – the intention to chase after the light.  Sometimes that light may seem like it is far off at the end of a dark tunnel.  And sometimes we realize, like a person removing blindfolds, that we’ve actually been riding the beam for most of the journey and simply didn’t realize it.

Next up:  The Soul’s Potential/ Visions of Soul

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